This Week in History…
January 7, 1789: The first presidential election in the United States takes place.
When George Washington was first elected, the Senate proposed that he be called by the official title “His Highness the President of the United States of America and the Protector of Their Liberties.” Washington however, rejected anything resembling monarchal power and opted for the more modest title of Mr. President.
January 8, 1790: George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address.
Although his speech was well written, and certainly an important moment for our new country, George Washington was not much of an orator. His first State of the Union was only about four pages and likely took less than ten minutes to deliver. Experts believe Washington read it to Congress rather than delivering it as a traditional speech.
January 9, 1913: Future President Richard Nixon is born in California.
Most remembered as the only president ever to resign from office, Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal changed the landscape of American politics. The appointment of special prosecutors to investigate presidential wrongdoing became a regular occurrence in Washington and phrases like “to cover-up” and “to stonewall” leaked into everyday American political vocabulary.