The Arkansas Air and Military Museum focuses mostly on aviation and military history from 1900-2003. While we do feature a few extremely rare pieces from earlier in our history, we try to keep our sphere of history focused on the twenty and twenty-first centuries. However, I thought it would be a rare (but fun) idea to mention a historical fact that is totally random and way outside of the well known modern era to spice up your week. What is it? Well it has to do with our first President of course! But actually this was quite a bit before he became the President of the United States and even before the Revolutionary War. That’s right, Thursday was the 263rd anniversary of George and Martha Washington’s wedding anniversary.
The young 27 year old colonel was traveling through Virginia in 1758, when he heard of a recently widowed Martha Dandridge Custis. She was a young, beautiful single mother trying to organize her late husband’s plantation when her Prince Charming rode up on his horse. While there is little that we can find of their courtship, it is obvious from their letters and journals that George and Martha were very much in love. They wed January 6, 1759-almost a year after they had met. Their marriage lasted forty years through rough and extremely turbulent times in America including the American Revolution, the Constitutional Convention, and the first two presidential terms. Washington was an extremely talented military leader and tactician paving the way for America’s present-day military. It is safe to say that without George’s leadership America’s past and present military would look much, much different. And, it is also clear that without George’s beloved Martha, the strength of America’s military would be greatly diminished as the support, love, and encouragement that Martha gave her husband throughout his military service gave him the strength to keep pushing through monumental odds to lead his Continental Army to victory against the British Empire. January 6, 1759 was the beginning of a strong legacy that greatly impacted American military history through the years. So, happy anniversary George and Martha!