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10 Things You May Not Know About John Adams

10 Things You May Not Know About John Adams

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1. Adams defended British soldiers after the Boston Massacre.
Although Adams joined with the Sons of Liberty in objecting to what he believed was unfair taxation by the British government, the principled attorney believed in the primacy of the rule of law. After the killing of five colonists in the March 1770 Boston Massacre, Adams volunteered to represent the nine British soldiers charged with manslaughter to ensure they received a fair trial. Adams argued that the soldiers fired in self-defense against “a motley rabble” and won a surprising acquittal for seven of the defendants, including the British officer in charge, Captain Thomas Preston. The two soldiers convicted of manslaughter were branded on their thumbs but avoided prison sentences.

2. He was a great pen pal.
The erudite Adams was a prolific writer of letters to friends and family. A devoted husband, Adams exchanged more than 1,100 correspondences with his wife, Abigail, since his patriotic duties often called him away from home for extended periods of time. Luckily for historians, most of the letters between the Adamses have been preserved in archives. (In contrast, only three letters written by George Washington to his wife, Martha, have survived.)

3. He was the principal author of the oldest written constitution still in use in the world.
Adams drafted the Massachusetts Constitution, which was approved by voters in 1780 and is still in effect today. The document’s structure of chapters, sections and articles served as a model for the United States Constitution, and its Declaration of Rights itemized individual liberties such as freedom of the press and freedom of worship that were later enshrined in the federal Bill of Rights.

4. He was the first president to live in the White House.
When President Adams arrived in Washington, D.C., from Philadelphia on June 3, 1800, the new national capital very much remained an active construction zone. The President’s House, later known as the White House, remained far from completion, so Adams was forced to reside in temporary quarters at Tunnicliffe’s City Hotel. When the president finally moved into the White House on November 1, 1800, the mansion still reeked of wet plaster and paint fumes. Fireplaces roared in every room to combat the cold and dampness, and the first lady used the unplastered East Room to hang the presidential laundry. Defeated in the 1800 election, Adams lived in the White House for barely more than four months.

WATCH: John Adams

5. Adams participated in what may have been the nastiest presidential campaign in American history.
Modern-day mudslinging had nothing on the dirt thrown in the 1800 presidential election between Adams and the sitting vice president, Thomas Jefferson. While the Federalist Adams believed in a strong centralized government and the Republican Jefferson favored states’ rights, the debate went beyond policy differences to personal attacks. Campaign propaganda paid for by Jefferson charged that Adams was a “hideous hermaphroditical character” who smuggled prostitutes into the country from England and planned to marry one of his sons to a daughter of King George III to establish a royal bloodline in his family. The president’s supporters called Jefferson a coward, French radical and infidel who would seize the country’s bibles and allow “the refuse of Europe” to flood American shores. Abigail Adams lamented that the campaign had produced enough venom to “ruin and corrupt the minds and morals of the best people in the world.”

6. He blamed a day of fasting for his reelection defeat.
In both 1798 and 1799, Adams issued presidential proclamations calling for national days of “solemn humiliation, fasting and prayer.” In an 1812 letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Adams wrote, “The National Fast, recommended by me turned me out of office.” Adams argued in the letter that “nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion,” and he believed that his call for a fast day had become incorrectly viewed as the promotion of the Presbyterian Church (of which Adams was not a member) as a national religion, which caused an electoral backlash. Blaming defeat on a proclamation might seem far-fetched, but as David McCullough pointed out in his Adams biography, a swing of only 250 votes in New York City would have resulted in the president’s reelection.

7. Adams died on the same day as Thomas Jefferson.
Once fellow patriots and then bitter rivals, Adams and Jefferson revived their friendship after their White House days. Perhaps fittingly, the two Declaration of Independence signatories both died 50 years to the day after the document’s adoption on July 4, 1826. On his deathbed, the 90-year-old Adams whispered, “Thomas Jefferson survives.” It wasn’t the case. Five hours earlier, the 83-year-old Jefferson had died at Monticello. With the deaths of Adams and Jefferson, only one signatory of the Declaration of Independence—Charles Carroll—remained alive.

8. He wanted the president to be addressed as “His Highness.”
The debate on how to properly address George Washington consumed Congress in the weeks after his 1789 inauguration. Adams, who presided over the Senate as the vice president, felt the office required a grand title to convey power on par with the royal courts of Europe. He scoffed that fire companies and cricket clubs had mere “presidents” and that Washington should be called “His Majesty the President” or “His Highness, the President of the United States of America, and Protector of the Rights of the Same.” To many Americans who had just rid themselves of a monarch, the titles were too royal, and Congress agreed that Washington’s title should simply be “The President of the United States.” Opponents of the plump Adams seized on his titular suggestions to mock him as “His Rotundity.”

9. He founded one of America’s top scientific societies.
The Harvard-educated Adams cherished education and knowledge and wrote public support of science and the arts into the Massachusetts Constitution. In 1779 he proposed the establishment of the American Academy for Arts and Sciences, which still exists as a forum for scholarship and an incubator for practical ideas. According to Tom Shachtman’s book “Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries,” Adams ranked the founding of the academy as one of his proudest achievements.

10. There is no monument to Adams in Washington, D.C.
Unlike his presidential predecessor and successor, Washington and Jefferson, Adams has no monument to him in the national capital. In 2001, the U.S. Congress authorized the Adams Memorial Foundation to construct a monument to the second president and his family, including sixth president John Quincy Adams, on federal land, but site selection, design and fundraising work is ongoing.

