George Washington Invisible Hand main

On this day in 1775, following a debate lasting several days, the Continental Congress drafts the Articles of War. The Articles explained that an “armed force be raised… for the express purpose of securing and defending these Colonies” from the “unconstitutional and oppressive acts of the British.”

The sixty-nine Articles outlined the Rules and Regulations for governing the conduct of the Continental Army. The first Article stated that “every officer… and every soldier who shall serve in the Continental Army, shall… subscribe these rules and regulations.”

Diligent and Divine

So, here’s Article II, essentially the first rule to which to subscribe:

Art. II. It is earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers, diligently to attend Divine Service; and all officers and soldiers who shall behave indecently or irreverently at any place of Divine Worship, shall, if commissioned officers, be brought before a court-martial, there to be publicly and severely reprimanded by the President;

So, the first rule for the Continental Army was basically to go to church.

A few weeks prior, George Washington was unanimously selected by the second Continental Congress as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The role of faith in the service and formation of Our country was not lost on Washington. This is evidenced by the quote from his first Inaugural Address that inspired Our t-shirt design:

“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the People of the United States.”

George Washington

The first Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army

 

George Washington Invisible hand angle

On this day in 1775, the second Continental Congress unanimously selects George Washington as first Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Thankfully for all Americans then, and ever since, he accepted the appointment.

What follows is an excerpt of a letter he wrote to his wife, Martha, shortly thereafter; he wrote:
“[I]t was utterly out of my power to refuse this appointment without exposing my Character to such censures as would have reflected dishonour upon myself, and given pain to my friends – this, I am sure could not, and ought not be pleasing to you, & must have lessened me considerably in my own esteem. I shall rely therefore, confidently, on that Providence which has heretofore preservd, & been bountiful to me, not doubting but that I shall return safe to you in the fall…” (emphasis added)

Another acknowledgement

Of course, Washington eventually became the first president of the United States.

Finally, a sentiment similar to the letter above, from his first inaugural address, inspired Our “George Washington Invisible Hand” t-shirt design:
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the People of the United States.

Though invisible, clearly he saw its guiding influence in his own life and in the birth of America.

Find your shirt, HERE.

George Washington t-shirt

The Prayer at Valley Forge

Following the Union Army’s devastating loss at the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862, the Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks record Abraham Lincoln saying the following about prayer:

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

General George Washington’s legendary Prayer at Valley Forge is depicted in Arnold Friberg’s well-known painting below.

Prayer is vital and encouraged by great Americans throughout our history, both in victory and in defeat.

So, our prayer is that we would continue to offer our prayers and supplications to the Great Governor, the Almighty Author. Let “We the People” acknowledge His hand in guiding our country, as we observe our National Day of Prayer.

Our History, Our Heritage

“The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.”

Unfurl the history of the National Day of Prayer on the National Day of Prayer task force website:

http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org/about

George Washington Prayer

 

George Washington Invisible hand shirt zoom

On this day in 1732, George Washington, the first President of the United States, is born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Washington’s Birthday is now generally known as Presidents Day. In fact, it was the first federal holiday to honor an American president, and was originally established in 1885.

Presidents Day was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday until January 1, 1971. Then, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act shifted it to the third Monday in February.

As a result, it can occur the 15th through the 21st inclusive, but not on Washington’s actual birthday.

Even so, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government and is although an occasion to remember all presidents.

As Our first President, and the “Father of Our Country,” Washington set many precedents for those who would follow him.

“A nation” and its “People”

Something we all would do well to remember is something Washington said in his first inaugural address:
“[T]he propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained…”

Also from that address, is the quote that inspired Our George Washington “Invisible Hand” t-shirt:
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the People of the United States.

George Washington's Birthday

Washington Monument Dedicated

On this day in 1885, the Washington Monument is formally dedicated. It was, of course, built for military and political hero, America’s first president George Washington.

Appropriately, the cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848, and construction halted during the Civil War.

Then, on December 6th, 1884, a nine-inch pyramid of cast aluminum is placed atop the Washington Monument, and thus completed construction. That aluminum pyramid was the largest piece of aluminum in the world at the time it was cast.

Laus Deo

All four faces of the aluminum apex bear inscriptions in Snell Roundhand. Among them, on the east side, facing the rising sun is “Laus Deo,” which is Latin for Praise be to God. Although weather and and ill-placed lightning rod base have corroded the letters beyond legibility, the significance of the phrase endures.

Finally, in 1888 the monument opened to the public. This marble obelisk, at 555′ 5 1/8″ was the tallest structure in the world when completed. It remains today, by law, the tallest building in Washington, D.C.

A fitting monument indeed for the Father of Our Country.

Washington Monument Dedicated

John Adams White House blessing Presidents' Day

George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd is now generally known as Presidents’ Day. In fact, it was the first federal holiday to honor an American president, and was originally established in 1885.

Presidents Day was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday until January 1, 1971. Then, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act shifted it to the third Monday in February.

As a result, it can occur the 15th through the 21st inclusive, but not on Washington’s actual birthday.

