5 Facts About The Founding Fathers That Show How Badass These Pioneers Really Were
As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day this weekend, before you fire up the barbecue or head out to watch fireworks, it's worth taking a moment or two to remember why we're celebrating and what badass guys the Founding Fathers were. Certainly not all of them were perfect, and not everything they did was above reproach. But you guys, founding a country Is not in any way easy. The Revolutionary War lasted eight long years, and at the end of it, the newly-declared Americans had to come up with a Constitution and devise a whole new system of government.
There are plenty of quirky and interesting tales about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Franklin wanted our national bird to be the turkey, not the eagle; George Washington declined the title "Your Highness," instead coining the term "Mr. President;" and Alexander Hamilton died from gunshot wounds he suffered in an actual duel with Aaron Burr.
But aside from being revolutionaries, what made the Founding Fathers tick? They couldn't always be at constitutional conventions, or crossing the Potomac, or chopping down cherry trees, or battling the British at Lexington and Concord, right? Here are a few lesser-known facts about the OG Americans that might surprise you.
Thomas Jefferson Brought Macaroni And Cheese To America
According to Smithsonian magazine, Jefferson was visiting France when he developed a taste for their fancy pasta dishes. He came back to the colonies with a pasta maker and a slew of recipes. After he was elected president, Jefferson served his guests macaroni and cheese at a state dinner in 1802, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Benjamin Franklin Liked To Get His Freak On By Walking Around Nude
According to the 1817 book The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin wrote to a friend who was advocating bathing in cold water. Franklin described how he preferred cold "air baths," during which he would just sit around writing, reading, or whatever naked for around two hours. Sometimes, he would just go back to bed afterward, he felt so relaxed. The guy lived to be 84, almost unheard of in colonial times, so he was doing something right.
John Hancock Signed His Name That Way On Purpose
Hancock was a central figure in the American Revolution, but he's probably best remembered for his gigantic signature on the Declaration of Independence. History.com says legend is that Hancock wrote his name that big with full intent. He wanted to make sure the English king could see it without wearing glasses.
George Washington Kinda Didn't Want To Be President
After the long hard fight for the country's independence, Washington wanted to retire and chill out at his estate in Mount Vernon. But after members of the Electoral College chose Washington to be the nation's first leader (and the only American president in history to be unanimously elected), and discovering how strongly the public wanted to see him as their leader, he reluctantly complied, according to Smithsonian.
Samuel Adams Actually Made Beer
Despite his name being synonymous with a line of beers brewed in the Boston area to this day, History.com describes Adams as a "failed brewer and newspaper publisher" who became one of the revolution's most important leaders. It was Adams who coordinated the Boston Tea Party, and he represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress for several years. And he couldn't have been that bad of a brewer if we're still raising pint glasses with his name on them all these years later.