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

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 Invisible Hand t-shirt

On this day in 1789, George Washington is sworn in as the first American president. Washington delivers the first inaugural speech at Federal Hall in New York City.

He appeared holding a ceremonial army sword. Then, he took the oath of office, kissed the Bible, and delivered his inaugural address. Afterwards, Washington walked up Broadway with legislators and local leaders to pray at St. Paul’s Chapel.

People of the United States

In fact, a portion of this quote from his 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. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

Find yours HERE.

George Washington Invisible Hand t-shirt