10 Major Accomplishments of John Adams

John Adams was a Founding Father of the United States who played a leading role in the American Revolution by opposing the 1765 Stamp Act, advocating complete separation from Great Britain, being part of the Continental Congress and the committee responsible for the Declaration of Independence, administrating the American war effort during the Revolutionary War and negotiating peace through the 1783 Treaty of Paris. John Adams served as the first Vice President (1789 – 1797) and second President (1797 – 1801) of the United States leading his country through the Quasi-War with France. Know more about the contributions of John Adams through his 10 major achievements and accomplishments.

Travel Images / UIG / Getty Images

As the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States and the erudite Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams had an interesting childhood. He personally witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill with his mother. He moved to Europe at the age of 10 and was educated in Paris and Amsterdam. He became a secretary to Francis Dana and traveled to Russia. Then spent five months traveling through Europe on his own before returning to America at the age of 17. He went on to graduate second in class at Harvard University before studying law.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Kiss

It’s been nearly 40 years since Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss put greasepaint on their faces and took the stage as Kiss for the first time. Since then they’ve amassed 24 gold albums in the United States, took the makeup off, got a bunch of new members, put the makeup back on, and toured seemingly in perpetuity.

In those four decades a lot of facts, rumors, and myths about Kiss have circulated. Of course the diehard members of the Kiss Army usually know what’s what, but for everyone else, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about Kiss.

10. Katey Sagal was a backup singer on Gene Simmons’ 1978 solo album.

Before she gained fame with American television audiences for her portrayals of Peg Bundy (Married… with Children) and later Leela (Futurama), Sagal juggled a music career with bit parts in TV movies in the early 󈨊s. She sang in a short-lived act called The Group With No Name, which released one album on Casablanca Records (Kiss’ label at the time) in 1976.

Sagal also sang backup for artists such as Bob Dylan, Tanya Tucker, Etta James, Molly Hatchet, Olivia Newton-John, and Bette Midler. She released solo albums in 1994 and 2004, and contributed a song to the Sons of Anarchy: Shelter EP in 2009.

9. Only two members of Kiss played with the band using their given names.

Of the ten people who have been official members of Kiss, only guitarists Bruce Kulick and Tommy Thayer perform with their birth names. The eight other members (and their original names) are Gene Simmons (Chaim Weitz), Paul Stanley (Stanley Harvey Eisen), Ace Frehley (Paul Daniel Frehley), Peter Criss (George Peter John Criscuola), Eric Carr (Paul Charles Caravello), Vinnie Vincent (Vincent John Cusano), Mark St. John (Mark Leslie Norton), and Eric Singer (Eric Doyle Mensinger).

8. Paul Stanley briefly abandoned his “Starchild” image in favor of a “Bandit” persona.

While Gene, Ace, and Peter had settled on the basic ideas for their makeup designs by about mid-1973, Paul tried out a new look now referred to as the “Bandit.” The first version, with plain black framing both eyes, made him look more like a raccoon. The second variation was more diamond-shaped, and while it didn’t last long there is ample photographic evidence that he used it.

7. Kiss has performed in public as a trio just twice.

On January 28, 1982, with Ace just about out of the band entirely, Gene, Paul, and Eric Carr appeared as a trio at Studio 54 to lip-synch “I” (from the recently released Music from “The Elder”) for satellite transmission to the San Remo Music Festival in Italy.

Prior to a show on July 27, 2007, Paul was hospitalized with an extremely rapid heartbeat. In his absence, Kiss performed live in concert as a trio for the first time ever. This was the first Kiss concert Stanley had missed during his then 34-year tenure with the group.

6. “God of Thunder,” Gene Simmons’ signature song, was written by Paul Stanley.

Since its release in March 1976 (on the Destroyer LP), “God of Thunder” has been synonymous with Gene and his Demon persona. In concert it marked the point where Gene would usually play his bass solo, spit blood, and even be hoisted up above the stage with wires. But it was originally arranged and sung by Paul, who wrote the song to prove he could take on heavier and darker material as well as Gene.

But producer Bob Ezrin felt it didn’t sound right as Paul’s song, so he and Simmons modified the lyrics and the arrangement — slowing the tempo down quite a bit in the process — and gave the song to Gene. Paul wasn’t thrilled with Ezrin’s decision, but went along with it anyway. The original version of “God of Thunder” did not see the light of day officially until Kiss released their five-disc box set in 2001.

5. Bryan Adams has co-writer credits on two Kiss songs.

Yes, that Bryan Adams — he of “Summer of 󈨉” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You.” In 1982 Adams (then a relative unknown) and songwriting partner Jim Vallance were approached by producer Michael James Jackson and asked if they had any material they could submit to Kiss — then working on their Creatures of the Night record.

Between them they submitted a pair of tracks — “War Machine” and “Rock and Roll Hell,” the latter of which was essentially a reworking of a song that appeared with the same name on Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s 1979 album, Rock n’ Roll Nights.

About three months after Creatures of the Night was released, Adams issued his Cuts Like a Knife LP and was on his way to stardom.

