No, there was never a cherry tree and yes, President General George Washington probably did tell a lie or two in his day. But we forgive him, because he was awesome. Washington was not only a fine military and political leader but a person of great personal accomplishments and myriad attributes, as well. Yes, I could bore you with anecdotes of wooden teeth (apocryphal! The dentures were made of cow’s teethgross) and hurled silver dollars, but you know all that stuff. I’ll bet you don’t know at least a few of these fun G.W. facts, though!
5 Washington Never, Ever Wore a Powdered White Wig
A few things about George Washington which arenot true. (We figure you may be equally surprised to learn how much of that you think you know is just not the case!) Wooden teeth and cherry tree chopping youth? No, false. We already covered that, we know, but still mere legends. More surprising to most is the fact that Pres. Washington never, ever wore a powdered white wig. Yes, we all picture him with one atop his mighty crown, but he never donned those iconic fake locks, as far as we know. The father of our country had to settle for America, because he never had any kids of his own. Martha Washington, a widow, did, though so one has to wonder. And G.W. never once lived in the city that would bear his name, nor in the White House where every subsequent president has hung his hat (or his wig).
4 Washington Hated Public Office
Washington hated public office, public speaking, large gatherings, etc. In fact, really the president preferred spending time working the fields or riding horses. He was an awkward speaker, both in poise and diction, and avoided public discourse whenever possible. It is even rumored that at the moment of his inauguration he whispered something to the effect of “And there goes my happiness.” The calm, poised leader we see in countless paintings, busts, TV movies, and the like is essentially a fiction created around this accomplished yet private of our most public of citizens.
3 Big Shoes to Fill
Washington wore what would be in today’s measurements size 13 shoes. Fitting, it seems, that our first president would leave some big shoes to fill, ey? (Sorry, I had to.) Mr. Washington stood 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighed around 200 pounds which was rather large for the day, but even at that size, 13 is a big ol’ foot.
2 Loved Pineapples and Ice Cream
George Washington loved pineapples and ice cream. He even had primitive coolers built and installed at Mount Vernon in order to preserve ice cream for as long as possible (which usually wasn’t that long, given that 18th Century refrigeration techniques mostly consisted of digging cellars and maybe yelling “Stay cold! Please stay cold). His other favorite foods were peanut soup and Brazil Nuts, which he supposedly cracked open with his teeth back when he still had any.
1 Hemp Farmer
President Washington grew on his plantation, among many other things, copious amounts of hemp. While hemp is useful for everything from making rope to weaving durable cloth, the fact that he purportedly had most of the male hemp plants (meaning the ones that produced no buds) killed, while letting the budding female plants flourish is quite curious. You can draw your own conclusions.
One more thing you might want to know about Gen. George Washington is that despite the handicap of having been dead for over two centuries now, he is still likely to beat you in an arm wrestling match. He’s just that impressive of a guy.