We grow up celebrating and believing that the birth of our nation was indisputably established on July 4, 1976. Yet, we also grow up with the undeniable belief that George Washington was the first President of the United States and, thus, the "Father of our Country." There's a disconnect between these two well established truths. If 1776 is indeed the birth of our great nation, then there are 13 forgotten government years between the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the implementation of the Constitution in 1789 (the Constitution was ratified in 1788 with the understanding the first Government would commence in March, 1789). George Washington was, in fact, the first Constitutional President. So, was there an official US government prior to March, 1789?
The answer is yes. The Articles of Confederation governed. Although the Federal Government was much weaker under these Articles, and even though the Articles were replaced, should we ignore that they were ratified and implemented? Virginia was the first state to ratify the Articles, so arguably Virginia should be recognized as the first state rather than Delaware. In November, 1981, John Hanson became the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled, under the Articles of Confederation. So, should John Hanson be recognized as our first President? Probably not, since there wasn't an Executive Branch under the Articles and the position was largely ceremonial. President Hanson did establish Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November so we should offer some credit where credit is due (Thanksgiving would not become an official holiday until almost 100 years later under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863). If you're interested in more, here you go: https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-articles-of-confederation/john-hanson-story/