George Washington — Fascinating Facts

  • Which Federal Holiday In February Is Not Actually Presidents’ Day?

    The nation has celebrated the birth of its first president since 1885. But since Congress moved the holiday to the third Monday of February in 1968, it has been colloquially known as Presidents’ Day. That’s partly because Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is Feb. 12, but the official holiday is “Washington’s Birthday.” Interestingly, George Washington was actually born on Feb. 11, 1731, according to the then-used Julian calendar. The 1752 adoption of the Gregorian calendar shifted his birth date to Feb. 22, 1732.

  • Where was George Washington inaugurated?

    GWOn April 30, 1789, George Washington was inaugurated as the President of the United States on the balcony of Federal Hall, in lower Manhattan, New York.

  • Where is George Washington buried?

    Originally, George Washington was to be buried in the US Capitol, beneath the Rotunda floor, under the Capitol dome. But he died before the Rotunda was finished, and he and his wife Martha are both buried at Mount Vernon in Virginia.

  • Who freed the slaves that George Washington owned?

    Although it is known that George Washington called for the emancipation of the slaves in his Last Will and Testament, it was his wife Martha who freed the slaves that Washington owned. However, she was unable to free the slaves that she owned. Under the terms of her first husband’s will, these slaves—about half of those living at Mount Vernon—belonged to her children and grandchildren.

  • What was the relationship between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette?

    The Marquis de Lafayette thought so highly of George Washington that he named his son George Washington Lafayette. Over the years, Washington developed tremendous affection for Lafayette, referring to him as “my French son.”

  • Which presidents gave the shortest — and longest — inauguration speeches?

    On March 4, 1793, George Washington delivered the shortest inauguration speech in American history: 133 words. William Henry Harrison gave the longest—8,443 words—on March 4, 1841. The day was a cold, blustery one, and Harrison caught a chill, which ultimately led to his death a month later.

  • Which of the Founding Fathers did not go to college?

    Of the Founding Fathers who became president, only George Washington did not go to college. John Adams graduated from Harvard; James Madison from Princeton; and Thomas Jefferson attended the College of William and Mary.