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1788–89 United States Presidential Election

The 1788–89 United States presidential election was the first quadrennial (occurring once in four years) presidential election. It was held from Monday, December 15, 1788 to Saturday, January 10, 1789, under the new Constitution ratified in 1788. George Washington was unanimously elected for the first of his two terms as President and John Adams became the first Vice President. This was the only U.S. presidential election that spanned two calendar years (1788 and 1789).

Under the Articles of Confederation, the United States had no Head of State. The Constitution created the offices of President and Vice President.

The Constitution established an Electoral College, based on each state’s Congressional representation, in which each elector would cast two votes for two different candidates. This procedure was modified in 1804 by ratification of the Twelfth Amendment.

After Washington agreed to come out of retirement, it was known that he would be elected by virtual acclaim; Washington did not select a running mate. Why? That concept was not yet developed.

No formal political parties existed, though an informally organized consistent difference of opinion existed between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Thus, the contest for the Vice-Presidency was open.

The person with the most votes won presidency and the runner up was vice president. All 69 electors cast one vote for Washington, making his election unanimous. Adams won 34 electoral votes and the vice presidency. The remaining 35 electoral votes were split among 10 different candidates.

On April 16, after receiving congressional notification of the honor, Washington set out from Mount Vernon, reaching New York City in time to be inaugurated on April 30. He came across the Hudson River in a specially built barge decorated in red, white, and blue. Washington was clad in a brown suit of American manufacture, but he wore white stockings and a sword after the fashion of European courts.

Washington was inaugurated in New York City on April 30, 1789, 57 days after the First Congress convened.

Ronda McCauley, Director


Honor America And Her Veterans
Through Proper Flag Etiquette

Make sure it can wave freely. 

Never allow the flag to touch the ground or any other object while it’s on display.

Stand for America. 

Salute the American flag as it is hoisted and lowered and while saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Stand at attention with your right hand over your heart and your hat removed.

Remember the dawn to dusk rule. 

Display the American flag outdoors only between sunrise and sunset, unless illuminated by a spotlight.

Position your flag correctly. 

When displaying the American flag indoors, always place it to the right of a speaker or staging area.

Know how to show honor.

To place the American flag at half-staff, first hoist it to the peak for an instant before lowering it.


Benjamin Banneker
America’s First Clock

Known as the first African-American scientist, Benjamin Banneker invented a wooden clock that struck on the hour.  He built the clock in 1753 a the age of 22 and scholars believe he modeled it after a borrowed pocket watch, which he studied after taking it apart piece by piece. He built his wood clock entirely with indigenous American parts, with each wood part and pinon hand-carved to scale. It continued to work reliably until Banneker’s death in 1806.

In addition to inventing his clock, Banneker studied astronomy and made astronomical calculations to predict solar and lunar eclipses.  In the early 1790’s, he worked with a team of surveyors to plot the federal district that would become Washington, D.C.


Vacation Liberty School of Georgetown, PO Box 1694, Georgetown, TX 78627

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