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Today in history: The country's first cabinet meeting
In Jefferson's words, they clashed like "fighting cocks"
 
George Washington consults with members of his first cabinet, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson (seated) and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. 
George Washington consults with members of his first cabinet, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson (seated) and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.  Three Lions/Getty Images

Feb. 25, 1793: President Washington held the first cabinet meeting. It consisted of four people: Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson; Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton; Secretary of War Henry Knox; and Attorney General Edmund Randolph. All four, of course, were the president's trusted advisers, but that didn't stop them from disagreeing among themselves. Hamilton and Jefferson in particular clashed "like two fighting fighting cocks," as Jefferson put it. It was such differences that laid the foundation for the eventual creation of our political parties.

Where did the term "cabinet" cone from, by the way? It came from meetings that Washington often had with advisors in his kitchen. cabinet secretaries are appointed by the president, must be confirmed by the Senate. The only qualification is that a cabinet secretary cannot be a member of Congress or hold any other elected office.

Quote of the day

"No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it." — John Adams

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