Interesting Facts About George Washington for Kids

by Nancy Hayden, Demand Media

    George Washington is known as the "father of his country." He led the Continental Army to victory over Britain in the Revolutionary War, allowing America to gain its independence. In 1789, he was elected as the first president of the newly formed United States. Most people know Washington was the first president and recognize his face from the one dollar bill, but there are other facts about him that many people do not know.

    Early Life

    George Washington was born in Wakefield, Virginia in 1732. His father was a farmer and ran a plantation. Washington grew up on that plantation with nine brothers and sisters. He never went to an actual school; he was taught by his father and brother and his formal education stopped soon after his father died in 1743, when George was just 11. When he was only 14, Washington joined the British Royal Navy. He served in the Royal Navy in the colonies and never traveled to England or Europe in his lifetime.

    Jobs and Military Career

    Washington did not spend his whole career as a soldier. He worked as a planter for many years, as his father had. As the colonies expanded, Washington also worked as a surveyor, which was someone who mapped out the boundary lines between the states. Washington became more involved in the Colonial military effort as the desire grew to claim independence from Britain. Washington was a brilliant strategist. By the time of the Revolutionary War, he was a great military General. He not only mapped out the battle plans and tactics for the Colonial Army, but actually fought in 14 of the war's battles himself.

    Presidency

    Following the war, Washington was a beloved figure in the new United States of America. Even though the people loved him, and he was a natural choice to be the nation's first president, Washington himself was not so sure. He was a simple and private man, who preferred farming and hated having to speak in public. He became President in 1789 and was the only President to ever be elected unanimously by all members of the electoral college. He was also the only President to never live in Washington D.C. There was no White House yet and the capital was first in New York and then Philadelphia. He served eight years as President.

    Personal Facts

    George Washington married his wife Martha in 1759. He proposed to her after only three weeks and two dates. They had no children together, but Martha was a widow with two children and Washington became their stepfather. There are some misconceptions about Washington's appearance. He did not have wooden teeth, although he did lose most of his teeth and only had one left when he became President. He wore an uncomfortable and ill-fitting set of dentures made of cow's teeth and hippopotamus ivory. Washington also never wore a wig, as many think he did. Many men of the day wore wigs, but Washington powdered his own long hair and wore it in a ponytail.

    About the Author

    Nancy Hayden has been a professional writer since 1994. She began her career in theater as an actor and designer before becoming an improviser and sketch writer at The Second City Theater. Hayden uses her experience in improvisation to write about team-building skills for corporate groups.

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