NOTE: Presidents’ Day, is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of February. Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12) and Washington’s birthday (Feb. 22) used to be celebrated separately before the two were combined into Presidents’ Day. In place of Daily News Articles, we offer this post on George Washington. Monday’s post will be on Abe Lincoln. The regular Daily News Article resumes Tuesday, February 20.
ON WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY: (from archives.gov)
GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THE CONSTITUTION:
CHALLENGE: How many times have you read through the entire Constitution? Read through the U.S. Constitution every day for a week. For the full text, go to the U.S. Archives: archives.gov
Instead of reading what others say about George Washington, read some of his own writings, or works he thought were important:
1. Read Washington’s Farewell Address at gwpapers.virginia.edu What impresses you most about this address?
2. On George Washington’s letters to his wife Martha:
a) Are you surprised that Martha Washington destroyed George’s letters?
b) What do the surviving letters tell you about the type of man President Washington was? (What 2-3 adjectives do you think best describe his character?)
3. George Washington’s RULES OF CIVILITY:
At the age of 15 George Washington copied the “110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.” These maxims were so fully lived out in George Washington’s life that historians have regarded them as important influences in forming his character. Listed below are several of the maxims followed by George Washington.
a) How many do you follow?
b) Circle the 3 maxims you think are most important for all Americans to follow. Explain your choices.
#6 – Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.
#18 – Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unask’d also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter.
#23 – When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always shew Pity to the Suffering Offender.
#38 – In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you be not Knowing therein.
#40 – Strive not with your Superiers in argument, but always Submit your Judgment to others with Modesty.
#53 – Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open go not Shaking yr Arms kick not the earth with yr feet, go not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.
#56 – Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad Company.
#71 – Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how they came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before others.
#97 – Put not another bit into your Mouth til the former be Swallowed let not your Morsels be too big for the Gowls.
#109 – Let your Recreations be Manfull not Sinfull.
For the complete list of maxims, go to the Colonial Williamsburg website at: history.org/Almanack/life/manners/rules2.cfm.
CHALLENGE: Choose 5-10 maxims from the link above. Make a short video illustrating your choices. (see “Resources” below for a video done by a group of University of Virginia students several years ago)
Watch the video below. What do you think of the video below made by University of Virginia students to explain/illustrate the intended meaning of some of George Washington’s “Rules of Civility”?