Happy Birthday George Washington

George Washington (Lansdowne portrait) by Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796

George Washington (Lansdowne portrait) by Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Acquired as a gift to the nation through the generosity of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

Though Monday the 18th was the Federal George Washington Birthday holiday, today is his actual birthday.

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland, Virginia. He is one of only two American Presidents to not have any authority over the land now known as Little Rock. Washington never ventured west of the Mississippi River, so never visited Arkansas.

As the first President and Father of his Country, he has many things named after him. In Little Rock, Washington Street is named in his honor.

The Washington Inaugural Bible

In 2013, two Little Rock museums highlighted George Washington artifacts. Historic Arkansas Museum displayed the Washington family Bible for several months. At the start of that time, they also showcased the Bible on which Washington swore his first oath as President (the inaugural inaugural?).

A few months later, the Clinton Presidential Center featured Washington’s personal annotated copy of the 1789 “Acts Passed at a Congress of the United States of America.” This artifact had been purchased by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association in 2012.

In 2004, the Arkansas Arts Center exhibited the 1796 Gilbert Stuart Landsdowne Portrait of Washington. This was on display a few months before the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center.  In 1976, they had an exhibit dedicated to 18th and 19th century portraits of the Washington, Custis and Lee families. Five years earlier, the museum had displayed prints of Washington in April 1971.

Washington Tribute at Clinton Center

Washington's Copy of the Acts of Congress.

Washington’s Copy of the Acts of Congress.

The library focusing on the 42nd President now has an exhibit honoring the the 1st President.  The William J. Clinton Presidential Center has a “Tribute to George Washington” on display through July 12.

It features:
George Washington’s Copy of the Acts of Congress
The volume contains the Constitution and draft Bill of Rights with Washington’s personal written notes as well as an original signature. The volume, dating back to 1789, is on loan from Mount Vernon.

George Washington Correspondence
On loan from the National Archives in Washington, DC, the Clinton Center will showcase two rare documents that helped shape American history during Washington’s administration. One includes a handwritten letter by President Washington regarding the the Jay Treaty with Great Britain. The second document is a letter to President Washington signed by Chief Justice John Jay.

George Washington [The Constable-Hamilton Portrait]
The portrait of George Washington was painted in Philadelphia in 1797 by artist Gilbert Stuart. New York merchant William Kerin Constable commissioned the portrait for Alexander Hamilton. The portrait is on loan from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

The Clinton Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.