September 19 - 1796 - George Washington's Farewell Address is Published
When George Washington announced he was stepping down as President of the United States of America in a lengthy newspaper article, the young nation was shocked. Not only did people not really step down from power in the eighteenth century, almost all Americans wanted Washington to remain in power. George Washington was the General of the Continental Army, the President of the Constitutional Convention, and First President of the United States. While his arguments against partisan division and foreign entanglements, which took up the bulk of Washington's address, were largely ignored, the very act of stepping down after two terms of President set a template that ensured the continuation of the American government.