National Funeral for President Washington. George Washington died on December 14, 1799. Congress set Dec. 26 as a day of formal mourning in Philadelphia, the nation's capital from 1790 to 1800. The national funeral service was in Zion Lutheran Church--located at this site, 1766-1870--and among those attending was President John Adams. In his funeral oration, Congressman Henry Lee spoke the famous tribute: "First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen."