First in War, First in Peace and First in the History Books

School is back in session (sigh), and it’s time to start thinking about which president you’ll write about for that report that you’ll put off doing until the night before. To get you started, here are a few little-known facts about the Father of Our Country, George Washington.

– A proposal was put forward at the Constitutional Convention to limit the standing army to 5,000 troops. Washington agreed, sarcastically, on the condition that all invading armies be limited to 3,000.

– Washington was born Feb. 11, 1731, but in 1751, Great Britian changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, changing the date of his birthday to Feb. 22, 1732. I want to say I’m a year younger, too.

– At presidental receptions, Washington held a hat in one hand and kept his other on a sword to avoid the possibility of someone shaking hands with him. Bear hugs were out of the question, too.

– Washington did not have wooden teeth. He did, however, have dentures made from gold springs and hippopotamus tusk. Perhaps not coincidentally, there is a hippo statue on the campus of George Washington University in D.C. It is not, fortunately, the mascot of the dental school.

– Thomas Jefferson served as secretary of state in Washington’s cabinet. His disagreements with Washington and Alexander Hamilton over matters of policy angered Washington so much that he never spoke to Jefferson again. I don’t even want to think about what he might have tweeted about him.

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