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50 States, Day 206

  50 States, Day 206 Alexandria to Mount Vernon, 34 miles

"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death."
~Albert Einstein

 Today we begin with a test. True or false:
1.)​George Washington had wooden teeth
2.)​GW was against slavery and had no slaves
3.)​GW was credited with training spies to help defeat the British
4.)​George's place at Mount Vernon spanned over 8,000 acres
5.)​He was elected twice and won both times unanimously
6.)​He fought for the British army
7.)​He walked into Congress and resigned as Commander of the Army
8.)​He was the biggest distiller of whiskey in the country
9.)​He threw a dollar coin across the Potomac River
10)​He's credited for being the first to breed mules in America
Answers at the bottom.

We got to meet an old friend, Pam, who took a day off work to spend time with us, and we met at Mount Vernon. What a nice venue to enjoy and get caught up with a friend at the same time. Almost as good as the Lincoln Museum in IL, the museum balances information and entertainment, keeping the student moving and learning for the entire day.

Surprise, we encountered crowds. I believe teachers brought their classes today, as the kids are probably worthless sitting at desks on Thanksgiving week. And the kids acted rather well, only jumping in front of my camera while muttering an unapologetic 'sorry' and cutting into rooms because they simply MUST be with their friends, NOW. Overall they were pretty cool.

It's amazing how they mix movies, statues, dioramas, and antiques to keep us enjoying and wanting more. After viewing the house, outbuildings, slave quarters (oops, the answer to #2), gardens and tomb (oops again, spoiler alert, he died), we headed to the Museum and Education Center. Both surprised me, as they sounded rather dry. Okay, maybe not.

A video documented how the Foundation bought Washington's original copy of the Constitution, with his notes written along the margins, from Christie’s Auction for $8.3 million. Plenty more of his life, including the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, learning to be the first president ever, and others' memories and respect.

Imagine the first president ever. The Constitution maps out mostly his limits of power, but no job description, no plan, no precedent. That sounded like his toughest job, which says a lot after leading the Revolution.

Now ladies and gentlemen, proud to be an American, Quilter Girl!

We had a wonderful day with Pam and Mount Vernon. Pam had been before so she knew a little about what to see. The home had been in the family until it was turned over to the preservation people and there was an inventory done 17 days after George Washington's death. This means that this mansion is one of the best preserved that we have seen. It has the most original "stuff" of any place we have been. The setting is fantastic with the lawn rolling down to the Potomac and a back porch that stretches the length of the house. It is truly awesome. Added to that is the Museum and Education Center with lots of short videos and exhibits that make our first president's life come alive. He truly was a great man.

The answers to the true/false questions are...

1.)​ Washington had terrible teeth. He brushed them faithfully, but suffered toothaches ​regularly. During his lifetime he wore eight different sets of dentures. None wooden. ​False
2.)​While he was against slavery he had almost 500 slaves working his 8,100 acre farm (the ​answer to #4 as well). False
3.)​To Washington's credit, he had spies and informers all over the place, both collecting ​information and disseminating false information to the enemy. True
5.)​True, the only president in history to be elected with the full vote. Twice.
6.)​True! He fought for the Crown as an officer of the Virginia Militia in French and Indian ​War. Later he switched sides.
7.)​True. The war was over, he wanted to go home to Mount Vernon, and the buzz was ​people were going to make him the country's first king.​
8.)​Yep. Sold booze by the barrels, lots of them. Grew tobacco too.
9.)​False. Critics said he threw a dollar across the Potomac, indicating he took Federal ​money and threw it into Virginia, to their chagrin.
10.)​True. Washington was very innovative and besides the mules, improved the plow and ​took time and abilities to focus on experimental farming.
Thanks for following and hope you're not angry for being sprung a test.
Tomorrow we head for West Virginia. Any inspirations on what we could see there would be appreciated. This state is ranking the lowest for our clever ideas of what to visit.



Pam said...

THANK YOU for allowing me to take part in a day of your 50 weeks!! It was a special time for me. Loved getting to catch up with you, hear a few stories and share in a memory. Have a great Thanksgiving day eating with the "regular folks".
I posted some photos of our time together, on my little blog

Pam said...

ooooopppppppssss I meant that I posted on my new facebook page !

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

It was wonderful to hook up with you again, Pam. Great times.

Pam said...

careful when you use that phrase "hook up" hahahaha it means something entirely different now-a-days :)

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Oops, you're right. Like when we hook up the trailer. Kidding! You are right.