“Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” ~ George Washington
George Washington, the legend who has held many titles in life, even the ones that haven’t been held by anyone in the past including the First President of America, Commander of Continental Army, president of the Constitutional Convention and many more. Washington is an icon we all think we know, but the truth is that he was a complicated human being and there surely are certain things that very less people know about him.
So here, we come up with 10 lesser known facts of George Washington.
1. Birthday Confusion
George Washington was actually born on February 11, 1731 and not on February 22, 1732. The confusion arises because England and its colonies used Julian calendar, by which Washington’s birth date was February 11, 1731. But when England shifted to Gregorian calendar, his birth date became February 22, 1732 according to that.
It is surprising to know that America’s first president ended his schooling when he was just 11 years old. The opportunity of his education in England was taken away when his father died and he had to start working in order to run his family.
3. Dental Problems
You could say that George Washington had quite a number of dental issues. He lost his first tooth when he was in his twenties and lost all of them when he was in his fifties. His dentures were actually made of variety of metals including ivory, copper, silver, etc and even human, cow and horse teeth.
4. Romantic Life
The first love of George Washington was not actually his wife Martha Custis but actually the wife of one of his best friends, Sally Fairfax. Although it is still unclear if the romance ever bloomed between the two of them.
5. Middle Name Crisis
It was a common practice for people to have a middle name till 19th Century. But George Washington actually didn’t have a middle name. And it is surprising to know that only five of the first twenty presidents have a middle name.
6. Hairy Situation
Believe it or not, the hairstyle that we see of Washington’s is actually his real hair. At that time it was popular to wear a wig similar to that hairstyle as it was favored by military officers. But George Washington’s hair were real. Although, he did powder his hair to make them white.
7. Army Rank
Till date, George Washington holds the highest military rank ever. He died as a lieutenant general but over the time, the US government realized that his military achievements are far more than the rank and thus, he was posthumously awarded the rank of General of United States.
It is said that Washington had to borrow money to attend his own inauguration but by 1789, his salary was 2% of the national budget and in modern times that would be about 80 billion dollars a year.
9. Not Healthy
As you have seen his portraits, George Washington actually looks well built but in reality, he had multiple illnesses including Pneumonia, epiglottitis, malaria, tonsillitis, diphtheria, tuberculosis, smallpox, etc.
There is a possibility that Washington may also have been infertile. Although his wife had four children from her previous marriage, George and Martha never had any children of their own. Scientists theorize that this could be the case because of infection linked to tuberculosis that he suffered as a child.