December 08, 2003

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Washington Family

The Washingtons were the first First Family. George, his wife Martha, and two of Martha's grandchildren made up the first presidential family. When George was inaugurated, Nelly Custis was ten years old and George "Little Wash" Custis was eight. The family lived in New York City, which was the temporary capital of the nation.

Before his inauguration, George refused to take the title of King, but he did take on some courtly manners when dealing with people. George and Martha did not have conversations with everyday people beyond pleasantries, and George bowed to guests but would not shake hands or touch them.

Most of their behavior was meant to earn respect for the infant nation, but it didn't take long for George's political opponents to attack the First Family. While doing this, mundane details about the family's life became public fodder. A precedent was set.

Posted by Jennifer at December 8, 2003 12:00 AM