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 […]

This Day in History: The failed attempt to kidnap General George Washington

On this day in 1780, Lt. Gen. Wilhelm von Knyphausen and his men attempt to capture General George Washington.[i] Did you know that there was a plot to kidnap Washington just 20 short months before the British surrender at Yorktown? Fortunately, the kidnapping attempt failed. Once again, the American Revolution survived what could have been […]

This Day in History: George Washington is unanimously elected President

On this day in 1789, George Washington is unanimously elected President of the United States by the Electoral College. He would be elected unanimously, again, during the election of 1792. Washington was the first and only U.S. President to be unanimously elected. Allegedly, one other President could have achieved this feat but for the fact […]