Although everyone knows the name of George Washington, many do not know much about this great historical figure. Of course, they remember from history class that he was the first president and that he crossed the Delaware River. Not only did he win the battle on that winter day, but he also became the center of a famous painting. He is known for his honesty and leadership in the history of the United States. Since his birthday is coming up, here are a few things that not many people know about the man who changed the political history of the United States:
- George Washington did not have a middle name.
- His actual birthday is not February 22, 1732. During Washington’s lifetime, the United States and most of the world changed the calendar they used to keep the date. His birthday was moved a year and 11 days forward when the switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar was made. February 11, 1791, his real birthday, was before the old date for the celebration of New Year’s Day, but after the new date for this holiday. As a result, the calendar change also affected his birth year.
- In 1792, He was made an honorary citizen of France.
- George Washington will always be the highest ranking officer of the United States. When Washington died, his title was Lieutenant General. This rank of three stars seemed insufficient to commemorate such a man as George Washington as the years went on. Then, in 1976, he was given the highest honor in the American Military posthumously with the title of General of the Armies of the United States – a title that nobody else will ever be able to attain.
- George Washington was one of the sickest presidents in the history of the United States. A short list of the ailments and diseases that he faced is as follows: diphtheria, tuberculosis, smallpox, dysentery, malaria, quinsy (tonsillitis), carbuncle, and pneumonia.
- Washington wrote many letters. The amount of letters that he wrote during his lifetime total somewhere around 18,000-20,000!
- He was the only president to go into battle while serving under that role.
- At his first inauguration, he only had one real tooth left in his mouth.
- Congress wanted his body to be buried in the White House. Washington requested to be buried at his home in Mount Vernon. When he died, his family held on to his wish, even though pleas from Congress suggested that they bury his body under one of the marble statues in the Capitol!
- He believed in God, most often referring to Him as “Providence”. It had been reported that he spent time in the morning and in the evening reading his Bible and praying.
George Washington is a good example to everyone of strength, perseverance, and humility. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This certainly applies to George Washington — a man of honor, dignity, and, most importantly, faith.