During George Washington’s lifetime and maybe because he was such a great man, he had two birthdays beginning in the 1750’s. Born under the Julian calendar, George was born on February 11, 1731/32. When the English Parliament decreed in 1750 that two years hence England would switch calendars and adopt the Gregorian, used by the majority of countries/states in Europe, there was a discrepancy. So, 11-days was added (some believe that the old calendar was off by a year and a eleven days thus the slash in “1731/32” above).
Regardless, Washington’s birthday was moved to what we, in the United States, are taught now, that it fell on February 22, 1732. Just don’t tell his mother, who believed to her dying day that he was born on the aforementioned date. And who argues with mothers?
What we cannot argue with is that certain birthdays were celebrated at Gadsby’s Tavern, in Alexandria (a city a young George surveyed and helped lay out), Virginia. On October 6, 1796, John Gadsby leased the City Hotel from John Wise and quickly became the epicenter of social and political discourse in Alexandria.
Today the Gadsby Tavern and Museum is open to the public and run by Historic Alexandria a department within the City of Alexandria. For more information and to plan your visit, a bite to eat, or celebrate a birth night ball like George click here.