from the back matter in George Washington’s Teeth
by Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora
illustrated by Brock Cole
Because February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and yesterday was the celebration of George Washington’s real (226th) birthday, I’m putting the wooden teeth story to rest. George never had wooden teeth.
- George Washington was six feet, two inches and wore size thirteen shoes.
- George Washington attended school on and off until he was fifteen. He was always good with numbers and became a surveyor.
- George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the American Army in April 1775, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. He was 43 years old. He was not paid.
- One of his most important qualities was his strength of character. He fought with his men (they were all men in those days) and suffered through deprivations of necessities like food and warm clothing as well as guns, ammunition.
- George Washington became our first president not by a landslide, but by a unanimous vote, the only unanimous vote so far.
- As the country’s first millionaire, he declined the offered salary of $25,000. per year.
- He was sixty-five years old when he refused a third term and returned to the life he loved at Mount Vernon.
- George Washington was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen,” according to one of his old generals, Lighthorse Harry Lee.
Blassingame, Wyatt. The Look-It-Up Book of Presidents. 2008, Random House.
Kathleen Krull. Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought). 1998, Harcourt, Brace and Company.