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Dates That Matter

December 14, 1799

George Washington, the first President, dies of a throat infection at his home Mount Vernon after doctors bled him in hopes of a cure.

 Why does it matter?

George Washington became ill with a sore throat at age 67. History tells us that his doctors bled him to try and cure his illness, something that was common at the time. It's not clear whether he died from the bleeding, or from the infection itself. Washington was America's first heroic figure and was mourned across the new country.

For more information...

Biography of George Washington
Official White House biography of George Washington.

Rediscovering George Washington
PBS site providing a good summary of the contributions of George Washington. Includes readings of Washington's letters by Charlton Heston, a time line of his life, images of period documents and lesson plans.

George Washington: A National Treasure
Another good site from the Smithsonian. Includes content specifically for students.

The Death of George Washington, 1799
An eyewitness account of the last days of George Washington's life written by his step-son.