2/25/2018
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George Washington's Birthday

George Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday. It runs concurrent with President's Day which is celebrated on the third Monday of each February.

George Washington, the first president of the United States, is considered by most Americans the greatest and most beloved man in the history of the United States. He is often call "the father of the country."

He was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia to Augustine and Mary Washington. His ancestry can be traced by to England when his great-grandfather, John Washington, was given a land grand from Henry VIII.

After losing much of the family money and property during the Puritan Revolution, John and his family, including his son Lawrence who was Washington's grandfather, migrated to North America and settled near Fredericksburg, Virginia. George's father, Augustine, was an entrepreneur who owned land, slaves, sawmills and other business ventures.

George spent much of his youth working on his family's tobacco farms near the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. Most of his education came from home schooling and through the church. He learned math, geography, and classical English from a local schoolmaster.

Augustine died when George was eleven. George was taken in raised by his older half-brother, Lawrence, who had married the daughter of Colonel William Fairfax, a prominent Virginia landowner and politician. When George was sixteen, he traveled with a surveying party to plot land in Virginia's western territory. On his return, Colonel Fairfax aided him in getting an appointment as a county land surveyor.

After the deaths of Lawrence and his only daughter, Sarah, George inherited the family's Mount Vernon estate. With the inheritance of Mount Vernon, George, only twenty years old at the time, became a noted land owner which brought certain benefits in Virginia's ruling circles. Over his lifetime, George Washington built Mount Vernon into one of the largest plantations in the state of Virginia reaching nearly eight thousand acres.

With the advent of The French and Indian War, George was appointed adjutant and given the rank of major in the Virginia militia. As a young Army officer, Washington participated in campaigns against French and Indian forces in the Ohio Valley. He rose rapidly through the ranks becoming a well respected leader and military tactician.

When the Revolutionary War broke out between the colonies and the British crown, Washington was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. Although his forces was undermanned, undisciplined, and poorly equipped, he turned it into a viable fighting force.

Under his leadership, the Continental Army defeated the British and gained independence for the American colonies. His accomplishments become legendary, not just in the United States, but around the world.

After the war, George relinquished the post of Commander of the Army and spent his time in the political arena helping the young country navigate it's way through the obstacles that confronted it.

As one of the founding fathers of the United States, George presided over the convention that drafted the U.S. Constitution and afterwards, became the first President of the United States.

Serving two terms as president from 1789 to 1797, George oversaw the formation of a strong and independent country. He kept the United States out of war with European powers and established many traditions within the government that exists today.

After the end of his second term, George refused to run again. He presided over the peaceful transition of government from his administration to that of newly elected president, John Adams and retired to his beloved Mount Vernon. He died there on December 14, 1799.

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