Washington, that is. Born on February 22, 1732 (on the Gregorian [current] calendar) to Augustine and Mary Ball Washington, he belonged to the fourth generation of Washingtons to live in the colony of Virginia.
His formal education would be considered sparse by current standards. He made only one trip outside of the continental British Colonies/United States — to Barbados at age 19 with his older half-brother, Lawrence. But his diary shows an observant eye and sharp mind.
American school children learn a bundle of “facts” about Mr. Washington. Some are true. Some unproven. Others far-fetched. However, he did important things and earned a place in history.
So…if you want to celebrate George on his birthday, may I suggest a cherry flavored treat. Following one of the far-fetched stories in schoolbooks, cherries, hatchets, and a small boy telling his father he is unable to lie — “Yes, Father, I chopped down the cherry tree.”– have become standard fare for his celebration.
Once upon a time… when I lived in a town and state named in his honor… the city officials would re-enact his famous river crossing — following a widely published, inaccurate painting, and host a cherry pie eating contest in way of celebration.
Here’s to you George…two centuries and a smidge past your death and you’re remembered with fondness.