George Washington was the first president of the United States. He led the Continental Army to victory over the British during the American Revolution and shaped the constitution of the United States of America.
He was the man who shaped the presidency and established rules and policies that are being followed even today. He laid a path for many presidents that governed the US and made it great.
Here are some interesting information and facts about George Washington to help children understand how he shaped the great nation.
Information About George Washington For Kids
Place Of Birth And Family
George Washington was born to Augustine and Mary Ball on February 22, 1732, at Pope’s Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He had a stepbrother, Lawrence, and five other siblings. His family moved from Westmoreland County to Augustine, Sr.s’ plantation on Little Hunting Creek in 1735, and finally moved to a farm on the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg in 1738. He married Martha Dandridge, who was a wealthy widow, in 1759. The couple had no children, but they raised Martha’s children together (1).
Place Of Death
In 1797, Washington handed over the government to John Adams and retired to live in Mount Vernon. His death came suddenly on December 14, 1799, due to an acute illness, and he was buried at Mount Vernon (2).
George Washington played a significant role during the American Revolution. In 1755, he was appointed as the commander in chief of the Continental Army. His surprise attacks on the garrison at Trenton and Princeton restored morale during some of the darkest periods of the war. Some of his masterstrokes changed the course of history (3).
After the British surrendered at Yorktown in October 1781, George Washington retired to Mt. Vernon. In 1787, he was elected to preside over the Constitutional Convention. This made him the unanimous choice for the president of the newly formed United States of America. He served two terms from 1789 to 1797 (3).
30+ Facts About George Washington For Kids
Here are some interesting facts about America’s first president, George Washington.
- Before the war, George Washington was a farmer and land surveyor.
- The first president of the United States studied till the 11th grade. After his father passed away, he did not have the means to study abroad in England.
- Slavery was prevalent in the 18th century, and George Washington inherited his first slaves at the age of 11 years from his father.
- At the time of his death, George Washington had more than 300 slaves in his house as he was unwilling to break their families and sell them. In his will, he freed all the slaves under him.
- George Washington was fond of riding, fox hunting, dancing, playing billiards, and watching theatrical performances. He even had his own racehorses.
- In 1751, George Washington accompanied his brother Lawrence to the island of Barbados. He contracted smallpox and recovered, which gave him lifelong immunity to the dreadful disease. His experience in dealing with smallpox became crucial during the revolutionary war, making him the country’s first public health advocate.
- George Washington’s teeth were not made of wood, as popularly believed. He ruined his teeth from cracking walnut shells, so he had to wear false teeth made of ivory, cow teeth, and lead.
- Washington’s underground spy network helped the Americans win the revolutionary war. It is said that he was more deeply involved in intelligence operations than any American general-in-chief until World War II.
- At the Battle of Monongahela in 1755, George Washington’s coat was pierced by four musket balls.
- In 1783, the United States of America won the war and was ready to form its own government and constitution. George Washington wanted to retire to Mount Vernon. Before leaving, he wrote a “Circular Letter” to all the state executives on the four things he felt would help establish America.
- George Washington is popularly known as the “Father of His Country,” as he played a crucial role in shaping the United States of America.
- Although he did not have any biological children, George Washington became the legal guardian for Martha’s children. He used to write letters to guide and advise them on their studies.
- George Washington was an avid animal lover. He had a variety of pets, from birds to dogs. He was also America’s first mule breeder.
- The first president of America survived many life-threatening situations. He recovered from smallpox, dysentery, malaria, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. However, he died of a throat infection.
- George Washington was fearful of being buried alive, so he directed that his body should not be buried until three days after death.
- George Washington led a force from the Virginia Regiment to Jumonville Glen in Pennsylvania. Washington’s forces killed many French soldiers. This attack was considered to trigger the events that quickly escalated into the Seven Year’s War.
- Near the end of his life, Washington founded a rye and corn whiskey distillery on his Dogue Run Farm. It was one of the largest commercial distilleries at that time.
- The Yorktown campaign sealed the American victory. The Continental Army led by George Washington surrounded the British southern army and compelled them to start serious negotiations that resulted in the independence of America.
- George Washington played a pivotal role in shaping the constitution of America. He was elected as the president of the convention that formed the constitution. He was also the first person to sign the constitution.
- George Washington was hesitant to take up the presidency. He once said that he had “no wish which aspires beyond the humble and happy lot of living and dying a private citizen.”
- He was the only president who received all 132 electoral votes.
- George Washington was the only president to be inaugurated in two cities. His first inauguration was held in New York, and the second one was in Philadelphia.
- John Ramage, a former Irish loyalist who fought the Continental Army drew Washington’s first presidential portrait.
- The first draft of George Washington’s inaugural speech was seventy pages long and had recommendations to the Congress about internal improvements, military affairs, and international treaties.
- His second inaugural speech was the shortest speech ever to be delivered by a president. It contained just 135 words and was clocked in less than two minutes.
- Unlike the present presidential cabinet that has 16 members, George Washington’s cabinet had only four original members.
- After the inauguration in New York City, George Washington had to leave his carriage and walk home as the streets were crowded with people.
- George Washington formalized the Thanksgiving holiday by issuing a proclamation designating November 26 as a national thanksgiving day. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued another proclamation to commemorate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November each year.
- George Washington was the first president to not reside in the White House.
- On September 17, 1796, George Washington informed the American people about his retirement in an article printed in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser. The article became the famous Farewell Address.
- Every year, the United States Senate commemorates George Washington’s birthday with an annual reading of the Farewell Address.
- After completing his second presidential term, George Washington retired to Mount. Vernon estate (4).
From being elected unanimously as the president of the United States twice to shaping the American Constitution, George Washington played a major role in building the United States of America. His life is a great inspiration for all generations.