A Day To Remember George Washington

George Washington detail of the Lansdowne portrait by Gilbert Stuart
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
It's Presidents Day: the kids are off school, there are sales everywhere and it's a holiday.


A moment if you will, to give proper due to George Washington.

Americans don't know enough about the father of our country. The get all tripped up with the stuff about chopping down the cherry tree and throwing a dollar across the Potomac — it was actually the Rappahannock, and it probably wasn't a dollar.

More importantly, Washington rallied his weary and nearly defeated troops in Trenton in December of 1776. The continental army was getting its butt beat. They been driven out of Long Island and New Jersey, and had they not surprised those drunk and sleepy Hessians that Christmas, we might be celebrating "George The Third Day" today.

Better still, when Washington's two terms were up, he left office to retire to Mount Vernon. He could have been president for life — there were plenty who wanted it so. Washington chose democracy over monarchy.

Thanks George.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith