History and heart
Quick, who was the first President of the United States? Nope. You're wrong.
I listened to an excellent talk by George Grant last night on education.
He laments having been educated so poorly that he didn't even know who the 1st President of the United States was. Everybody knows it was Peyton Randolph, right? Huh? I didn't know, either. I didn't know MOST of the names of the next 14 presidents, from 1774 to 1789.
As Grant recounted some of their amazing stories (Henry Middleton, John Hancock, Henry Laurens, John Jay, Samuel HUntington, Thomas McKeene, John Hanson, Thomas Miflin, Richard Henry Lee, Arthur St. Clair, and others), I realized that nobody ever got around to telling me this stuff. These aren't just the Declaration signers who had their property, family and lives on the line during the war. These are the guys who plunged into the war, and slugged it out against the world superpower, trying to coordinate a dozen independent colonies into some semblance of an army to support their determination to be rid of the tyranny of King George.
Okay, to be fair, George Washington is the 1st President, under our current Constitution. But wasn't the country born in 1776? What happened in those 13 years before our Constitution was adopted, anyway?
If your curiosity is piqued, the Grant link above will take you to his blog. The Jan 23, 2006 entry will describe for you the man George Washington called the father of our country.