Western History & Genealogy Blog

Happy Birthday George Washington

So, when is George Washington's birthday?

George was born 11 February 1731 in what is now Westmoreland Co., Virginia. But isn't his birthday on 22 February? Yes, and no are the answers.  When he was born the British world was still using the Julian calendar and had fallen behind the Gregorian calendar by eleven days.

In 1752 the British world including the colonial world of which Virginia was a part began using the new calendar. To make a long story short eleven days were dropped and things moved forward, thus George's birthday moved from the 11th to the 22nd.  Well... yes... according to the new calendar.  But like many others George Washington continued to celebrate his birthday as the 11th of February. 

The calendar change is why dates before 1752 may carry annotations such as o.s. for old style or n.s. for new style. Change can be hard to accept even for a fellow like George Washington.

The real question may be how many cakes did he get?

 

Although George Washington is

Although George Washington is better known for being the first president of the United States of America here are his biggest accomplishments:

Instrumental in starting the French and Indian War.

Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, though learning from trial and error, he ensured its survival long enough for France to assist in the winning the war and eventually the British tired of the expense of the war.

Post the revolutionary war, Washington was offered the ability to become King but refused such notions in the name of Liberty and Freedom.

He was essential to the convention since without his presence the convention would have not held much weight. When they asked him what they should call him, "he said, just call me Mr. President".

The only president to be voted unanimously each time.

The only founding Father to free his slaves.

Even during his own lifetime he was known as The Father of His Country.

Established the Bank of the United States and unified all the states debts into a national system to establish credit abroad.

1793 proclamation of neutrality .

Signed Jay's Treaty in 1795 .

Established the cabinet .

1795 Pinckney's Treaty .

Most importantly, he gave up the office when he could have served for life. He is thus known as the Cincinnatus of America for putting the country's values and needs before his own.

His Farewell Address shaped the course of the nation for the next hundred years and is considered a primer in republican virtues.