4. Eric Carr died on the same day as Queen’s Freddie Mercury.

If there is one non-original member of Kiss who truly earned the respect and love of the Kiss Army, it was the late Eric Carr. From the time he joined the band in 1980, Carr dedicated himself to the group and its fans. By 1991 he had been in Kiss longer than co-founder Peter Criss, but in February of that year he fell ill from what was eventually diagnosed as heart cancer.

Carr battled the disease and even flew out from New York to California to record a music video with Kiss in July, but was sent home shortly after to focus on his health. He made his last appearance with Kiss in September 1991 at the MTV Video Music Awards. Two days later he suffered an aneurysm and was rushed to the hospital. He made it through that but by then the end was near. The cancer had spread to his brain and he was rendered unconscious from a brain hemorrhage. He never recovered and died on November 24, 1991 at age 41 — the same day that legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury died (just four years Carr’s senior) of complications due to AIDS.

3. There are six Kiss album covers featuring members who barely played (or did not play at all) on the record.

From about the late 󈨊s through the mid 󈨔s, Kiss album covers featuring band members were really more of a general guide than a true representation of the state of the band.

The first instance was 1979’s Dynasty, which featured the original foursome despite drummer Peter Criss only performing on one track (“Dirty Livin'”). The rest of the drumming was performed by Anton Fig, who was not credited at all on the original release. Unmasked, released the next year, also showed Criss on the album. This time he didn’t play a single beat, and was once again replaced by an uncredited Fig.

Next it was Ace Frehley’s turn. He is shown on the covers of Killers (a non-U.S. compilation featuring four new songs) and Creatures of the Night, despite not having played on either. To make matters even more confusing, Kiss re-issued Creatures in 1985 with new guitarist Bruce Kulick — who was not even in the band when the album came out — on the front cover, and with the entire band sans makeup.

The guessing games continued with Psycho Circus, the group’s 1998 “reunion” album. Criss and Frehley are both shown on the cover art, but their participation was limited to just a few songs. According to Criss, only the Frehley-penned “Into the Void” featured instrumental contributions from all four members.

2. Prior to joining Kiss, one of Vinnie Vincent’s jobs was as a songwriter for television.

The members of Kiss held a variety of interesting jobs before joining (or forming) the group. Perhaps the most musically interesting one belonged to Vinnie Vincent (then Vincent Cusano), who moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and found employment as a staff songwriter/musician for the television series Happy Days. Vinnie’s job for the show’s last few seasons was to stay on the set and write all of the songs that Joanie and Chachi sang.

1. The iconic Kiss logo has to be modified for use in Germany.

One of Ace Frehley’s first contributions to Kiss after joining the group in 1973 was the design of their highly recognizable logo, with its lightning bolt-style “SS.” The problem is that there was another (infamous) group that had a logo with a lightning bolt “S” — Nazi Germany’s Schutzstaffel. Their logo was an “SS” designed with stylized Armanen Sig runes.

The similarity between the SS logo and Kiss’ wasn’t an issue until around 1979/80, when the Nazi SS logo was used in a political ad in West Germany. Aware that the use of their logo could further incite the public (although it was not then illegal to use the SS symbol), Kiss modified it prior to a September 1980 tour of West Germany by rounding the edges and making it look more like a stylized KISS. All of their German-issued albums and marketing materials have since used this modified branding.

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Freddie Mercury of Queen (Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen is one of the strangest, most inspired and least-understood songs in the history of rock. It manages to sound like a serious work of art, a moving lament and a moment of extreme silliness at the same time—which is part of the reason it’s equally loved by young kids and old rockers alike—and jumps from power ballad to light opera to heavy opera to hard rock and back to power ballad again before ending, nearly six minutes after it began, on a decisive gong.

It also boasted one of the promotional clips that is credited with starting what became the video boom of the eighties, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Here, to celebrate 40 years since it was first released is the entire song and that video, followed by 10 facts that are just as fascinating (and sometimes goofy) as the song itself:

The song’s title is almost certainly a twist on Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody”, a name the band revisited in 2012 for a live DVD/CD release of concert footage from their 1986 concerts in Budapest.

It was entirely written by Freddie Mercury, and the song was pieced together using not only various different sections—as the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson had done with the equally epic “Good Vibrations” in 1966—but also an intensive overdubbing of harmonies (somewhere in the region of 160 overdubs, all told, often with Brian May, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury singing in unison around a single microphone) recorded over three weeks of intensive work, one week of which was spent on the operatic section. This means that, for a good portion of the recording, the only person who knew how it would all work at the end was Freddie. Producer Roy Thomas Baker certainly wasn’t sure what they had until it was finally done: “Nobody really knew how it was going to sound as a whole six-minute song until it was put together. I was standing at the back of the control room, and you just knew that you were listening for the first time to a big page in history. Something inside me told me that this was a red-letter day, and it really was.”

That raucous guitar riff, the one that causes all the headbanging in Wayne’s World, was originally written on the piano, as Brian May revealed to the BBC: “The heavy bit was a great opportunity for us to be at full pelt as a rock band. But that big, heavy riff came from Freddie, not me. That was something he played with his left hand in octaves on the piano. So I had that as a guide—and that’s very hard to do, because Freddie’s piano playing was exceptional, although he didn’t think so. In fact, he thought he was a bit of a mediocre piano player and stopped doing it later on in our career.”

Speaking of which, the piano Freddie recorded with was the same one Paul McCartney played when the Beatles recorded “Hey Jude.”

