Introduction - George WashingtonKnown as the "father of our country", and perhaps the most well-known American in history, it is no wonder that George Washington makes the Best US Presidents List. As the very first President of the United States, George Washington was responsible for shaping not only how a President functions in office, but how the United States as a whole is governed. He was, in fact, the very first person to sign the Constitution. His legacy and dedication to America are engrained into the minds of Americans who pass along one dollar bills each day, where his profile is front and center. Interesting, kid friendly facts are listed below and serve as a synopsis of this great U.S. President's life. The information on this page describes what an influential and patriotic leader he was and why he is so highly regarded.
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President George Washington Quick Facts
- He was the 1st President of the United States. He served from 1789-1797.
- He was born on February 22, 1732 in Wakefield, Va.
- Washington was nonpartisan. He was not a member of a political party and thought political parties were dangerous for the country.
- John Adams, who would go on to become the 2nd President of the United States, was George Washington's Vice President.
- Washington married a widow named Martha Dandridge Custis on January 6th, 1759. Martha Washington had two children from her first marriage.
- George Washington died on December 14, 1799.
President George Washington Presidency Facts
- On February 4th, 1789, George Washington won a unanimous election for the Presidency of the United States with 69 electoral votes. No one ran against him in his first term as President or in his subsequent re-election in 1792.
- One of the most influential speeches in American history was the Farewell Address written by George Washington when he completed his second term in office. His speech stressed the inherent value of the Constitution and the importance of building up America while staying out of foreign affairs by remaining neutral. Another major theme that was addressed was the growing political parties and the potential for them to weaken the government. Each year, Washington's birthday is acknowledged by the Senate with a reading of his Farwell Address.
- During his presidency, he was responsible for signing The Judiciary Act of 1789, which created the U.S. Supreme Court and the Attorney General position. In 1789, he created what would become the State Department and the Secretary of State position.
- In 1792 Washington established the United States first official currency; the U.S. dollar.
- He signed the Naval Act of 1794 which created the United States Navy.
- Because the White House was not complete until after Washington's death, he is the only U.S. President who did not live in the White House.
- When he became President, there were only 13 stars on the U.S. flag.
President George Washington Interesting Facts
- In 1775 Washington was appointed as the Commanding General of the Continental Army. Against all odds this intelligent and cunning commander led his army to victory over the mighty British forces in the American Revolutionary War, earning America its freedom.
- At over six feet tall and well above today's average height, Washington was a commanding presence.
- George Washington was not given a middle name.
- When his father died, Washington inherited 10 slaves at the age of 11. He went on to own slaves for the next 56 years. By the end of his life he owned 123 slaves, all of which were given their freedom as requested in his will. He was the only slave owning president in history to do this.
- After retiring from politics, Washington established and operated a distillery. The same year that he died, it produced more whiskey than any other distillery operating in the U.S.
- George Washington died on December 12th of 1799 at the age of 67. He is believed to have contracted acute epiglottitis, a rapidly progressive infection, after spending the night on horseback in the rain and cold. He is buried with over 20 family members at Mount Vernon, Virginia.