This Day in History: The only time George Washington surrendered

On this day in 1754, a young Colonel George Washington surrenders his “Fort Necessity” to the French. It was the only time he ever surrendered. At this point in time, ownership and control of the Ohio Country were hotly contested. Washington had been dispatched to the area with orders to “make Prisoners of or kill […]

This Day in History: George Washington writes his “Patcy”

During this week in 1775, George Washington writes his wife, Martha. He called her “my dear Patcy.” Only a handful of letters between George and Martha still survive. This letter is one of them. The two wrote more often than that, of course. And, if any of those letters could be recovered, they would contain […]

This Day in History: George Washington, the Baptists, & religious freedom

During this month in 1789, Washington responds to a letter from the United Baptist Churches of Virginia. These Baptists were worried: Was their religious freedom in Danger? “When the constitution first made its appearance in Virginia,” the Baptists wrote, “we, as a Society, had unusual strugglings of mind; fearing that the liberty of conscience, dearer […]

This Day in History: George Washington & the first presidential veto

On this day in 1792, George Washington issues his first presidential veto. The subject of vetoes had long been a touchy topic in the American colonies, so his action was a bigger deal than you might imagine. Before the American Revolution, vetoes could be used against the colonial assemblies in one of two ways: The […]

This Day in History: George Washington is born in Virginia

On this day in 1732, George Washington is born. “No American is more completely misunderstood than George Washington,” one of his biographers writes. “He is generally believed to have been, by birth and training, a rich, conservative, British-oriented Virginia aristocrat. As a matter of fact, he was, for the environment in which he moved, poor […]