As we head into the President's Day Weekend, you can hear about George Washington's message — much of which rings true for today. There are some warnings in President George Washington's "Farewell Address," about the forces that could destroy our democracy. In September 1796, as he became a private citizen, he worried about hyper-partisanship, excessive debt and entanglements in foreign wars.
Presidents who followed him in office — from Lincoln to Eisenhower, Reagan and Obama — quoted from Washington's Farewell Address in their own farewell addresses.
Our first president urged both unity and independence, and Washington said "our independence as a nation is inseparable from our inter-dependence as a people."
President Washington also stressed the vital importance of education.
Jon Avlon is the author of "Washington's Farewell: The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations." Washington's actual "Farewell Address" was published September 19, 1796.
Avlon is editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and a CNN political analyst. He spoke at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 27, 2017.
To listen to his speech, click the audio player above.