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    Stuff I Learned: George Washington

    I’ve been reading the book The American Presidency this year. It’s been taking me a long time to get through because, honestly, non-fiction kind of bores me. Still, I have been learning all sorts of fun facts about our nation’s leaders, so I thought I would share some. Eleven months after I started, I'm up to James Madison. I figure if I force myself to write about the presidents, I’ll eventually finish the book. So, here we go:

    George Washington – Stuff I learned:

    Washington was an Pisces. Born on the 22nd of February, his ruling planets were Neptune and Uranus. His date of birth suggests that he was overly emotional and a bit of a procrastinator. And also, one of his lucky colors was electric blue. But they probably didn’t call it electric blue back then. Maybe they called it candlelight blue.

    Despite the fact that he was a member of the Virginia gentry and owned 56,000 acres of land by the time he died (take THAT, John McCain), he wasn’t an elitist. He didn’t have any formal education and was one of the least intellectual members of the founding fathers. And he didn't like lattes.

    He married Martha in 1758—for her money. It was her second marriage. No, she wasn’t a divorcee. She poisoned her first husband. KIDDING. Although she did inherit his fortune. And poison was remarkably hard to trace in those days.

    At 43, when he took over command of the continental forces, he was 6 feet tall and weighed somewhere between 175 and 200 pounds. If not for the wooden teeth and powdered wig, he might even be considered a hottie by today’s standards.

    After the Revolutionary war, he was a superstar—like Bono. His likeness appeared on paper, textiles, and ceramics, setting the precedent for collectors to start buying those stupid plates with the presidents’ faces on them.

    At 16, he began working as a surveyor. That experience came in handy when later, as president, he selected the site for the new national capital—a swamp. (Okay, that is somewhat of a tall tale, but if you’ve ever been to DC in summer, it’s utterly believable.)

    Washington hated the separation of elected leaders into what would become political parties, but he couldn’t stop it from happening (Fucking Federalists).

    He wasn’t all that great of a military leader, owing much of his success to the assistance of the French. Later, he supported remaining neutral during the French Revolution, forever solidifying our BFF status with the British and pissing off the French for the first—but most entertainingly not the last-time.

    Very little is known about Washington’s childhood. In what could be the first of many delicious U.S. political ironies, the cherry tree story might not be true.

    And, finally, before he died he included in his will his desire that the slaves that he and Martha owned would be freed upon her death. Not the most courageous decision, but at least he questioned the sagacity of slavery as an institution.

    Orlando’s Presidential Ranking:  ♀♀♀♀


    I like this series already. Here's an ankh that you can copy-and-paste for your ratings: ☥ (Sorry, no half-ankhs in the unicode system.)

    But if I may quibble, electricity has been around since the formation of the universe. Not only that, but Washington surely knew about it. How could you forget Ben Franklin's famous kite experiment? That said, you are probably correct that they didn't call anything electric blue.

    Fine, so I don't have the biggest brain. I guess I should be reading more non-fiction.

    I edited it, so I only have to look like a dumbass in the comments.

    Thank you for using unarticlemanlike restraint in not deleting the comment as well.

    To nitpick (and please, please don't ban me, Genghis), Orlando's avatar isn't an ankh. It's very nice, but it's the symbol of Venus and womanhood. The two symbols have entirely different origins.

    I know, but the venus symbol doesn't really have a satisfactory name (kinda like Price). So, I'm good with ankh.

    Why settle for ☥, when you can have ♀? (The latter is ♀, for those who dabble in HTML.)

    I like it. The square is actually an ankh symbol, but I think it doesn't show up in explorer. I'm going to replace it with yours. Thanks!!

    I like it too!  AND....Venus is our ruling planet, Orlando. 

    Yeah. I know. Libras rock.

    Libra: ♎

    The superior sign (Taurus): ♉

    Bummer, all I can see are little squares, Ben.  Seeing as how you can't make the symbols appear, I'd say Taurus isn't the superior sign after all....

    P.S. Lis and I already knew that.

    "Bummer, all I can see are little squares, Ben."


    Actually, the problem is most likely that you're not using a real browser. Stop using that virus-magnet known as Internet Explorer and get a real browser!

    Left out one important fact - George WAS considered handsome probably because he was another Famous Redhead!

    I've seen signs indicating that he really slept around. Poor Martha. Did you ever watch the miniseries with Barry Bostwick as GW? He's very good, Patty Duke plays Martha and Jaclyn Smith plays Sally Fairfax.


    The American Presidency is an imporant collection of academic essays, not the National Enquirer. That's not the kind of stuff I learned.

    That was a joke - yknow, "George Washington Slept Here?"

    Must be an East Coast thing.

    George was also a very good dancer.  Probably something to do with his red hair you know, handsome and all that!

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