Happy Birthday, President Washington!

On February 22, America celebrates the anniversary of the birth of President George Washington. Washington’s importance has been so beyond question that his name is everywhere. His face adorns the dollar bill and the 25-cent coin. Across the United States, 26 mountains are named after the first president, as well as 740 schools, a dozen colleges and universities, 155 towns and counties, various bridges, parks and forts; not to mention the capital of the country. And the count continues.

In the June 20, 1931, issue of The Saturday Evening Post, editors wrote about the bicentennial of Washington’s birth. Six years in planning, the momentous celebration called upon the “hearty cooperation of every state, town, and village, of all public institutions, of churches, universities, schools, women’s clubs and social organizations throughout the land.”

The nationwide undertaking, the editors noted, was appropriate because “history affords no more satisfying national hero than George Washington.”