The first president of the United States, George Washington, was born on February 22, 1732.
Here are 10 facts about the father of our country that you may not have known.
George Washington did not have a middle name
According to the record of his birth in the family Bible, Washington was not given a middle name.
George Washington didn't abuse power
As president, in a time when there were no term limits and many would have supported a lifetime role, George Washington stepped down as president after the end of his second term – setting an important precedent that lasted until the middle of the 20th century.
Washington was the first to sign the United States Constitution
George Washington was unanimously chosen to preside over the Constitutional Convention, a job that took four months. He spoke very little in the convention, but few delegates were more determined to devise a government endowed with real energy and authority. And as the president of the convention, Washington was given the privilege of being the first to add his name to this governing document.
Washington signed into law the first copyright law
On May 31, 1790, President Washington signed the Copyright Act of 1790 into law. Formally titled, “An act for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,” the legislation was the first law protecting copyright in the United States.
The act explained that it intended to protect “the author and authors of any map, chart, book or books already printed within these United States,” and that authors would “have the sole right and liberty of printing, reprinting, publishing and vending such map, chart, book or books.” Copies of the law bearing Washington’s signature were re-printed in newspapers throughout the country.
President Washington never lived in Washington D.C.
George Washington is the only president to have never occupied the White House. The Washingtons lived in New York, and later in Philadelphia, where they received members of Congress, officials, foreign dignitaries and other prominent people according to a standing weekly schedule.
George Washington was the only slave-owning president to free all of his slaves
According to mountvernon.org, in his will, Washington arranged to free those slaves belonging to him upon his wife's death. There were about 123 slaves freed, and as was required by law, his estate paid for the care of former Mount Vernon slaves for decades after his death.
President's Day is not George Washington's birthday
Although the President's Day holiday was created to honor the first United States President, since the holiday falls on the third Monday in February, it is never celebrated on his actual birthday, of February 22.
George Washington did not wear a wig
Washington wore his own hair which was light brown in color, tied in a queue and powdered. The queue was sometimes worn in a small black silk bag.
George Washington did not have wooden teeth
He had several sets of false teeth over the years, but they were not made of wood. For at least one set, Washington’s dentist, Dr. John Greenwood, used a cow’s tooth, one of Washington’s teeth, hippopotamus ivory, metal and springs.
George Washington was unanimously elected president, twice
George Washington’s leadership during the American Revolution and Constitutional Convention, unimpeachable character and his demonstrated willingness not to abuse power made him the ideal presidential candidate.
Even his lack of biological children eliminated the concerns of some who worried about the establishment of an American monarchy.
During the first election in 1789, Washington won the electors of all 10 eligible states. In 1792, Washington received all 132 electoral votes, winning each of the 15 states.