George Washington Facts, Firsts and Onlys February 04 2010

George Washington led a full and fascinating life. Hundreds of years after his death, the citizens of the United States continue to celebrate his life and contributions to our country. Since the early 1800's, our nation has commemorated his birthday, which is now known as President's Day. We celebrate this national holiday on the third Monday in February each year.

Because he was such an intriguing character in early American history, we want to know all we can about him. Here are some fascinating facts, firsts and onlys about George Washington!

Facts About George Washington

  • George Washington was uncommonly tall at 6'3" - about 8" taller than the average man.
  • George Washington possessed solid judgement and common sense. He thought through decisions carefully, weighing the opinions of others as well as his own.
  • Washington was known for his courage and perseverance, especially in his military posts.
  • He loved horses and was an excellent rider.
  • Although it was fashionable at the time, Washington did not wear a wig. Instead, he kept his hair long and pulled back, and powdered it as he got older.
  • He loved to dress well, and designed the uniforms of the Virginia militia in the 1750s.
  • George Washington never had his own children, but raised his wife's two children.
  • He's on both the quarter and the dollar bill.
  • Because of his father's death when George was 11, he wasn't able to continue formal education and never attended college.
  • George Washington started losing his teeth when he was in his twenties. His false teeth weren't made of wood, but were a combination of human teeth, elephant ivory and walrus tusk.
  • Perhaps related to his dental problems, George Washington loved ice cream.

George Washington Got To Be First!

Because he helped start the United States of America, George Washington got to be first in many areas. Washington is known as the:

  • First President of the United States
  • First president to be on a postage stamp
  • First Mason to serve as president
  • First to establish one of the first free schools in the colonies

And on a related note, Washington, Massachusetts is recognized as the first geographic place named for George Washington.

Only George Washington!

Not only did George Washington get to be first, he also has the privilege of being the "only" in many areas, too! He was the:

  • Only president to be elected unanimously
  • Only president who did not represent a political party
  • Only president to be inaugurated in two cities (New York and Philadelphia),
  • Only president who did not live in the White House
  • Only founding father to free his slaves

While I was researching the fascinating life of President George Washington, I wondered if the cherry tree story that I heard as a child was true. After some digging, it turns out that the cherry tree story was made up by the author M.L. Weems to illustrate Washington's honesty and integrity even as a child.

Even if the story isn't true, those character traits are part of what we celebrate on President's Day - or as it was originally known, George Washington's birthday!

Read more interesting facts about George Washington!

Books To Read:
George Washington (Welcome Books)
George Washington (Rookie Biographies)