George Washington
George Washington
Airdate February 1, 2008
Remake: 2018
Curriculum Social Studies

George Washington is a BrainPOP Social Studies video that aired February 1, 2008.


Tim tries to snatch Moby's hat because Tim is late.





Tim: Moby, have you seen my three-cornered hat?


Laws And Customs Edit


After serving as President for eight years, George Washington would have had no problem winning the next election, and probably the one after that. There was no law against serving more than two terms, but Washington decided that after such a period of time, a President should leave office and let someone else run. George Washington’s refusal to run for a third term became a symbol of the limited power of the American presidency. And when Washington left office after two terms, he set aprecedent, or custom, that lasted almost 150 years.

No one tried to change this standard until Ulysses S. Grant tried and failed to win the nomination for a third term in 1877. Theodore Roosevelt also tried (unsuccessfully) for a third term in 1912. But he wasn’t elected to his first term; he succeeded to it when President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901. If Roosevelt had won the presidency in 1912, it would have been his third term as President, but only his second term as an elected President.

It was actually Roosevelt’s cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (pictured), who became the first President to serve more than two terms. In 1940, he was elected to a third term, and he eventually also ran for and won a fourth term in 1944.

Roosevelt remains the only President to serve more than two terms. In 1947, Congress passed the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, limiting Presidents to two elected terms each.

Myths Edit


According to popular legend, George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree when he was a young boy. But did it really happen

The story goes that he wanted to try out a new axe, so he cut down a tree on his own property. When his father questioned him, the six-year-old Washington is said to have replied something along the lines of, “I cannot tell a lie. It was I who chopped down the cherry tree.”

This story is supposed to illustrate Washington’s honesty, but alas, the whole thing was made up by an author named Mason Weems. It was one of many fictional stories in his book, A History of the Life and Death, Virtues and Exploits of General George Washington, published in 1800. In Weems’ story, the exchange goes like this [edited for length]:

“’George,’ said his father, ‘Do you know who killed that beautiful little cherry tree yonder in the garden?’

‘I can't tell a lie, Pa; you know I can't tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet.’

“’Run to my arms, you dearest boy,’ cried his father in transports, ‘Run to my arms; glad am I, George, that you killed my tree; for you have paid me for it a thousand fold. Such an act of heroism in my son is more worth than a thousand trees, though blossomed with silver, and their fruits of purest gold.’”

It is unclear whether Weems intended to pass the story off as an actual historical event, but it became so associated with Washington that it took on a reality of its own.

Q&A Edit


Q: Did George Washington actually have wooden teeth?
A: No. Washington did have bad teeth from an early age—and he started losing them at the age of 22. When he finally was fitted with dentures, they were made of cow’s teeth, hippopotamus ivory, and gold, but never wood.

In 1783, Washington met a French dentist named Jean Pierre Le Moyer, who specialized in tooth transplantation. Records indicate that the following year, Washington paid some of his Mount Vernon slaves 122 shillings for nine of their own teeth. Le Moyer performed the extractions, but it remains unclear whether he transplanted the teeth directly into the general's mouth, or used them in dentures.

Q: What college did George Washington graduate from?
A: Washington didn’t graduate from any college or university, but he was awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Brown, the University of Pennsylvania, and Washington College. He is one of only seven U.S. Presidents who never graduated from college. The other six are Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, and Harry S Truman.

Q: How did George Washington die?
A: Washington died of complications from a throat infection. Doctors today believe that the medical treatment he received, which included bloodletting (being intentionally bled), may have contributed to his rapid decline.

Trivia Edit

  • George Washington’s stubbornness gained him the nickname “Old Muttonhead,” which was supposedly coined by his Vice President, John Adams.
  • One state, 18 cities, 31 counties, and the nation’s capital are all named after George Washington.
  • George Washington was the first person in America to breed mules (not together, of course—mules are sterile).
  • Washington remains the only President ever to receive a unanimous vote in the Electoral College.
  • Of the Founding Fathers who were slaveholders, Washington was the only one to set all of his slaves free.
  • Washington disliked political parties and believed they were detrimental to the American system of government.
  • Washington’s annual salary as President of the United States was $25,000 a year.
  • George Washington’s Second Inaugural Address was the shortest in the history of the Presidency. It was 135 words long and took 90 seconds to deliver.
  • Washington was the only President who never slept in the White House. It hadn’t been built yet when he was serving.

FYI ComicEdit

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