George Washington– The 1st President of the United States and acknowledged as “Father of his Country.”
George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1775–1783, and he presided over the writing of the Constitution in 1787. As the unanimous choice to serve as the firstPresident of the United States (1789–1797), he developed the forms and rituals of government that have been used ever since, such as using a cabinet system and delivering an inaugural address. As President, he built a strong, well-financed national government that avoided war, suppressed rebellion and won acceptance among Americans of all types, and Washington is now known as the “Father of his country”.
Benjamin Franklin– An American “Founding Father” and leader of the American Enlightenment
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass ‘armonica’. He formed both the first public lending library in America and first fire department in Pennsylvania. He was an early proponent of colonial unity and as a political writer and activist he supported the idea of an American nation and as a diplomat during the American Revolution, he secured the French alliance that helped to make independence possible.
As a leader of the new Federalist Party, Jay was the Governor ofNew York State from 1795 to 1801, and he became the state’s leading opponent of slavery. His first two attempts to emancipate the slaves in New York failed in 1777 and in 1785, but his third attempt succeeded in 1799. The 1799 act, a gradual emancipation act, that he signed into law eventually brought about the emancipation of all slaves there before his death in 1829.
During a stay in Norway, Leif converted to Christianity, like many Norse of that time, at the behest of the King of Norway, Olaf I. When he returned to Greenland, he bought Bjarni Herjólfsson‘s boat and set out with 35 men to explore the land that Bjarni had seen to the west of Greenland, which was likely coastal Canada.
The Saga of the Greenlanders tells that Leif set out in the year 1002 or 1003 to follow Bjarni’s route with 35 crew members, but going north.
The first land he went to was covered with flat rocks (Old Norse hella). He therefore called it Helluland (“Land of the Flat Stones”). This was possibly Baffin Island. Next he came to a land that was flat and wooded, with white sandy beaches. He called this Markland (“Wood-land”), which is possibly Labrador.
Leif and his crew left Markland and again found land, which they named Vinland. They landed and built a small settlement which they called Leifsbúdir, meaning Leif’s storage houses, suggesting the settlement was temporary. They found the area pleasant as there were wild grapes and plenty of salmon in the river. The climate was mild, with little frost in the winter and green grass year-round. They remained in the region over the winter and returned to Greenland in spring carrying a cargo of timber.