This Week in History

This “Week in History” for the week of April 1 features a number of foreign-born American heroes who were critical to the success of the American Founding. Also, George Washington gives a stirring speech at his inauguration that Founding Father Fisher Ames called “virtue personified.”



The ‘Father of America’ is given the reins of his country
This Day in History: The destiny of the Republican model of government rests in the hands of George Washington and American citizens

On April 30, 1789, George Washington took the oath of office to be president of the United States at Federal Hall in New York. It was a defining moment in American, and indeed, world history.

Washington was the first man elected to be the president of a Constitutional Republic and would become a model for all American chief executives thereafter. He remains the only presidential candidate to be chosen unanimously by electors.

An English playwright writes of patriotism, inspires a revolution

On May 1, 1672, the English playwright and politician Joseph Addison was born in Wiltshire, England. While Addison lived most of his life in England and died over a half century before the events of the American Revolution, he had nearly as much impact on the events of the conflict as the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Addison’s great contribution to America’s founding comes from a play he wrote in 1713 called Cato: A Tragedy. It was a story that chronicled the final days of Cato the Younger, a Roman senator who opposed the usurpation of power by Julius Caesar. It was about the final days of the Roman Republic before it became an empire.


Thaddeus Kosciuszko fights for liberty in the America, brings ideas back to Poland
This Day in History: Pole fights for constitutional government

On May 3, 1791, The Polish-Lithuanian Sejm (parliament) adopted the world’s second oldest constitution after the American Constitution. Polish reformers pushed to get the constitution, which unfortunately lasted just over a year. Among the reformers was a great American hero, Thaddeus Kosciuszko.

Kosciuszko is perhaps the most important foreign-born ally of Founding Fathers of the United States besides the Marquis De Lafayette. Kosciuszko’s contribution to the American Revolution was invaluable, and his heroic efforts to bring liberty to those who had none should be a lasting inspiration to free people everywhere.

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