February 01, 2009|
When February rolls around each year, we naturally think of the two Presidents who have February birthdays, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Besides these two Presidents, there are two others who have February birthdays, William Henry Harrison and Ronald Reagan.
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Virginia, a Federalist holding office between 1789 and 1797. We do know by now that he did not chop down a cherry tree, but George did have wooden false teeth as well as teeth made from whale bone and deer antlers. The most startling fact that one will find out about Washington was that he was not the first President, as at this point we were the Thirteen States in Confederation, not the United States of America. Our first President was John Hanlon, plus there were six other men before George Washington took office as our “first” President. Other less known facts are that the first U.S. patent was issued during his presidency as was the census first taken. Daniel Boone created the Wilderness Trail, “bleeding” was the standard treatment for the sick, the first successful balloon flight took place in the United States, and the New York Stock Exchange was founded.
Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, a Republican from Illinois. Lincoln served from 1861 to 1865 and died April 15, 1865 when John Wilkes Booth shot him in the back of the head. Lincoln was born in Kentucky, moved to Indiana and finally to Illinois when he was 21 years of age. During Lincoln’s presidency, the Northern states and Southern states fought the Civil War. The first federal paper money was issued, the transcontinental telegraph lines were completed, and the Monitor and the Merrimac fought the first battle between iron-clad ships.
William Henry Harrison was the son of a Virginia governor with one of his grandsons, Benjamin Harrison, also becoming President. He was born February 9, 1773 and was a Whig from Ohio. Harrison became a general in the War of 1812 and people think that he became president because he was a famous Indian fighter and general. He was 68 when he became President. He served the shortest term of office of any President, March 4, 1841 to April 4, 1841, only one month. Developing pneumonia shortly after his inauguration, he became the first President to die in office. Tippecanoe was his nickname because of his victory at Tippecanoe. No important decisions were made during his office.
Our 40th President was Ronald Reagan who was born February 6, 1911. He was born in Illinois, was a Republican and made his home in California. He was the first movie actor to become President and also the first divorced man to become President. He was the oldest man to be elected to office, as he was two weeks away from his 70th birthday when he took the oath of office. From dishwasher, lifeguard, swimming coach, football player, sports announcer on the radio to President of the United States, Reagan began his political career in 1966 when he was elected Governor of California.