Feature

Today in history: September 19

In 1796, George Washington delivered his famous farewell address

Sept. 19, 1796: President Washington announced he would not seek a third term and would retire instead. In his farewell address — one of the most important declarations in American history — Washington urged Americans to avoid permanent alliances with other nations, and to remain unified despite their sharp differences on the issues.

Washington actually never delivered his farewell address before any audience; it was sent to newspapers around the country.

Washington's decision was extraordinary: In the history of western civilization there were few, if any instances of a leader voluntarily stepping down. Washington's farewell address was never actually spoken — but given to newspapers.

Sept. 19, 1881: Ten weeks after being shot, James Garfield died. He was the 20th president, and served just six months in office. Vice President Chester Arthur was sworn in the next day. Garfield was the second of four presidents who were assassinated in office. Lincoln (1865), McKinley (1901), and Kennedy (1963) were the others.

Quote of the Day

"Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." — George Washington

More from West Wing Reports...

Recommended

Former Trump aides vouch for bombshell Jan. 6 witness
Cassidy Hutchinson
'i know her'

Former Trump aides vouch for bombshell Jan. 6 witness

Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years for sex trafficking
Jeffrey Epstein victims Sarah Ransome and Elizabeth Stein
hard time

Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years for sex trafficking

What to watch for in the June 28 primaries
Polling place
on the ballot

What to watch for in the June 28 primaries

CVS limits purchases of Plan B pills following Supreme Court ruling on abortion
Plan B One-Step Pills
roe v. wade

CVS limits purchases of Plan B pills following Supreme Court ruling on abortion

Most Popular

Why isn't Lightyear taking off at the box office?
Lightyear.
Opinion

Why isn't Lightyear taking off at the box office?

John Oliver explains the causes and dire effects of the Western U.S. water crisis
John Oliver
Johnsplaining

John Oliver explains the causes and dire effects of the Western U.S. water crisis

Sen. Ron Johnson draws lawyer, Pa. congressman into fake electors plot
Sen. Ron Johnson
'just a delivery boy'

Sen. Ron Johnson draws lawyer, Pa. congressman into fake electors plot