December 14th marks the 214th anniversary of the death of George Washington. We celebrate President's Day on his birthday in February every year; however we'd like to help you teach your students about George Washington this week too!
In commemoration of the life of George Washington, enhance your lesson plan to give your students a different view of this historical figure, both as a man and as this nation's president. He was revered in his life and, shortly after his death, commemorations were created. One of these fascinating sources is the firsthand account of his death, written by his personal secretary, Tobias Lear.
This advertisement, selling a biographical work of the life and death of George Washington, showcases Washington's high public opinion.
"Exhibiting extraordinary character, not only as a solider and as a statesman...which rendered him the glory of human nature and admiration of the world...well worthy the perusal of every young man who wishes, like Washington, to live greatly useful and happy; and to die universally lamented and beloved."
Read the full newspaper excerpt to your students to convey the high regard that the general public kept for Washington.
This portrait, painted by Rembrandt Peale, depicts George Washington in heaven being crowned by a cherub, showcasing the saint-like image the artist had of the president. This portrait, by R. Peale and A. Walter, displays Washington over the Latin engraving "Patriæ Pater" or "father of the fatherland."
HSP also has two very interesting artifacts from Washington's life. We house a personal diary written by the former president around 1796, just some years before his death. This artifact gives us an invaluable look into the mind of one of the world's greatest leaders and is an extremely exciting resource to bring into your classroom using our digital library.