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George Washington’s Farewell Address Initiative


The Washington’s Farewell Address event is one of a number of  planned programs that are part of the Americanism and Civic Rituals Initiative of The Citizenism Project.

The reading of selected parts of Washington's Farewell speech prompts an assessment of where we are as a nation and generates dialogue as to how to participate in the national  journey defined by shared values of being American. 

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"The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of PATRIOTISM, more than any appellation derived from local distinctions." 

George Washington, September 19th, 1796

Objective: To create a national civic ritual based on George Washington’s Farewell Address that celebrates our constitutional republic while educating citizens about our shared national values and the dangers to the republic.


When:  On February 22, 2022  President’s Day  (George Washington’s birthday)  and yearly thereafter on a day designated by the US Congress.


Why:  The programs associated with The Washington’s Farewell Address provide an opportunity for individuals to share and reflect on their experience of citizenship and to identify opportunities for reclaiming democratic and liberal values in our diverse society. Exploration of the contradictions between what was proclaimed in the founding and the actual social and political circumstances of the lives of many citizens need to be acknowledged. 


What:   A public reading and discussion of   the Farewell Address  on February 22nd, 2022 Washington’s birthday will launch the  the initiative. In coming years the program will be expanded and will include elected/ selected  citizens representing the region, at the local, state and national level. Civic dialogue informed by the content of the address as well as an action plan to a more perfect union. 

US Senate:  President George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address. (PdF)  About the Reading in the Senate

The Presidency George Washington's Farewell Address C SPAN

President George Washington delivered his farewell address 225 years ago. Mount Vernon convened a virtual panel to revisit his warnings against threats confronting the young nation. Featured speakers are historians Lindsay Chervinsky and Joseph Ellis as well as CNN’s John Avlon

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