A quick glossary of terms: Scaramouche is a stock character from the Italian clown tradition commedia dell’arte. He’s a fool, but adept at getting himself out of trouble. A fandango is a Spanish flamenco dance. Galileo was a Florentine astronomer, the inclusion of whom may be a nod to noted stargazer Brian May. Figaro is, of course, taken from Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville. Bismillah means “in the name of Allah” and is the first word in The Qu’ran, and “Mamma Mia!” is an Italian exclamation of incredulity or surprise, referring to the Virgin Mary. It is also the title of the song by ABBA that followed “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the top of the British charts in 1975.

The actual meaning of the song as a whole remains opaque, on purpose. Freddie has claimed to have researched it quite thoroughly, saying, “‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ didn’t just come out of thin air. I did a bit of research, although it was tongue-in-cheek and it was a mock opera. Why not?” while also saying, “I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them.”

Suggested meanings include a veiled account of his sexuality and the affect this had on his relationship with his close friend Mary Austen, or a return to the trauma of being forced out of his native Zanzibar when he was 18. It could also be a song about a man who killed a man and endured feverish guilt dreams while fearing for his eternal soul.

The band wanted to release “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a single, but the record label EMI disagreed, claiming it was too long for radio play. In order to break the deadlock, Freddie took it to his friend, the radio DJ Kenny Everett, for a second opinion. He played it 14 times that weekend, generating huge interest, and filling the order books at record shops. Consequently, while the single was released in edited form in some countries (most notably France), the international hit version remains a full length opus. Freddie commented afterwards: “We were adamant that it could be a hit in its entirety. We have been forced to make compromises, but cutting up a song will never be one of them.”

Like all the best and most iconic song titles, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has generated its fair share of puns and references over the years. There’s the drink Bohemian Raspberry, by the Jones Soda Company the song “Rap, Soda and Bohemias” by the Mexican group Molotov and in Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s book Good Omens, the devilish character Crowley plays it in his car constantly, even quoting the lyrics in times of trouble, most specifically “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me…”

The first rock album to become available in Iran was Queen’s Greatest Hits, in 2004. Concerned about the messages hidden in the song, Iranian authorities insisted that each copy of the cassette be issued with a leaflet that explained that while the singer of the song had indeed “killed a man,” it was by accident, that he then goes on to call on God for forgiveness (“Bismillah!”) in order to prevent Beelzebub from getting his soul. Presumably “Fat Bottomed Girls” required much less explanation.

And finally, that video may seem like a deliberate artistic statement created to support the ambiguities of the song. In fact it was made simply to get the group out of having to appear on the British music show Top of the Pops, as Brian explains: “It was filmed with the express purpose of giving it to Top of the Pops. For those of us who remember it, it wasn’t a classy program. Top of the Pops didn’t have a good reputation amongst musicians. Nobody liked it, really.

“It always seemed like a bit of a travesty. If your music had any meaning, it seemed to trickle away when you were standing on a box in a studio with lots of kids around. But you could hardly knock it because it was the way that records were sold.”

America's Most Influential Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers were those political leaders of the 13 British Colonies in North America who played major roles in the American Revolution against the Kingdom of Great Britain and the founding of the new nation after independence was won. There were many more than ten founders that had a huge impact on the American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. However, this list attempts to pick the founding fathers having the most significant impact. Notable individuals not included are John Hancock, John Marshall, Peyton Randolph, and John Jay.

The term “Founding Fathers” is often used to refer to the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It should not be confused with the term “Framers.” According to the National Archives, the Framers were the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention who drafted the proposed Constitution of the United States.

After the Revolution, the Founding Fathers went on to hold important positions in the early United States federal government. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison served as President of the United States. John Jay was appointed the nation's first Chief Justice.

11 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Paul Revere

Everyone knows about Paul Revere’s midnight ride, but this patriot did a lot more to help America gain its independence. Here are 11 little-known facts about the Founding Father.

1. His father was a Huguenot.

Revere’s father, Apollos Rivoire, was a French Huguenot refugee who fled his country as a result of religious persecution. He was born in Riocaud in 1702, but with time he lost most of his connection to France—he could not read or write the language. The Frenchman later changed his name to Paul Revere, "on account that the Bumpkins pronounce it easier." He married Deborah Hitchbourn, a member of a very old Boston family, and passed the anglicized name, Paul, to his eldest son.

2. As a teen, Revere worked as a church bell ringer.

When he was around fifteen, Revere would ring the bells at the Eight Bell Church near his home. The young patriot and his friends set up a bell ringers’ association. They drafted a document that detailed the rules and guidelines for membership. Members could only be allowed into the group through a unanimous vote, members could not beg for money, and a moderator was chosen every three months to delegate work and changes within the group. The simple document focused on the fundamentals of public duty, majority vote, and community.

3. Revere made some interesting items in silver.

Revere’s father came to Boston as an apprentice smith. He worked for a man named John Coney for several years and purchased his freedom for forty pounds. After Revere was born, he apprenticed under his father and learned how to craft things from gold and silver. Some items include a chain for a pet squirrel, an ostrich egg snuffbox, and sword hilts. You can tell an item is made by Revere by his maker’s mark—either his last name in a rectangle, or his initials in cursive.

