John Hanson Biography

John Hanson was a Maryland scholar-farmer-politician who is sometimes mistakenly called "the first president of the United States." Hanson was involved in Maryland politics in the colonial period, serving almost continually in the Maryland assembly from 1757 to 1779. Elected to the Continental Congress in 1779, he is credited with helping bring Maryland around in ratifying the Articles of Confederation. From November 1781 to November 1782 he served as President of the United States in Congress Assembled, elected to lead the unicameral congress that was forming a national government. Because the Articles of Confederation and the Continental Congress represent the United States of America in its nascent form, Hanson has been dubbed the first U.S. president -- a clever but inaccurate bit of trivia designed to trip up people who think of George Washington.

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Sources vary on Hanson's birth and death dates; Who2 is using Find A Grave's information.

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Photo of Sam Walton, as a dark-haired teen, in a suit with hair slicked back