Presidents’ Day: five facts you didn’t know about George Washington

Although today has culturally morphed into Presidents' Day over the years, the official holiday is George Washington's birthday -- even though Washington was born on February 22. Here are five little-known facts about the original founding father.

4. He was a man of few words, politically speaking

AP Photo/File
This undated file photo of a Currier and Ives print shows a depiction of the scene at Old City Hall in New York on April 30, 1789, as George Washington takes the oath of office with, from left to right in the foreground, Alexander Hamilton, Chancellor Livingston who administered the oath, Roger Sherman, secretary Otis of the Senate, Washington, John Adams, Baron Stueben and General Knox.

At 135 words, Washington’s second inaugural address was the shortest ever given by an incoming president. Here is the full text of his speech, which he delivered in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia on March 4, 1793.

“Fellow Citizens: I am again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence, which has been reposed in me by the people of united America. Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.”

4 of 5
of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.