4. The silversmith was also a dentist.

When dental surgeon John Baker moved to town, Revere happily studied under him. He learned how to create false teeth out of ivory and insert them using wire. Revere became so confident in his abilities that in 1768, he placed an ad declaring he “can fix [teeth] as well as any surgeon dentist who ever came from London, he fixes them in such a manner that they are not only an ornament but of real use in speaking and eating.”

5. He made a lot of money. Literally.

During wartime, Revere used his smithing skills to engrave printing plates to print money in Massachusetts. He was also commissioned to design the Continental currency, money used to pay the rebel army. The new bills strangely ranged from one-sixth of a dollar to 80 dollars.

6. During the war, Revere accidentally engaged in some super early forensics.

After Dr. Joseph Warren was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, he was buried like others in an unmarked grave. Ten months later, the bodies were exhumed and examined. Revere was Warren’s dentist, and recognized him by his teeth: Revere had given Warren a false tooth fastened with wire. This was the first body identification done by teeth in recorded history.

7. He had a large family.

Revere had two wives, Sarah Orne and Rachel Walker, and he had eight children with each of them. Revere was a doting father who referred to his kids as his “little lambs.” Ten of Revere’s children perished at a young age, but he still managed to acquire 52 grandchildren.

8. Revere was unfailingly polite and dapper.

The patriot even dressed well on his famous midnight ride. Impressed by his garb, his captors saluted him as one of equal rank (before threatening to shoot him in the head). Even with a gun in hand, the redcoat politely asked, “May I crave your name, sir?”

9. He was not drunk on his midnight ride.

This urban legend took hold when the media was eager to discredit the Founding Fathers during the tumultuous era surrounding the Vietnam War. One Boston newspaper ran a story in 1968 claiming that Revere drank some rum early into his midnight ride. Revere’s drunken yelling apparently roused the patriots accidentally. While Captain Hall, a patriot stationed in Medford, did own a distillery, there is no evidence suggesting that Revere’s booze-fueled yelling truly occurred. Regardless, the unfounded accusations caught on and are often still suggested as truth.

10. He wasn’t the only one to go on a midnight ride.

Paul Revere and William Dawes originally planned to carry news of the invasion to Concord, where military supplies were stored, and then warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who had been targeted for capture. On the trip there, the duo would ride through Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, warning patriots as they passed through. They ran into Samuel Prescott (who was just leaving a lady friend’s house at one in the morning) in Lexington, and asked him to come along.

Revere was captured about halfway through the ride, but the others managed to escape and keep going. Revere had his horse confiscated but still managed to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams. The true hero was Prescott, who actually went through with the plan and reached Concord.

So why were the more successful criers left out of the story? One very popular—but incorrect—poem is to blame. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s "Paul Revere's Ride" starts with this very familiar stanza:

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

This poem is filled with intentional inaccuracies. Longfellow did his research, but took many liberties in order to properly convey his message. The poet wanted to create a folk hero by painting a lone man as the midnight rider. In order to do such, he removed the extra players.

11. We’ve all been misquoting him.

Paul Revere and his fellow patriots never shouted, “The British are coming!” That wouldn’t have made sense, since most colonists were British. The actual warning was "the Regulars are coming out.” This misconception is another result of Longfellow’s creative license—he found the real sentence to be too wordy for his poem.

John Adams / John Adams - Key Events

John Adams is inaugurated as the second President of the United States in Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson will serve as Vice President.

Adams calls the first special session of Congress to debate the mounting crisis in French-American relations. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, the American envoy in France, had left France after being insulted by the French foreign minister.

Adams appoints a three man commission, composed of Charles C. Pinckney, Elbridge Gerry, and John Marshall, to negotiate a settlement with France.

President Adams is authorized by Congress to raise a militia of 80,000 men for defensive purposes in case of war with France.

The three man American peace commission is received coolly and then asked to pay a bribe in order to speak with French Foreign Minister Charles Maurice Talleyrand. This episode becomes known as the “XYZ Affair.”

John Adams - The XYZ Affair

On October 18, 1797, three Americans who were sent to France by President John Adams to represent a U.S. peace commission, were received coolly and then asked to pay a bribe in order to speak with French Foreign Minister Charles Maurice Talleyrand. This episode became known as the “XYZ Affair,” after the French agents who met with the American delegation. The incident affected U.S. relations with France and damaged the Democratic-Republican Party because of its traditional pro-French stance.

When France broke diplomatic ties with the United States in 1796, incoming President John Adams organized a delegation to negotiate with the French government. Charles Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry arrived in Paris in October 1797 with instructions to normalize diplomatic relations and ensure French privateers would no longer harass American shipping.

The American delegation encountered open hostility, and the French minister of foreign relations, Charles Maurice Talleyrand, refused to meet with them. On various occasions, four agents, later called W, X, Y, and Z by President Adams, contacted the Americans. They demanded an apology for insulting remarks made by Adams and wanted loans to the French government along with some $25,000 in bribes for French officials in return for talks with Talleyrand. Further, they implied war would result if the Americans did not meet the demands. Pinckney and Marshall refused to negotiate under such circumstances. Gerry, who sympathized with the French, urged patience. He remained in Paris until the fall of 1798, although Marshall and Pinckney left in the early months of the year.

