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Episode 13:

George Washington

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Transcript of the Episode:

 

Welcome to the English for Everyone ESL Podcast! I’m your host, Caren Hayden, and I’m here to help you improve your English.

 

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This episode is all about one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, the first President of the U.S., George Washington. You will hear about his childhood, how he got into politics, and his significant accomplishments. Stay tuned!

 

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Everyone knows what George Washington looks like because his face is on the one-dollar bill. He is a famous historical figure in American history. If you are new to the U.S., and especially if you need to take the U.S. Citizenship test, this episode will help you to learn a little bit about

Washington’s life and his influence on the formation of this country.

 

George Washington was born in 1732 in Virginia. His family was wealthy, and they owned and lived on a tobacco plantation. He spent his childhood on this farm. In 1743, his father died when George was only 11 years old. Despite the fact that his formal education only totaled about seven to eight years, he loved to read and had a gift for map-making.

 

In 1748, at the age of 16, he joined a surveying party and got some experience as a surveyor. A surveyor is a person who measures and examines an area of land. They might then make maps of these areas. During Washington’s career, much of the land of America was uncharted territory. Can you imagine a 16-year-old of today having such an important job?

 

In 1749, Washington received a surveyor’s license from the College of William and Mary. This was when he began his professional career. He was appointed as the Surveyor of Culpeper County, in Virginia.

 

Between 1752 and 1758, George was in the military as an officer. A military officer is an authority position in the armed forces. During his time of service, he acquired military, political, and leadership skills. These skills would become valuable when it came time for Washington to lead our country.

In 1759, when Washington was 27, he married Martha Curtis. They did not have children of their own together; however, George helped to raise hers from a previous husband who had died. During this time, he became an influential political figure and a leader in elite social circles.

Later, he played a significant role in the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783. The American Revolution was when the thirteen American colonies won independence from Great Britain. It was when the thirteen colonies became the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. This is why we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th every year.

Shortly after the American Revolution, in 1787, the Constitution of the United States was written by the Constitutional Convention, whose President was George Washington. The Constitution was signed by all of the states’ leaders later that year.

Because of Washington’s exceptional leadership skills throughout the formation of the U.S., he was elected as the first President and served two terms between 1789 and 1797. He died only two short years after his second presidential term of a sudden upper respiratory infection at the age of 67. What a full life he had!

If you are ever able to visit Washington, D.C., you should see a few places that are dedicated to George Washington:

  1. Mt. Vernon – This was George Washington’s plantation house where he lived with his wife.

  2. The Washington Monument (the large pointed tower at the end of the National Mall).

  3. The National Archives is where you can view the Constitution.  

You can also see a sculpture of his head and shoulders on Mt. Rushmore, which is located in South Dakota.

Some lesser-known facts about Washington are:

  1. He was one of the sickliest Presidents ever. He had a lot of illnesses during his lifetime, including diphtheria, tuberculosis, smallpox, malaria, pneumonia, and a few more.

  2. He was not very religious. Whenever he did attend church, he would not take communion. He was known to be a very moral and ethical man, but not a Christian.

  3. He wrote an incredible number of letters. In his lifetime, he wrote between 18,000 and 20,000 letters by hand.

  4. He didn’t have wooden teeth, a common myth said about Washington. He did, however, have a lot of dental issues, and only had one tooth in his mouth by the time he reached the office of the Presidency.

I hope you learned something interesting about George Washington in this episode. Have you ever visited Washington, D.C.? Would you like to? Send me a comment or question through my website.

Thank you so much for listening to the English for Everyone ESL Podcast! Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You will find the transcript of today’s show and some helpful links about today’s topic on the show website: www.englishforeveryonepod.com . [Stay tuned for the slower version of today’s episode].

 

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[slower version, same transcript]

Bye Bye!

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Music is Where’s My Jetpack by Computer Music All-Stars found on www.freemusicarchive.org