Happy Presidents’ Day! Each February, we celebrate Presidents’ Day on the third Monday of the month. The holiday was originally established to honor President George Washington’s Birthday, and commemorations of the day date back to 1778.
George Washington is a beloved figure in our nation’s history - he was a general during the American Revolution, president of our Constitutional Convention, and was unanimously elected by the Electoral College to serve as our nation’s first president. Perhaps the most legendary and significant figure in our nation’s history, we wondered what other fun facts we could find about our founding father. Here’s what we discovered:
- George Washington had two birthdays! How, you say? Well, he was born on February 11, 1731 in the british colony of Virginia. However, England and its colonies later adapted the Gregorian calendar, which moved his birthday to February 22, 1732.
- Washington was a highly skilled equestrian, a skill that undoubtedly aided his military prowess during the Revolutionary War.
- George Washington was 6’3” and extremely athletic, excelling at almost every sport, and was even known for cutting a rug on the dance floor.
- In 1789, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving Proclamation.
- Washington was the only president never to occupy the White House. In fact, he oversaw its construction and in 1791, specified what the location of the White House should be.
- After leaving office, Washington started a successful whiskey distillery.
- Washington was an avid dog lover. He owned more than 30 foxhounds.
- Washington holds the highest rank possible in the U.S. military. He was posthumously awarded the honor in 1976.
- He is the only President to serve in battle while serving as President.
- Washington was the first person to sign the U.S. Constitution.
- Contrary to popular belief, Washington did not wear a wig. He did powder his hair, however. Washington’s real hair color was actually light brown, but powdering hair was in fashion at the time.
Washington was a fascinating and complex man of many interests, and was one of the leaders and developers of our democracy. So today, in honor of him and all of our Presidents, let’s celebrate our nation’s history!