Even so, the federal government still officially recognizes Presidents’ Day as “Washington’s Birthday,” though it is certainly an occasion to remember all U.S. presidents.

“Heaven” and “this House”

John Adams, our second president, and the first to inhabit the President’s House (known as the White House since 1901),  wrote this in a letter to his beloved wife Abigail, as seen below carved in to the stone fireplace of the White House State Dining Room:

“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.”

We would do well to do the same.

 

Presidents' Day

John Jay Supreme Court

On this day in 1790, the Supreme Court of the United States meets for the first time. John Jay, appointed by George Washington, was the first Chief Justice. Jay was a Patriot, a Founding Father, a statesman, and a diplomat. As such, he was one of the signers of the Treaty of Paris.

He wrote this, in part to his eldest son, Peter, in 1784:
The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.

Additionally, Jay also served as President of the Continental Congress and the Governor of New York. In fact, he was the only Founding Father that was also a native New Yorker.

Finally, on June 29, 1826, about three years before his death, he wrote this to the Committee of the Corporation of the City of New York:

“I recommend a general and public return of praise and thanksgiving to Him from whose goodness these blessings descend. The most effectual means of securing the continuance of our civil and religious liberties is always to remember with reverence and gratitude the source from which they flow.”

John Jay Supreme Court

Richard Montgomery First National Memorial

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress authorizes the first national memorial of the Revolutionary War, in honor of Brigadier General Richard Montgomery. He was killed during in Quebec on December 31, 1775, where he was initially interred.

The monument, as seen below, is the first ever commissioned by the United States. Benjamin Franklin hired French sculptor Jean Jacques Caffieri to design and build the Montgomery memorial. Eventually, in 1787, it was installed in the front of St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan, where it remains today. Then, Montgomery’s remains were moved to St. Paul’s in 1818.

Interestingly, St. Paul’s was George Washington’s church during his time in New York as the United States’ first president in 1789.

The first memorial and the first president

So, the first memorial in the history of the United States was given a prominent place in a culturally and architecturally significant gathering place in New York City. Also, it’s where Our first president went to church.

Richard Montgomery First National Memorial

George Washington first State of the Union address

On this day in 1790, President George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address. Washington delivered the speech to Congress at Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City.

As was fitting for the new nation, Washington’s brief address stands as the shortest State of the Union address ever. What follows are a few excerpts from  to his “Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives.”

Within our reach

“Still further to realize [your constituents’] expectations and to secure the blessings which a gracious Providence has placed within our reach will in the course of the present important session call for the cool and deliberate exertion of your patriotism, firmness, and wisdom.

Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined;”

Sure and secure

“Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness. …To the security of a free constitution it contributes in various ways… by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights;… to discriminate the spirit of liberty from that of licentiousness – cherishing the first, avoiding the last… .

Whether this desirable object will be best promoted by affording aids to seminaries of learning already established, by the institution of a national university, or by any other expedients will be well worthy of a place in the deliberations of the legislature.”

Today, as during our founding, may we again seek the blessings of Providence through “exertion of [our] patriotism, firmness, and wisdom.”

George Washington first State of the Union address

George Washington Invisible Hand t-shirt

On this day in 1789, George Washington wins America’s first presidential election and would be sworn in on April 30.

Of course, Our first president is known as the Father of Our Country. Furthermore, he is remembered as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.

First Official Act

In his April 30 Inaugural Address, Washington acknowledged his “anxieties” and “conflict of emotions.”
Then, he made his “first official Act” as President of the United States:

“Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station; it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves…”

A few sentences later came the quote that inspired Our George Washington “Invisible Hand” t-shirt:

“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the People of the United States.”

George Washington Invisible Hand t-shirt First Fervent Act

Emanuel Leutze George Washington Crossing the Delaware

On December 26, 1776, General George Washington and 2,400 soldiers successfully cross the icy Delaware River just before dawn.

Perhaps unrealistic, they appear rather heroic as depicted by Emanuel Leutze in his famous 1851 painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware. Even so, the actual circumstances surrounding the iconic crossing further enhance their heroism.

Unfavorable Conditions

Christmas night, Washington’s army began preparations for a ‘surprise attack’ on the Hessian troops at their Trenton, New Jersey camp. His plan called for three separate divisions embarking on three different crossings of the river. The cold rain that accompanied them on their march to the launch points became a blustery snowstorm. As a result, only Washington’s division made it across. Worse yet, they were three hours behind schedule, endangering the entire mission.

Additionally, spies and deserters passed along advance warning to the Hessians, mitigating the crucial element of surprise. Thankfully, a Christmastime attack in a winter storm seemed unlikely.

Despite all of this, Washington remained “determined to push on at all Events.”
The pursuant victory provided a much needed morale boost for the soldiers and colonists alike.

Favorable Interpositions

Events such as these are indicative of the “signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war,” as President Washington wrote in his 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Clearly, he believed God was with them.

This belief is also evident in the following quote from his Inaugural Address, which inspired Our shirt, found HERE:
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the People of the United States.”

Emanuel Leutze George Washington Crossing the Delaware