On this day in 1799, George Washington, the first president of the United States, dies of acute laryngitis at his estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia. George Washington was born in 1732 to a farm family in Westmoreland County, Virginia. His first direct military experience came as a lieutenant colonel in the Virginia colonial militia in 1754, when he led a small expedition against the French in the Ohio River valley on behalf of the governor of Virginia. Two years later, Washington took command of the defenses of the western Virginian frontier during the French and Indian War. After the war's fighting moved elsewhere, he resigned from his military post, returned to a planter's life, and took a seat in Virginia's House of Burgesses. In 1774, he represented Virginia at the Continental Congress.
After the American Revolution erupted in 1775, Washington was nominated to be commander in chief of the newly established Continental Army. Some in the Continental Congress opposed his appointment, thinking other candidates were better equipped for the post, but he was ultimately chosen because as a Virginian his leadership helped bind the Southern colonies more closely to the rebellion in New England. After winning the war, the victorious general retired to his estate at Mount Vernon, but in 1787 he heeded his nation's call and returned to politics to preside over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In February of 1789 Washington was unanimously elected the first president of the United States. In 1792, he was unanimously reelected but four years later refused a third term. In 1797, he finally began a long-awaited retirement at his estate in Virginia. He died two years later. His friend Henry Lee provided a famous eulogy: "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."
QoD: "Me and Janet really are two different people." - Michael Jackson. On this day in 1969 the Jackson Five made their 1st appearance on "Ed Sullivan Show."