Perseverance and spirit will do wonders with our George Washington quiz!
George Washington is one of the most prominent people in the US and world history. He was not only the first President of the United States, but also one of the Founding Fathers and authors of the current US Constitution. His outstanding leadership qualities had him unanimously elected president in the first two national elections. During his terms of office, George Washington established many precedents, which are still in use today (e.g.: the cabinet system and the inaugural address). Much as we know about the first Mr. President, there are still some interesting facts you may be curious to learn:
- George Washington didn’t have a middle name.
- He didn’t wear a wig; we can see him with his real hair, powdered white, in all pictures.
- In 1792 George Washington received the title of an honorary citizen of France.
- He was made Commander-in-Chief of the US military forces in 1798 in an attempt to recruit more soldiers, Unfortunately, the big name didn’t help much. Washington was quite old at the time already, but he expressed frustration about the fact that he couldn’t really be involved in the process.
- The actual military rank that Washington had was a lieutenant general. But in 1976 he was posthumously awarded the highest rank ever (General of the Armies of the United States), because his three-star rank did not match to his enormous accomplishments. One of them was that he actually led troops into battle on September 19, 1974, while being a president.
- George Washington’s presidential salary in 1789 took 2% of the total budget of the United States. But it didn’t prevent him from borrowing money he needed to attend his first inauguration.
- Washington suffered from numerous diseases from diphtheria to tuberculosis, malaria, pneumonia, smallpox and others. Surprisingly enough, he may not have died due to an ailment, but of bloodletting: on his last day, a total of 80 ounces of blood was drawn from his body, which is approximately half the blood volume of an average human. This procedure improved Washington’s condition slightly, but at 10 p.m. weakness overwhelmed him. However, he was still rational enough to give burial instructions. At 10:20 p.m. three physicians recorded Washington’s time of death.
- George Washington had no children of his own. A 2007 study revealed that he might have been infertile due to an infection caused by tuberculosis.
- Washington was a very moral, virtuous man, but not a very religious one. He was not an atheist, though, but we can’t call him a devout Christian either.
- Many memorable episodes of George Washington’s life were in fact myths invented by Parson Weems, the author of “The Life of Washington”: the one where the first US President kneeled down to pray in the snow of Valley Forge or the cherry tree story. Oh, and Washington never had wooden teeth (though he did have teeth problems).
- One of George Washington’s passions was writing letters. Rough estimates suggest that he penned about 20,000 letters during his life. If you wrote a letter a day, it would take you 55 years to write all of them.
- Washington started his career as a surveyor; one of the earliest maps he drew was that of his half-brother’s turnip garden.
- George Washington owned more than 30 dogs. And a whiskey distillery, which, by the way, was very profitable.