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On this day — February 4 1789

By Patrick Van Roy On February 4th, 2019

In a unanimous vote, the US Electoral College elects General George Washington to the presidency. He will again be elected unanimously to a second term in 1792, with John Adams serving as vice president both times.

Our first president was a very interesting and complicated man. Today is a special anniversary, his first swearing in as President.  

“I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.”

“Citizens by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.”

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world.”

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”

2 Responses to “On this day — February 4 1789”

  1. That’s all very well. But on this day exactly 100 years ago, the future president of Ireland, yes, the Long Fella himself, made a dramatic escape from Lincoln Jail in Ireland.

    Although mature in years, he was serving as alter boy in the jail chapel, and had collected enough candles to make a fair bed of wax. He then got hold of the chaplain’s master key and used the wax as a mould to get a print of the key. This was smuggled out, along with a drawing of the key cleverly hidden in an intricate drawing of a celtic design, and his wife, who naturally missed having the Long Fella, baked it inside a fruit cake, which was then returned to the jail as a present.

    There were several other complications that made the whole episode look like something from Prison Break, but more entertaining.

    In the end Dev and two of his cronies, leading IRA men at the time, escaped with Michael Collins, the Big Fellow, on the other side of the wall. Collins had apparently got a few Irish girls to chat with the guards at the main gate to distract their attention.
    I suppose, otherwise if the girls had been on the spot they would have been too confused by the choice between the Big Fellow or the Long Fellow.

    What do you think of this… errrr… key episode in Irish history, Colm?

  2. and they should have been then hunted down and Hung.