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George Washington

First President 1789-1797

George Washington is known for his greatness as a general and as the nation's first President. "And it may be truly said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great." (Thomas Jefferson about George Washington, 1814.)

On April 30, 1789, George Washington stood on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City and took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. "As the first of every thing, in our situation will serve to establish a precedent," he wrote James Madison, (then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and later, the fourth U.S. President), " is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles."

George Washington served as President from 1789 to 1797. He was disappointed when two different political parties were developing by the end of his first term. Although he was elected to a second term, he decided not to run for a third term, which greatly disappointed the nation. (Today, a U.S. President is legally allowed to serve only two terms in office.)

To find out more about our nation's first President, explore these areas:

Life Before the Presidency
Presidential Accomplishments
Did You Know?
Life After the Presidency
Washington's Legacy

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