Jan 8, 2009

Jan. 8, 1790: Father Knows Best — Embrace Science

(Wired) - During his first — and the nation's first — State of the Union address, President George Washington urges the young nation to encourage the sciences and literature, calling knowledge "the surest basis for public happiness."
He also called for importing "useful inventions from abroad" while encouraging homegrown genius to flourish, by means of offering patent protection for inventors.
Attaching importance to the study of science and literature reflected not only Washington's views, but the general attitude of the gentry toward classical education. The Founding Fathers, most of who came from this class, were children of the Enlightenment, the philosophy of rationalism that rose in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. Continued

Photo: Library of Congress