This Day (Unprecedented Edition)

Published:December 5, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1792, George Washington, for the second time, is unanimously elected president of the United States by electors who, in turn, were chosen by individual state legislatures. Although our excellent entry, written by the historian Henry Wiencek, does not say this, I do believe he was the only president to be unanimously elected once, let alone twice. Still, as Wiencek points out, “Washington dreaded assuming the presidency, and his two terms were filled with acrimony and punctuated by civil strife … ‘I walk on untrodden ground,” Washington wrote. “There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent.’”

A version of this post was originally published on December 5, 2011.

IMAGE: Disciplined Soul—George Washington by Mark Lewis (April 2011)