Although most presidential inaugural celebrations take place in front of the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the first President of the United States, George Washington, was inaugurated 228 years ago on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City.

Known as the great military leader of the American Revolution, all 69 presidential electors at the time unanimously chose Washington to be the first president of the United States, according to

Sean Kiziltan / Art Director

Sean Kiziltan / Art Director

After being sent word from Congress that he had secured the first presidency, he paid off his debts in Virginia and made the trek to New York.

Opening and closing the ceremony with 13 skyrockets and 13 cannons, on April 30, 1789, a crowd of people celebrated and cheered after Washington took the Oath of Office in front of Federal Hall. Although the inaugural address is usually given outside to the people, he resorted indoors to give his. As reported by, his quiet speech was given to Congress more privately, speaking about “the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

Washington entered his presidency determined to unite the nation and protect the interests of the United States domestically and internationally.

Throughout his presidency, he implemented executive authority and collaborated with Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, the three of them otherwise known as a few of the seven Founding Fathers. Additionally, he put an end to concerns surrounding political tyranny.

The Founding Fathers were the leading men during the American Revolution and had an integral role in the formation of the United States. They contributed to the successful war for independence, the ideas put forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Republican form of government established in the U.S. Constitution.

There were many firsts that occurred in the year 1789. Not long before Washington’s inauguration, the U.S. Congress declared the Constitution in effect and regular congressional sessions began.

The U.S. House of Representatives began meeting for the first time as well and they collectively proposed the Bill of Rights. Among these firsts, the French Revolution began and the United States appointed the first Attorney General Edmund J. Randolph.

In 1972, Washington was, once again, unanimously re-elected, but refused a third term four years later.

In 1797, he retired at his estate in Virginia, but died two years later. Henry Lee, a friend of Washington’s, gave the famous eulogy for the father of the United States: “First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Jessica Ricard can be contacted at

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