Each year on February 22, America celebrates the birthday of our first president, the illustrious George Washington. Although his main claim to fame lies in his political leadership, Washington’s biography hosts a variety of unexpected truths and trivia. On what would have been his 288th birthday, join The StickerTalk on a historical hike through the engagingly insightful life of Mr. George Washington.
Because he suffered from chronic toothaches, Washington had all of his teeth removed at age 57 and sported a set of dentures for the remainder of his life. While commonly regaled folklore states that his false teeth were carved from wood, modern research revealed that his prosthetic chompers were actually comprised of ivory, gold and lead mixed with fragments of both human and animal teeth.
When Washington was not leading armies into battle or providing political guidance for the fledgling nation, Washington proved a very prosperous farmer, boasting a whopping net worth of over $500 million in today’s money! One of Washington’s cash crops, somewhat surprisingly, was hemp; however, colonial farmers used the now-contraband plant exclusively to make paper and rope. Washington also distilled moonshine, but, being the original model citizen, did so with the proper government licensure.
Washington harbored a fondness for animals throughout his lifetime. In fact, the former president was the first agrarian to introduce the mule to the American farming landscape by crossing his own horses with donkeys owned by the King of Spain and the Marquis de Lafayette. Washington also kept several hunting hounds and sometimes assigned his prized pooches some very interesting monikers. Some of his favorites included Sweet Lips, Tartar, and Vulcan.