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George Washington: A Presidents Day Celebration

in American History
An engraved illustration of George Washington crossing the River

An engraved illustration of George Washington crossing the River Delaware during the American Revolutionary War, from a Victorian book dated 1886.

Statue of George Washington in the Boston Public Garden. Filtered color

George Washington

The 1st President of The United States

We celebrate the incredible legacy of America’s first president, George Washington. As Presidents Day approaches, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the remarkable leadership and enduring impact of this founding father.

Born on February 22, 1732

George Washington (1732-99) was commander in chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War (1775-83) and served two terms as the first U.S. president, from 1789 to 1797. The son of a prosperous planter, Washington was raised in colonial Virginia. As a young man, he worked as a surveyor then fought in the French and Indian War (1754-63) (The White House, n.d.; History.com Editors, n.d.; National Archives, n.d.).

Inauguration and Presidential Legacy

In 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States. His two terms in office were marked by the establishment of key governmental norms, the crafting of the Bill of Rights, and the creation of a strong and stable federal government (History.com, n.d.)

Upon stepping down from the presidency in 1797, Washington set a precedent for peaceful transitions of power, solidifying his legacy as a true statesman. His Farewell Address remains a timeless piece of advice for future generations, emphasizing unity, avoiding foreign entanglements, and the importance of national unity.

White House in Washington

The “One-Dollar” Bill

The symbolism on the one-dollar bill implies a profound connection between the nation’s pursuit of justice and prosperity and a higher guiding force. This incorporation of symbolic imagery in currency underscores the significance of George Washington’s leadership in shaping the United States and upholding enduring principles. It stands as a perpetual reminder of the nation’s origins and the values that have profoundly influenced its historical trajectory(Bureau of Engraving and Printing, n.d.; U.S. Currency Education Program, n.d.).

President George Washington on US 1 dollar bill close up, Unites States federal fed reserve note.
George Washington Mt. Vernon Home

Visit The Washington Library

Mount Vernon is the historic home of America’s first president, George Washington, just a short drive from Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA.

Plan Your Visit

The Revolutionary Hero

As tensions escalated between the American colonies and British rule, George Washington emerged as a natural choice to lead the Continental Army. Appointed as Commander-in-Chief in 1775, Washington faced numerous challenges, including scarce resources, harsh winter conditions, and a formidable adversary in the British army (The White House, n.d.).

Washington’s strategic brilliance came to the forefront during the crossing of the Delaware River and the subsequent victories at Trenton and Princeton. His resilience and ability to inspire his troops against all odds solidified his status as a revolutionary hero (Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association., n.d.).

George Washington crossing Delaware River

Article Sources

 

1.The White House. (n.d.). “George Washington.” The White House. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from, https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/george-washington/

2.History.com Editors. (n.d.). “George Washington.” History.com. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from, https://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/george-washington

3. National Archives News: National Archives. (n.d.). “Washington’s Birthday.” National Archives. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from, https://www.archives.gov/news/topics/washingtonsbirthday#:~:text=On%20the%20third%20Monday%20in,whose%20birthday%20is%20February%2012.

4. Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. (n.d.). “George Washington Biography.” *Mount Vernon*. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from, https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/biography/

5. Bureau of Engraving and Printing: Bureau of Engraving and Printing. (n.d.). “Circulating Currency – $1 Note.” Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from, https://www.bep.gov/currency/circulating-currency/1-note

6. U.S. Currency Education Program. (n.d.). “Art Studio – Currency Academy.” U.S. Currency Education Program. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from, https://www.uscurrency.gov/educational-materials/classrooms/currency-academy/art-studio

7. Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. (n.d.). “10 Facts About Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware River.” Mount Vernon. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from, https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-revolutionary-war/washingtons-revolutionary-war-battles/the-trenton-princeton-campaign/10-facts-about-washingtons-crossing-of-the-delaware-river/

8. Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. (n.d.). “10 Facts About the Battle of Princeton.” Mount Vernon. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from, https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-revolutionary-war/washingtons-revolutionary-war-battles/the-trenton-princeton-campaign/10-facts-about-the-battle-of-princeton/

9. Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. (n.d.). “10 Facts About the Battle of Princeton.” Mount Vernon. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from, https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-revolutionary-war/washingtons-revolutionary-war-battles/the-trenton-princeton-campaign/10-facts-about-the-battle-of-princeton/