1st presidential farewell address had Philadelphia connection

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Our nation's first presidential farewell has ties to Philadelphia, America's first capital. (WPVI)

221 years before President Barack Obama offered his parting words, our first president George Washington delivered his.

But Washington's speech was not given in front of a huge crowd.

Rather, citizens found out by seeing it published in a Philadelphia newspaper called Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser.

Washington urged: "Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all...the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government."

Washington's speech almost happened in 1792, at the end of his first term, as he considered leaving office.

But he stayed on.

The final version is read in the U.S. Senate. Last year, Delaware's Chris Coons did the honors.

Washington's address is even recited in the smash hit musical 'Hamilton.'

The speech also inspired President Obama during his farewell address.

"In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity, and liberty, but "from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken.to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth;" that we should preserve it with "jealous anxiety;" that we should reject "the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties" that make us one," Obama said.

President Obama, saying so long with the words of Washington, that echo through generations.

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politicsphilly newspresident barack obama
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