Being that this is the first installment of a new series, the US has just elected its first President of any color but “pasty” and President’s Day is just a few short weeks away (do you have your tree picked out yet?), it only made sense to start off with one of the most important red heads in all of US history.
Red heads are often persecuted by our less-colorfully cephalized brethren, but we’ve had some pretty significant achievements! As shown by this month’s prestigious award winner, we’ve (I say we in the collective sense because I’ve never done any of these things personally, but feel my heart swell just to know that the color of my hair did not prevent my having done them) only, oh, I don’t know:
– Led a force of untrained colonial rebels to defeat the most powerful nation in the world
– Become the first President of what would become the most powerful nation in the world
– Set forth the path that the United States would follow for nigh 250 years
Yeah. George did that. With red hair. How many blondes do you see on dollar bills? Quarters? Keep counting. Oh, still at zero? Yeah, me too.
Washington was respected and admired on both sides of the Atlantic with British papers praising the American general for his character and qualities as a military commander. Washington’s courage, endurance and attentiveness to his troops was praised by Parliament as qualities that they saw lacking in their own leadership. Sure, there were some losses, some failures and some routings, but after all was said and done, we kicked some limey ass, sewed a new flag and put a red head in the highest office in the land in the only election where a candidate garnered 100% of the electoral college votes. Sure, most people couldn’t vote or even read, but it’s a prestigious award!
After setting the precedent that a President should serve no more than two terms (which lasted until FDR just wouldn’t quit), Washington retired to his stately home at Mount Vernon after having married up many years ago to a wealthy widow. Nice work.
– Although most men of his time wore wigs, Washington powdered his own hair.
– Washington had no children of his own, but was very close to a nephew who has my new favorite name: Bushrod Washington.
– Washington never actually had wooden teeth, but only had a single tooth left in his head on the day he took the Presidential oath. His false teeth were usually carved from ivory; often having special “pres-fangs” carved for Halloween and Valentine’s Day.
I know, the bar has been set pretty high for other red heads to follow. We cannot all live up to the lofty accomplishments or ideals set by the founding father of our country, but we can all take heart in sharing the joy that a red head courageously went forth, stood up to that red-coated powerhouse and founded the land which we call home.