February 22, 1732 - December 14, 1799
Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, George Washington showed sound judgment and courage in his military engagements. In civil life he attended many public assemblies and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
When he was 18, the big, shy Washington held a "collar and elbow" wrestling championship that was at least county-wide and perhaps colony-wide. At the age of 47, the Continental Army commander had enough skills left to defeat seven consecutive challengers from the Massachusetts Volunteers in one day.
After his brilliant achievements in the Revolution, Washington devoted much study to civil rights and the various forms of civil government. Seven years after resigning his command, he was unanimously chosen the first President of the new republic.
Among the important events of Washington's term, 1789-1797, were the admission of the states of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union; establishment of the First Bank of the United States; and the adoption of the the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.
Written at the time of his death in 1799, these words express the immortal place that George Washington holds in history and in the affections of the American people:
"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."