Today In History – February 4

On February 4, 1789, the Electoral College in the United States of America met for the first time. Ten states cast votes: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. New York failed to fill a slate of electors, while North Carolina and Rhode Island had yet to ratify the Constitution.

When the quorum was met and the vote was done, George Washington came out as the unanimous first President of the United States of America. John Adams, who received thirty-four electoral votes, became the first Vice President.

Upon receiving word that he was elected President, George Washington headed to New York City from Mount Vernon. He said he would report for duty ” in obedience to the public summons.” He also noted that “the voice of my country called me.”

George Washington was sworn in as President of the United States on April 30, 1789, at Federal Hall in New York City. On that day, Washington stated: “I, George Washington, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” When he was finished, the Chancellor of the State of New York, Robert Livingston, exclaimed, “Long live George Washington, President of the United States!”

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