Washington's World: Interesting Facts
A wide range George of Washington myths have become rooted as fact since he died in 1799. (See FAQs for some of the more common myths that Carl Closs frequently addresses.) Here are some real facts about Washington that usually come as a surprise to most Americans:
1. Washington is the only President who never ran for President!
2. He is the only President who was unanimously elected both times, receiving all of the electoral votes!
3. He refused payment for the 8 1/2 years as Commander in Chief asking only to be reimbursed for his expenses, which were never fully reimbursed.
4. He desired no pay as President, but Congress allotted an annual budget of $25,000 for the Executive Branch, from which all salaries of staff and Cabinet members, as well as expenses, would be paid. Most years George Washington had to spend some of his own money to make up the difference!
5. Today's White House staff has more employees than the entire United States government did in Washington's time!
6. He only had about 8 years of formal schooling and was largely self-taught in various disciplines.
7. He was so good at mathematics, that he became a paid surveyor at age 16!
8. He fired the first shot which began the French and Indian War.
9. He was appointed to command the Continental Army and fight the British at age 44.
10. He added "So help me God" on to the Presidential Oath of Office at his inauguration and its been done that way ever since.
11. Greeting the President as "Mr. President" was his idea.
12. He established the two-term tradition for the Presidency.
13. He wrote more letters (20,000+) than any other President in our history.
14. He did not wear a wig as is commonly believed today.
15. He was so strong that he could crack walnut shells between his thumb and forefinger.
16. He was widely acknowledged as the best horseman in the 13 Colonies.