George Washington sworn in as first president, April 30th, 1789
In January, Washington, running unopposed, was elected first president of the United States. He did not campaign; in fact, he had to be convinced to come out of retirement. The Founding Fathers had failed to determine the president’s salary. While Washington considered rejecting any payment, concerned about the ethics of being paid for pubic service, he eventually agreed to accept $25,000 annually—although he had to use his own money to cover household expenses. As his carriage took him from Virginia to New York, crowds gathered to offer their respects. Finally, on the balcony of Federal Hall, where the First Congress was meeting, Washington is sworn into office.