First President 1789-1797
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.)
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), "...it is devoutly wished on my part,
that these precedents may be fixed on true principles."
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.)
find out more about our nation's first President,
explore these areas:
Before the Presidency
Did You Know?
Life After the Presidency