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What You Didn’t Know About George Washington

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We always recognize George Washington’s birthday as February 22nd, but he was actually born on February 11th, 1731. The confusion is because the Julian Calendar was being used at the time he was born.  When Great Britain and the colonies went to the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 with the new year starting on January 1st, his birthdate was adjusted. 

He was pretty sickly during his life.  He suffered from malaria, smallpox, pleurisy, and dysentery, all before he was 30.  He almost drowned twice when he fell into an icy river on his way back from an expedition to the French Fort le Boeuf in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The story of how he cut down a cherry tree with his new axe never happened. It was made up by a biographer years after he died.

Washington was a slave owner and in his will – he granted freedom to all of the 124 slaves he owned. He was the only slave-owning president to do it. There was a catch though – those slaves would be freed only after the death of his wife if it was ok with her. But Martha died without setting any of the slaves free.

His inaugural speech is the shortest in American History. It was only133 words long.

His teeth were not made out of wood. He had a number of sets of teeth, mainly made of ivory or metal.

George Washington was the first president to have his picture displayed on a postage stamp.

Washington carried a portable sundial with him.

Washington was the only president who didn’t live in Washington. That’s because Philadelphia was the nation’s capitol then.

Washington was the only president to be elected unanimously when he received all 69 electoral votes.

Lincoln was the tallest president at 6-foot-4, but Washington wasn’t too far behind at 6-foot-2. He wore size 13 boots.

 

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