Most Unusual Man
Today we celebrate President's Day. When I was a boy we celebrated Lincoln's Birthday on February 12th and Washington's birthday on February 12. We have and as long as I can recall had a debate as to who is the greatest president ever. But for this day we will limit our comments to those two giants of history.
No two men could be from a more divergent background. One traced his heritage to England and the aristocracy and amassed great wealth as a gentleman farmer who inherited vast amounts of land while the other was born in a log cab into a family that struggled for there mere survival.
Washington's family was accepted by the monarchy. As a matter of fact he was an officer in the British Army (yes he started his military life as a Red Coat). Lincoln is reported to have studied by the light of a candle.
Today we celebrate the history of these two men who were instrumental in establishing our Republic and preserving it. I know, I know, this is President's Day when we honor all our presidents. All men are created equal but our presidents were not.
Some of the interesting facts about the two most indispensable men in our history. George Washington died three years after leaving office. He had rejected the notion he should stay on but remained true to his principles which called for a person to move on after a term or two.
George's family had been granted land here but his land holdings were lost after the revolution in England only to be returned to them a generation late.
Some estimates indicate his wealth today would be more than Mitt Romney. The Washington estate at the time of his death in 1799 would be about $550-million.
Most of Washington's childhood is unknown which is likely why we have stories such as the cherry tree and tossing silver dollars across the Potomac. Even a Roger Clemens on steroids would not be able to accomplish such a feat.
Most of what we do know is he became a leader both in Virginia and of course in the country. Washington learned his lessons of leadership in the Army of the king and learned them well. He was tough minded and left a legacy we will honor so long as the republic shall live.
At a later date we will discuss Honest Abe.
A closing random thought....Could Washington (or Lincoln for that matter) have accomplished what he did back then today? It's doubtful either of our greatest presidents could have survived in today's atmosphere.