The presidential campaign of 2016 is certainly a world apart from the nation’s first presidential election that propelled the very popular George Washington into the presidency.
First Presidential Election: In the first presidential election, there was only voting by the people in a few states. The Electoral College selected the president by voting on February 4, 1789. But it wasn’t until April 6, 1789 that Congress was able to muster together a quorum to open the Electoral College votes. When the votes were opened and counted, George Washington, the hero of the American Revolution, had unanimously won the Electoral College, a feat that he replicated four years later. No president since Washington has received all the votes of the Electoral College.
Inauguration: Washington was inaugurated in New York City on April 30, 1789 in Federal Hall. Despite the very limited popular voting, Washington had widespread support from the people. In fact, the presidency was created by the Constitutional Convention with Washington in mind as the only man who could unify 13 fiercely independent former colonies.
Live TV Coverage of Washington’s Inauguration: But wait…television wasn’t around in 1789. But what if it had been? What would it have looked like if a television news anchor had reported live on the festivities surrounding Washington’s inauguration? I’ve developed a fun four minute video reporting on Washington’s inauguration (with me as the news anchor!). It helps to bring history alive. Click here to watch “Long Live George Washington.” If you like the video, please share it with others on social media.