Monday, February 22, 1982

President Reagan stood on the grounds of George Washington's scenic colonial estate and honored the nation's first president as a 'giant for freedom' whose 'star shines brighter than ever.'

'Words alone cannot express how much we revere this giant for freedom,' the president told about 300 people gathered at Mount Vernon to mark the 250th anniversary of Washington's birth.

'We are gathered on hallowed grounds to share a special moment in our history,' he said. 'We come filled with pride and gratitude, to honor George Washington, father of our country, knowing that because of what he did, we are free and we are Americans.

'Two hundred and fifty years after his birth, Washington's star shinesbrighter than ever,' he said, 'pursuit of liberty and justice under God is still the most inspiring, the most successful, the most revolutionary idea the world has ever known.'

On Sunday, the president and first lady Nancy Reagan continued a presidential tradition by attending worship services at Christ Church in Alexandria, Va., a protestant Episcopal Church built in 1773.

The Reagans sat in the pew used by Washington and joined in a 'Prayer for America' written by him.

It was the first of several events honoring Washington and continued a tradition observed in this century by Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.


Proclamation 4900 -- The 250th Anniversary of the Birth of George Washington

Delivered on February 22, 1982 by President Ronald Reagan at Mount Vernon

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

This month we commemorate the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of George Washington, victorious commander of the American Revolution, chief advocate and President of the Constitutional Convention, and first President of the United States, unquestionably one of our greatest leaders.

His considerable wisdom, unflagging energy, dogged perseverence, profound faith in God, clear vision, and unswerving dedication to democratic principles contributed indispensably to the success of the American Revolution, the formulation and ratification of the United States Constitution and the establishment of the United States as a democratic federal republic.

As a soldier, he provided determined leadership, inspiring his men and sharing their lot in times of adversity. He took a group of farmers, tinkers, and store clerks and forged them into the Continental Army, a fighting instrument able to meet and best the finest professional troops in the world. Trusting in the rightness of his cause and, as he put it, in ``the miraculous care of Providence,'' he proved his valor by leading his men into battle time after time during the long years of war.

As a citizen, he exemplified the ideal of the soldier in a democratic society, resigning his commission at war's end and retiring to the private pursuits of his beloved home, Mount Vernon. Yet, in his great vision, he saw the need for a better form of government, which would bind the sovereign States into an indissoluble Federal Union, while at the same time preserving and enhancing their unique role. To this end, he sponsored the Mount Vernon Conference, which led ultimately to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787.

As a statesman, he made his greatest and most lasting contribution to our American Nation. He presided with both tact and firmness over the Philadelphia Convention, guiding its members in drafting our charter of government so aptly described as the most important document ever composed by the hand of man at one time. Finally, heeding the call of his fellow citizens, he served as first President of the United States, setting precedents and establishing a standard to which all his successors can honorably aspire.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim February 22, 1982, as a Day of National Celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth Anniversary of the Birth of George Washington. I urge the people of the United States, in their homes, schools, and places of work, to join me in commemorating the birth of George Washington by reflecting on the character and accomplishments of this great man and his incalculable contributions to the establishment of this Nation. Let us rededicate ourselves to the fulfillment of his ideals and his faith in the people and resources of the United States.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Ronald Reagan

Original Source

US Presidents at Mount Vernon

1789
2017
George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Andrew Jackson
James K. Polk
Millard Fillmore
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Rutherford B. Hayes
Benjamin Harrison
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

TERM OF OFFICE: 1789-1797

George Washington

1st President of the United States. After retirement, George Washington spent his final years at his beloved home.

John Adams

2nd President of the United States.

LEARN MORE

Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on January 3, 1801 to pay a condolence call on Martha Washington who was greiving the recent death of her husband.

LEARN MORE

Andrew Jackson

7th President of the United States. Visited in November of 1815.

James K. Polk

11th President of the United States. Came to Mount Vernon in June 1845 with his wife, Sarah Childress Polk and former First Lady, Dolley Payne Madison.

Learn More

Millard Fillmore

13th President of the United States. Visited in March 1851.

LEARN MORE

James Buchanan

15th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1860 with the Prince of Wales.

LEARN MORE

Abraham Lincoln

16th President of the United States. In 1862, during the Civil War, Lincoln came to Mount Vernon via steam boat down the Potomac River.

LEARN MORE

Rutherford B. Hayes

19th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on Saturday, May 18, 1878 with his wife.

LEARN MORE

Benjamin Harrison

23rd President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in May of 1889.

LEARN MORE

William McKinley

25th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on Thursday, December 14, 1899 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of George Washington's death.

LEARN MORE

Theodore Roosevelt

26th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon many times with his family.

William Howard Taft

27th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1912 to place a wreath at Washington's tomb.

LEARN MORE

Woodrow Wilson

28th President of the United States. Visited several times, including a grandiose Independence Day celebration in 1918.

LEARN MORE

Calvin Coolidge

30th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon twice during his administration.

LEARN MORE

Herbert Hoover

31st President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on Washington's 198th birthday in 1930, and again, two years later, on the 200th.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on May 15, 1933 and many other occasions.

LEARN MORE

Harry S. Truman

33rd President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1947.

LEARN MORE

Dwight D. Eisenhower

34th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1958.

LEARN MORE

John F. Kennedy

35th President of the United States. Hosted a state dinner at Mount Vernon for President Ayub Khan of Pakistan on Tuesday, July 11, 1961.

LEARN MORE

Lyndon B. Johnson

36th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1961.

LEARN MORE

Gerald Ford

38th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1961 as a Congressman and gain in 1976 during his presidency.

LEARN MORE

Ronald Reagan

40th President of the United States. Came to Mount Vernon on Monday, February 22, 1982 with First Lady Nancy Reagan to commemorate the 250th birthday of George Washington.

LEARN MORE

George H. W. Bush

41st President of the United States. Landed the presidential helicopter on the Bowling Green on Wednesday, April 19, 1989.

LEARN MORE

George W. Bush

43rd President of the United States. Paid a visit with Mrs. Bush on the Presidents’ Day holiday in 2007; came back in November of the same year to meet with the new president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. LEARN MORE

Barack Obama

44th President of the United States. Barack Obama has never been to Mount Vernon. However, First Lady Michelle Obama, her daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother Marian Robinson visited the Mount Vernon estate in August 2009.

LEARN MORE

Buy Tickets What to See Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save