When President Adams received news of the failed mission in March 1798, he called for restraint. Initially giving Congress only a partial account of events, he favored continued attempts to negotiate, but also urged Congress to strengthen the country's defenses. Many, such as Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, called for an immediate declaration of war, and war fever grew steadily throughout 1798. Federalists denounced opposition to strong government action as unpatriotic and labeled Gerry treasonous for remaining in France. After President Adams turned over to Congress all of the delegation's correspondence on the failed negotiations, Democratic-Republicans, traditionally supporters of France, found themselves on shaky ground. Unsuccessfully trying to separate patriotism from support for a particular administration, they were seen as public enemies.

The issues with France remained unresolved. Congress activated the tiny, new navy in 1798, and fought an undeclared naval war with France for two years. Of longer-term significance, Federalists used the anti-Democratic-Republican fervor to try to solidify their leadership. The Alien and Sedition Acts, passed in 1798 by the Federalist Congress, essentially outlawed French immigrants and criticism of the government. This step backward in Democratic-Republican's attempts to establish the idea of loyal opposition caused opposition leaders to turn to state governments as bulwarks against unrestrained federal power.

The Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is declared in full force by President Adams. It stipulates that federal courts shall not have the jurisdiction over litigation between individuals from one state against individuals from another state.

President Adams exposes the XYZ affair, providing Congress with letters from the peace commission indicating French efforts to bribe and intimidate U.S. officials seeking to speak with French diplomat, Charles Maurice Talleyrand. The reaction was one of outrage and intimidation.

Congress establishes the government for the new Mississippi Territory. The Spanish had ceded the territory to the United States in the 1795 Treaty of San Lorenzo. President Adams appoints native Winthrop Sergeant as governor and selects the town of Natchez to serve as its first capital.

Adams appoints Benjamin Stoddert to serve as the first secretary of the Navy for the newly formed Department of the Navy. Congress had established the department four days earlier in preparation for war with France.

Congress empowers Adams to enlist 10,000 men for service in case of a declaration of war or invasion of the country's domain. It also authorizes Adams to instruct commanders of ships-of-war to seize armed French vessels praying upon or attacking American merchantmen about the coast.

The first of four acts known collectively as the Alien and Sedition Acts is adopted. The Alien and Sedition acts aimed to curb criticism of administration policies and prevent internal subversion. The first act, stipulating requirements for naturalized citizenship, demanded residence in the United States for period of fourteen years and a declaration of intention for five years.

Congress Approves the First Alien and Sedition Act

On June 18, 1798, Congress approved the first of four acts that collectively became known as the Alien and Sedition Acts. These four acts became the most bitterly contested domestic issue during the presidency of John Adams.

The Alien and Sedition Acts consisted of four different pieces of legislation. The Naturalization Act increased the residency requirement from five to fourteen years before citizenship could be granted the Alien Act authorized the President to deport any alien he deemed dangerous to the security of the United States and the Alien Enemies Act allowed the President to deport aliens of an enemy country or restrict their freedoms in times of war. The Sedition Act targeted Americans themselves by forbidding opposition to laws of the federal government and making it illegal to publish criticism of the government. Because opposition had not yet gained legitimacy in American politics, the Federalist-controlled presidency and Congress used the Sedition Act to try to limit the influence of the Democratic-Republicans.

Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in the summer of 1798 as tension between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans peaked. Federalists, led by President John Adams, sought a strong, orderly central government, and feared the chaos of the French Revolution. Democratic-Republicans accused Federalists of instituting a tyranny similar to the one they had struggled against in the American Revolution. Lauding the efforts of French revolutionaries, they believed that a minimal central government best served the people's interests.

As hostilities loomed between France and the United States, the three anti-alien laws targeted French and pro-French immigrants whom Federalists thought brought dangerous political ideas to America moreover, Federalists believed, those recent arrivals would likely support the Democratic-Republican Party. Concerned citizens around the country petitioned President Adams to oppose the restrictive measures. Adams responded with a series of public addresses admonishing the people against factional divisions and foreign interference in American government. His administration vigorously enforced the legislation: under the Sedition Act, the most controversial of the four, several Democratic-Republican newspaper publishers were arrested, and ten were convicted for seditious libel before the acts expired in 1801. After the Democratic-Republicans took office in 1801, Federalists found themselves the victims of their own policies when the new administration of President Thomas Jefferson prosecuted several Federalist editors in state courts.

More than tools of partisan politicking, however, the Alien and Sedition Acts brought to the fore the issues of free speech and the balance of power between the state and federal governments. It also forced Americans to grapple with the fact that instead of classical republican harmony or unitary support for presidential leadership, dissent would thereafter characterize American politics.

Facts about Abigail Adams 3: education

Education was not important for girl at that time. Therefore, she did not get any formal education. However, her mother was her personal teacher since she taught her how to write and read. She also educated herself more by reading books that her father had in the library.

Facts about Abigail Adams 4: women’s right

The way she viewed the world as a child led her to the journey of women’s right. The young Abigail always had a dream to attend school. She wasn’t not capable doing that because she was a girl.

3 The Punisher Killed The Power Broker

If there's one vigilante who doesn't have any qualms about spilling blood, it's the Punisher. Though it's not clear if he'll return to cross paths with the MCU's Power Broker, he does cross paths with Curtiss Jackson in the comics. It doesn't go well for Jackson.

When Frank Castle needs to infiltrate a group of super villains, he has to pose as one to get into their group. An auction run by villains for villains in Long Island includes the Power Broker in its lineup. Rather than create a brand new villain identity, the Punisher kills the Power Broker and takes on his identity to get inside.

