February 22 held great significance for George Washington. He was born on that day and his granddaughter Eleanor Parke Custis, known as Nelly, chose February 22 to wed Washington's nephew in 1799. Nelly was the granddaughter of Martha Washington and was informally adopted by Martha and George Washington following the death of Nelly's father, who was Martha Washington's son by her first marriage to Daniel Custis. Nelly's wedding would have been a significant event by the mere fact that her grandparents were the most famous couple in the land at that time and Nelly was also a well known figure because she lived with the Washingtons and acted as hostess at various parties and receptions during Washington's presidency. Nelly chose her wedding day to break a Colonial tradition and wear a white lace veil. The Colonial custom at the time dictated that brides did not wear makeup or a veil because it was thought to create an illusion. Nelly decided to fashion a veil after her husband-to-be like the effect created when he saw her standing behind a lace curtain.
The Washingtons gave the newlyweds a wedding gift of 2,000 acres adjacent to their home, Mount Vernon, where Nelly grew up. On those 2,000 acres Nelly and her husband built Woodlawn Plantation which is now a national landmark and open to visitors.