George Washington’s Birthday, Remembering a Founding Father


IMAGE / Wikimedia Commons

George Washington is remembered highly in the eyes of most Americans

President George Washington is a well-known figure in American history as the Commander in Chief of the  Continental Army and soon after he served as the first president of the United States of America.

Washington was born in Virginia on February 22, 1732, to a Virginian planter family.

As a child, he took an interest in the military, and by the age of 22 (in 1754) he was recruited as a lieutenant colonel where he fought in the early battles of the French and Indian War.

By 1759, Washington had settled down on a farm around Mount Vernon and focused on his farm rather than military exploits. After his time as head of the Virginian militia during the French and Indian War, he was elected into the Virginia House of Burgesses in which he served until 1774.

During his time as a member of the House of Burgesses, he continued to expand his farm and soon came to have over 2,000 acres of land, but soon he was feeling the effects of the rising taxes that were being implemented by Britain.

In 1774, he served as a delegate at the First Continental Congress and during the Second Continental Congress he was named commander in chief of the Continental Army that would be fighting against the British in the Revolutionary War.

Though a renowned general, Washington was not very skilled in military strategizing. His greatest strength was in his ability to unite his troops even in terrible conditions due to the lack of supplies that plagued the Continental Army caused by a lack of funding from the new Revolutionary government.

After many years of fighting against British tryanny in 1781, along with the aid of the French, the American Army was able to win the Battle of Yorktown, which effectively brought an end to the Revolutionary War. Due to his leadership during the war he was declared as a national hero.

Following the war Washington returned to his farm in Mount Vernon but soon was called back to serve his country as the first President of the United States of America.

At 57 years old Washington was inagurated, 1789, and during his run as president he attempted to set an example of fairness and integrity knowing that he would be seen as an example for future presidents.

During his term as president he accomplished a lot of firsts, including nominating the first chief justice of the U.S Supreme Court, John Jay.

He also accomplished much more, domestically and internationally, such as the decision to remain neutral during the 1793 war between Britain and France, but eventually after serving two terms as president Washington decided to retire back to his farm in Mount Vernon where he eventually passed on Dec. 14, 1799 at the age of 67.

For many years after his death, the Senate honored Washington by reading out his farewell address, in which he talked about avoiding political parties and rather coming together as a nation, a united nation.

Washington’s birthday did not become a federally recognized holiday until January 31, 1879, when it was officially recognized after being celebrated unofficially for many years.

Washington’s birthday was celebrated on February 22, until in the 20th century it was changed to be celebrated on the third Monday in February due to the Monday Holiday Law put in place in 1968 by Congress.

This day is now better known as President’s day in the modern era, but its core still remains as a celebration of the first President of the United States of America.