30 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About the White House

These tidbits might surprise even the biggest history buffs.

As the longtime home of the U.S. president and the location of countless momentous decisions and historic moments, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is immediately identifiable and familiar to any American—and plenty of non-Americans, too. But as well as you know it, how well do you really know the White House?

It turns out, the White House is not only home to the president, but home to a number of surprising facts. For example, did you know the residence has a chocolate shop, a florist, and a seriously famous ghost? Probably not. So the next time you're eager to regale your friends with your political knowledge, put these amazing White House facts to good use. You'll probably also want to share a few of the 25 All-Time Greatest One-Liners by Politicians.

First and foremost, the White House is a mansion. Consider this: The White House Residence spans six floors and includes 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms. That makes for 412 doors, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, three elevators, and the setup for an epic game of hide-and-seek. Wondering how much a place like that would cost? A recent appraisal valued the property at just under $400 million. For more fun Americana, check out the 50 Facts About America That Most Americans Don't Know.

The White House was designed by James Hoban, an Irish architect who began his stateside career in Philadelphia in 1785. Think you know all there is to know about the United States? Find out with the 28 Most Enduring Myths in American History.


The name wasn't officially adopted until 1901, when Teddy Roosevelt decided to change it from the "Executive Residence." He noted that state governors had executive residences, and he wanted to make sure that the POTUS's residence had a more distinguished title.


Though George Washington was responsible for commissioning the construction of the White House, choosing the site, and approving its design, he never actually lived there. That honor went to president number two, John Adams.

Washington's term ended in 1797, three years before the White House was completed in 1800. He died in 1799, meaning he never set even set foot in the completed building. He is the only U.S. President to have not lived in the White House. And for more great history lessons, check out the 20 Crazy Facts You Never Knew About One Dollar Bills.


Nobody likes moving day, but you can bet yours is nowhere near as stressful as moving day at the White House. It all takes place as soon as the sitting president leaves the White House for the president-elect's inauguration ceremony. From then, staffers and movers have five hours to move out all of the sitting president's belongings and move in the belongings of the president-elect. Not only is furniture changed and artwork swapped, but the walls are even repainted too, as per the requests of the incoming first family. All in five hours!

James Hoban/Wikimedia Commons

Since Michelle Obama struck a nerve by expressing her feelings about waking up every day in a house built by slaves, this White House fact has become common knowledge. And it shouldn't be surprising considering the state of the U.S. at the time the White House was built. White House records show that African American slaves were trained on the spot to fill certain capacities, such as quarryman, brick-maker, and carpenter.


Sure, one of the perks of being president is living rent-free, but that hardly makes up for the hefty expenses that come with moving into the White House. Despite making a six-figure salary, the President is still responsible for paying for all meals, at the White House and elsewhere, all events (and the wages for those working the events), and even transportation. Many presidents have left the White House in serious debt, such as Bill Clinton, whose debt totaled between $2.28 million and $10.6 million by the time he left office.


Presidents William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor both died in the White House. Three First Ladies—Letitia Tyler, Caroline Harrison, and Ellen Wilson—passed away there, too. To date, a total of 10 people have died within the White House walls. If that made your ears perk up, check out The Weirdest Urban Legend in Every State.


If there's anything to be learned from horror movies, it's that old buildings are often haunted. Obviously, this doesn't bode well for the White House. Staffers, guests, presidents, and first ladies have all claimed to have experienced paranormal activity during their time there. Rumor has it that Abraham Lincoln's ghost still haunts the home. In fact, there have been reported sightings of our sixteenth President's specter in the White House since 1903. And for more truth bombs, here are the 20 Crazy Facts That Will Blow Your Mind.

White House/Wikimedia Commons

What purpose could 132 different rooms possibly serve? Well, it turns out some of the past residents have come up with quite creative ways to fill these spaces. Harry Truman, for example, commissioned the White House's first bowling alley. FDR oversaw the transformation of a cloakroom into a 42-seat movie theater. Hillary Clinton even converted one sitting room into the Music Room so that her husband could play the saxophone.

While the White House still has an exterior pool, its interior pool is now hidden beneath the floors. The indoor pool, which opened in 1933 for use by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is underneath the current James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.


If anyone in the White House deserves caffeine, it's the press (not including the President, of course). So you can imagine Tom Hanks' shock when, on his first tour of the White House in 2004, he found the press room to be missing a coffee machine. And as the kind man he is, he bought them one. Six years later, he sent them a new one after noticing it was getting run down. Finally, in 2017, he sent the White House press corps a third gift. This time, it was a $1,700 espresso machine, along with a note reading "Keep up the good fight for truth, justice, and the American way. Especially for the truth part."


The White House was entirely lit by gas lights until 1891, when electricity was first installed. And as electric lighting was still a fairly new concept, the leader at that time, President Benjamin Harrison, was skeptical of the dangers and worried he would be shocked if he touched a light switch. His solution? He never once touched one himself.


While George Washington never lived in the White House and was long dead before the Oval Office was first used in 1909, Washington was an inspiration for the room's unusual shape. Washington reportedly insisted upon having rounded walls in his Philadelphia home so that it would be suitable for hosting formal gatherings, or levees. This design was followed when the Oval Office was constructed, although such formal receptions are no longer hosted in the space.


