Monday, February 15, 2010

It's Presidents Day...

So here are some tidbits about the father of our country, George Washington.

Besides bein' the commander in chief of the Continental army during the American Revolution, he was was the first president of these United States.

February 11th was George Washington's birthday according to the Julian (Old Style) calendar, but in 1752, the corrections of the Gregorian (New Style) Calendar were adopted by England, Ireland, and the colonies, and his birthday became 22 February [Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds., The Diaries of George Washington, vol. VI, January 1790–December 1799 (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1979) 282.]

He was born into a Virginia planter family, he learned the morals, manners, and body of knowledge requisite for an 18th century Virginia gentleman. He had five brothers and one sister.

He was approx. 6 feet tall and did not wear a wig. He wore his own hair which was light brown in color, tied in a queue and powdered.

He had false teeth, but they were not made of wood. As a matter of fact, the materials used in his false teeth were probably more uncomfortable than wood. In one set of teeth, his dentist, Dr. John Greenwood, used a cow’s tooth, one of Washington’s teeth, hippopotamus ivory, metal and springs. They fit poorly and distorted the shape of his mouth.

George Washington was the only U.S. President who did not live in the White House, which was not completed until after his death. During his two terms as president, the capital of the United States was located first in New York and then in Philadelphia. George Washington played a large role, however, in the development of the new Federal City named after him, and in overseeing the design of both the Capitol Building and the White House.

George Washington had no children of his own, although he did help raise two of Martha’s children from her first marriage and two of her grandchildren at Mount Vernon.

George Washington was a farmer before he became president. Washington, who believed that America should become a “granary to the world”, sought to improve many aspects of farming. His advanced crop rotations, use of fertilizers, experimentation with crops, and innovative farm equipment made him one of the “pioneers” of modern agriculture.

This flag was used by George Washington on his squadron of six schooners which he outfitted at his own expense in the fall of 1775. This flag was a variation of the New England Pine Tree flag. It was later modified and adopted by the Massachusetts Navy. The Sons of Liberty would rally under a large tree, in Boston Massachusetts, which came to be known as "The Liberty Tree". This tree became a symbol of American independence. Knowing they were up against a great military power they believed they were sustained by still a greater power, thus their "APPEAL TO HEAVEN."

George Washington free his slaves. His attitude toward slavery gradually changed as he grew older and especially as he fought for liberty in the American Revolution. In his will, he freed those slaves belonging to him (about 124) and his estate paid for the care of former Mount Vernon slaves for decades after his death.

Washington enjoyed less than three years of retirement at Mount Vernon, for he died of a throat infection December 14, 1799. For months the nation mourned him.

He was not not buried under the U.S. Capitol, although Congress built a vault under the Capitol building for this purpose. In his will, Washington specified that he wished to be buried at Mount Vernon and that a new tomb should be constructed. His heirs honored his wish, and the vault at the U.S. Capitol remains empty to this day.

Enjoy your day off folks and please remember the reason behind it.
:> )


Liz Revit said...

Fabulous post!

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

wow I learned alot today about our first president..infact everything you told us was new to me...(hated history)...thanks for sharing.:) and yeah we really do need to remember our fore fathers..our new president could actually learn something...:)if he wasn't so self absorbed...

Susan said...

Great post.

Tina said...

That was cool!
Hey, we are gonna be neighbors!
Back to blogging next week.

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