Washington had been born into a family of landed gentry and pursued interests in both surveying and the military. After his brush with death in Pennsylvania, Washington returned home to Virginia to marry the widow, Martha Dandridge Custis.
Shortly after the convening of the Second Continental Congress, Washington was called upon to serve as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. Taking command in July 1775, he led the colonials against the armies of the British empire for the next six years. The Continentals were defeated at nearly every turn, forced to withdraw from Boston, New York and elsewhere. Washington was very successful in using guerrilla tactics, something the British were completely unprepared to defend against, best exemplified by the crossing of the Delaware on Christmas Eve, 1776. With that, Washington likely saved Philadelphia from being taken by the British and with it the American government. When French forces arrived to assist Washington and the Americans, the tide turned and Washington forced a surrender of the British forces under Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.
During his presidency, Washington set about setting the precedents for the United States government. He watched as partisanship quickly enveloped his administration and, weary and longing to return to Mount Vernon, he ignored pleas to serve a third term and retired in 1796, publishing a Farewell Address. His retirement lasted barely three years, when Washington died of a throat infection in December 1799.
- born February 22, 1732, Westmoreland County, Virginia
- April 14, 1789 - Washington accepts the presidency
- April 30, 1789 - Washington is inaugurated on the steps of Federal Hall in New York City
- died December 14, 1799, Mount Vernon, Virginia
- George Washington is the only president to be elected unanimously (in the electoral college).
- He is the only president to be inaugurated in two capitals (New York and Philadelphia) as well as the only president to not reside in Washington, DC
- Washington refused the presidential salary of $25,000
- The "Father of Our Country" had no children of his own
- Washington granted freedom to his slaves at Mount Vernon upon his death
- The White House Biography
- The Internet Public Library (POTUS)
- American Presidents from C-SPAN
- America's Story from the Library of Congress
- Rediscovering George Washington from PBS
- The Papers of George Washington (at the University of Virginia)
- Mount Vernon, Washington's home in Virginia (I've been there - that's 1)