George Washington Setting Standards

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Today in History, December 23: 1783 – “The Greatest character of the age” – King George III of England describing George Washington. American General of the Armies and Commander in Chief George Washington, resigns his commission at the Maryland Statehouse in Annapolis. He had waited until the English armies that he had helped vanquish had, at length, removed themselves from New York. He was in a position to rule the youthful nation. The move giving up so much power shocked Europeans. Washington went home to Mt. Vernon, but of course was not done. In 1787 he accepted the Presidency of the Constitutional Convention, and in ’89 the Presidency of the United States. He set the standard for future generations by relinquishing the power he held, and then later by limiting himself to only two terms as President.

A Farewell to Brothers in Arms

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Today in History, December 4: 1783 – General George Washington, veteran of the French and Indian War, leader of his men from Bunker Hill to Valley Forge to Yorktown, with all of the hardships involved, announces to his officers that he is resigning his commission and returning to civilian life at the Fraunces Tavern in New York City. “with a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.” Washington then took a moment with each of his officers alone. There was not a dry eye in the house, including the future President…George Washington….wept.