Happy President’s Day! But what exactly is it?

On Presidents’ Day take time to reflect historically on how the office was shaped by our country’s first president – George Washington – and the standards set for the men who have followed.

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Having led the Continental Army to victory over the British in the Revolutionary War, Washington was a hero and the Continental Congress asked him to be president of the 13 United States. During his terms from 1789 until 1797, the rules for our new government were defined.

Washington took the oath that every president since him has taken. It promises to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, which was written to include a system of checks and balances and created the judicial and legislative branches.

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It was Washington’s idea to form the Cabinet with Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton as members. He was unanimously re-elected to office in 1793, the only time in history for a president to be voted in like this. He refused a third term and died, two years later in 1799.

Much of the government’s foundation was set by this administration and remains in place to this day, a testament to the fortitude on which our country was built.

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Content provided by Oakland University