While John Adams moved into the White House in 1800, it wasn't until 1833 that indoor plumbing was installed. However, it wasn't until 1853 that all of its bathrooms had hot and cold water run to them.

Samantha Appleton/Wikimedia Commons

The executive residence has hosted its fair share of parties, including many banquets. The State Dining Room is the larger of two dining rooms in the White House and can seat up to 140 guests. Otherwise, the kitchen can serve hors-d'oeuvres to as many as 1,000 people. The White House kitchen is staffed by some of America's greatest chefs, who adjust their menus to the President's taste. Some requests include pork rinds covered in Tabasco for George H.W. Bush and Coca Cola-flavored jelly for Bill Clinton.


If you think back long and hard to your middle school history lessons, you'll remember that during an invasion in 1814, the British burned the White House down. Only 14 years after the original construction was finished, the same architect, James Hoban, was tasked with rebuilding. The White House 2.0 finally finished in 1817, though Hoban would return on occasion in the following years to add porticos on the north and south sides.


While it's unlikely that you can host your own nuptials there, there have been a number of weddings at the White House since it was first built. In fact, eighteen couples have gotten married at the White House, the most recent of whom tied the knot in 2013.

Samantha Appleton/Wikimedia Commons

When Michelle Obama's biography was recently published, readers were shocked to learn about the lonely, confining rules of living in the White House. In one detail, she revealed how she was never allowed to open a window in her own home. Residents are constantly monitored and not allowed to go anywhere alone, which can feel quite straining. President Truman called it a "great white jail" and a "glamorous prison." Julie Nixon complained of a lack of privacy due to the press and the guards.


If the president loses a crown, he won't have to go far to get it replaced. Seriously: There's a dentist's office in the basement of the building. In fact, the basement is essentially a mini-mall! With a chocolate shop, a florist, a carpenter, and more, there's little need for the residents to ever leave. The basement level is also where you'll find Nixon's bowling alley and Dwight Eisenhower's broadcast room.

After plans with French architect Pierre L'Enfant fell through, George Washington opened a contest to find a replacement design for the White House. The winner was an Irish immigrant named James Hoban, who, it turns out, was greatly influenced by a building in his native Ireland. The Leinster House, in Kildare, Dublin, strikingly resembles the American monument in several ways, including a triangular pediment supported by four columns, dentil moldings, and opposite-facing chimneys.

MOSSOT/Wikimedia Commons

Just outside of Bordeaux in the Perigord Noir region of France is the Chateau de Rastignac, a building that also bears an impressive resemblance to the White House. The building's records were mostly destroyed after the chateau was torched during World War II, but some claim that it was the inspiration for Thomas Jefferson's remodel of the White House during his two terms in office. Jefferson spent significant time in France as the U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is the man responsible for making the White House entirely wheelchair accessible. Today, it's common knowledge that FDR was paralyzed below the waist due to polio, but at the time, he kept his condition hush-hush. His additions of elevators and ramps made the White House one of the first wheelchair-friendly buildings in Washington.

Because of the Great Depression, Roosevelt had very little budget for annual repairs to the White House, and as a result, the building was literally collapsing. Nobody had realized how structurally unsound the old building was until engineers working on President Truman's balcony in 1948 found that, not only were the floorboards cracking and swaying beneath people's feet, the building's weakened wooden beams were at risk of giving way at any moment.

Most of what we associate with the White House takes place in the West Wing there's the Situation Room, the Cabinet Room, and of course, the Oval Office. However, none of that existed before Teddy Roosevelt called to have an executive office building built alongside the Residence in 1902. He moved his cabinet into the West Wing immediately, but not himself. It wasn't until 1909, when President Taft doubled the Wing's size, that the Oval Office was included. Taft was the first president ever to use it.


Part of the routine upkeep at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is making sure the White House stays true to its name. That means repainting every now and then to maintain its bright, white exterior. And that's a task that requires a whole lot of paint. At 55,000 square feet, it takes 570 gallons of paint to cover the entire surface. Naturally, painting isn't the only maintenance required at the White House. In fact, between $750,000 and $1.6 million is spent on maintenance each year.

Image via The White House Historical Association

When the first family moves into the Executive Residence, they take their pets with them. The White House has seen its fair share of cats and dogs, but it's also housed a number of more unusual pets. When the Coolidges were sent a raccoon to cook for Thanksgiving dinner, they opted instead to keep it as a pet, naming her Rebecca. President Harrison kept two opossums named Mr. Protection and Mr. Reciprocity. The craziest pets, though, were a pair of tiger cubs gifted to President Van Buren.

Vlad Podvorny/Wikimedia Commons

Like all high-profile buildings, the White House has a secret entrance for the president and secret visitors. It opens onto H street in Washington D.C. and passes through two tunnels and an alleyway before arriving at the White House basement. This secret entrance was designed in part as a response to World War II, as was an underground bomb-shelter the was built beneath the White House.

The book "The Residence" by Kate Anderson Brower, which was published in 2015, takes a look at the lives of the White House service staff and reveals the hidden world of what they call, simply, "the house." One of the particularities revealed in this book is that open staff positions are never advertised. All employees are found via word-of-mouth or recommendations. As a result, many employees belong to families that have been working in the White House for generations.


While you might assume that being the Commander-in-Chief means that everything at the White House is free, you'd be wrong. In fact, presidents and their families pay for meals, dry cleaning, hair and makeup, and staffer for parties.

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