On this date in 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Augustine Washington (1694–1743) and his second wife, Mary Ball Washington (1708–1789), welcomed the birth of their first child (of six), who they named George. They probably had no idea he'd grow up to be the first President of a country that hadn't even been invented at the time. Mary lived long enough to see that happen (she died four months after George became the first President of the United States). Before his inauguration, George was a surveyor, served in the militia, fought alongside other British officers during the French and Indian War, built a thriving plantation, took command of the rebel army in the colonies seeking to separate from Great Britain, and presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787. As the first President, many of Washington's decisions set the precedents that his successors still adhere to more than two centuries later.
On this date in 1981, Ilo Browne Wallace died, two weeks before her 93rd birthday. Born in Indianola, Iowa, she married Henry Agard Wallace in May 1914, and they had three children in the next few years. In 1926, using an inheritance from her parents, the Wallaces and their business partners established the Hi-Bred Corn Company, which developed and distributed hybrid maize. The company, now known as Pioneer Hi-Bred International, is the world’s second largest seed company. In 1933, Henry was appointed the 11th Secretary of Agriculture. In 1940, he was elected the 33rd Vice President. And in 1945, he was appointed the 10th Secretary of Commerce. Henry died in 1965.