Feb 22, 2013

George Washington


(LoC) George Washington, the first president of the United States, was born on February 22, 1732. Americans celebrate his birthday along with Abraham Lincoln's on "Washington's Birthday" — the Monday before Washington's and after Lincoln's birthday. How do we really know when George Washington was born? Tobias Lear, Washington's secretary and close friend, gave the world a clue.
Lear lived with George and Martha Washington at Mt. Vernon, and he helped the Revolutionary War general organize his papers. On February 14, 1790, Lear wrote that the President's "birth day" was on the 11th of February Old Style, referring to the Julian Calendar. Washington was born 20 years prior to the 1752 introduction of the Gregorian Calendar (intended to more accurately reflect a solar year). When the Julian Calendar was "corrected" to the Gregorian Calendar, February 11th became February 22nd. Continued

Painting: Parson Weems' Fable by Grant Wood