Sam Adams Might Never Have Brewed Beer

Credit: Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images News via Getty Images Sam Adams was the most influential member of the Sons of Liberty, a loosely organized political organization that formed in opposition to the Stamp Act in 1765. But to many Americans, he’s also the name behind one of the most successful beer brands in the U.S. […]

George Washington Lost More Battles Than He Won

Credit: MPI/ Archive Photos via Getty Images General George Washington embodies the phrase “losing the battle but winning the war,” because during the American Revolution, he lost more battles than he won. Despite some experience in the British army, Washington had little experience fielding a large fighting force, and the Continental Army was filled with […]

Benjamin Franklin Invented a Musical Instrument Used by Mozart and Beethoven

Credit: Print Collector/ Hulton Archive via Getty Images In the mid-1700s, while serving as a delegate for the American colonies in Europe, Benjamin Franklin experienced a popular musical performance — singing glasses. Intrigued by the beautiful sound of a wet finger on glass, Franklin developed an instrument known as a “glass armonica” in 1761. Working […]

Alexander Hamilton Was Captain of One of the Oldest U.S. Army Regiments in Existence

Credit: Drew Angerer/ Getty Images News via Getty Images Alexander Hamilton is known for many things — he was the prolific writer behind the Federalist Papers, the first secretary of the treasury, the creator of the U.S. Coast Guard, and the inspiration for one of Broadway’s biggest musicals. What’s less celebrated about Hamilton is his […]

John Hancock Was Accused of Smuggling

Credit: Stock Montage/ Archive Photos via Getty Images On May 24, 1775, John Hancock became the presiding officer over the Second Continental Congress. A little more than a year later, his signature became famous when he wrote his name in grandiose letters, taking up some 6 square inches, on the Declaration of Independence. (Legend says […]

James Madison Was the Shortest President in U.S. History

Although James Madison’s signature doesn’t adorn the Declaration of Independence, as the nation’s fourth President and chief architect of the Bill of Rights, he’s widely regarded as one of the most influential Founding Fathers. Madison had a large impact on early U.S. history even though he is also the country’s shortest President thus far, standing […]

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Died on the Same Day

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, bitter political rivals and, at times, close friends, died on the very same day — July 4, 1826, 50 years after signing the Declaration of Independence. The two were the last surviving of the original revolutionaries who helped forge a new nation after breaking with the British Empire. During their […]