America’s 238th birthday is right around the corner on Friday, July 4, 2014. While family cookouts and community fireworks will be the center attractions for the day; take some time to learn about the characters in American history and the roles the played in the American Revolutionary war.
Here are some family friendly trivia tidbits and fun facts about America's Founding Fathers:
- George Washington proposed to Martha after knowing her for only three weeks
- Betsy Ross lost two husbands to the Revolutionary War
- John Hancock was one of the richest men in the colonies at the age of 27
- Paul Revere had sixteen children
- John Adams was chased by British warships as he sailed the Atlantic on the way to complete his diplomatic mission to France
- Samuel Adams was fired by future delegate to the Continental Congress Thomas Cushing because he wasn't any good at business
- Benjamin Franklin knew Dr. Guillotin, the man after whom the killing device, the "guillotine," used so prominently in the French Revolution, was named
- James Madison stood only 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed only 100 pounds
- Thomas Jefferson narrowly escaped capture by General Banastre Tarleton, the infamous villain that Mel Gibson fought against in the movie "The Patriot”
- George Washington had 9 brothers and sisters
- Betsy Ross sat in the pew next to George Washington's pew at church. This may provide circumstantial evidence to prove the Betsy Ross Flag story since it proves they knew one another and this association may have been the reason Washington allegedly approached her to make the "first flag of the United States."
- John Hancock, in his role as President of the Continental Congress, signed George Washington's commission as Commander of the Continental Army
- Paul Revere was elected by the people of Boston to write to Martha Washington to ask for a lock of George Washington's hair after he died? They received the lock of hair and Paul Revere made a golden urn to store it in
- John Adams lived longer than any former President until Ronald Reagan
- Samuel Adams was one of only two siblings out of 12 that survived past the age of 3
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote a piece specifically for the "glass armonica," an instrument created by Benjamin Franklin
- James Madison had epilepsy and chronic arthritis
- Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and Thomas Clark on their famous expedition to explore the western United States
- George Washington and Robert E. Lee, the commander of Confederate forces during the American Civil War, were third cousins, twice removed
- George Washington was called "The Old Fox" by Lord Cornwallis, the British general Washington defeated to end the Revolutionary War
- Betsy Ross was nicknamed the "Little Rebel" by British soldiers who forcibly occupied her house during the occupation of Philadelphia
- Betsy Ross married the man who brought her news of her husband's death
- John Hancock was elected Governor of Massachusetts nine times
- John Hancock and Samuel Adams escaped from British soldiers on their way to Lexington after being warned by Paul Revere on the night of his famous midnight ride
- Paul Revere was captured by British soldiers on the night of his famous midnight ride
- The copper works started by Paul Revere for the Continental Congress during the American Revolution still exists today
- John Adams was accused of planning to marry his daughter Nabby off to King George III to start a new monarchy
- John Adams wrote the longest lasting and still surviving Constitution in the world
- Samuel Adams had six children, but only two survived to adulthood
- Samuel Adams was the second cousin of President John Adams
- Benjamin Franklin played Sudoku
- Benjamin Franklin helped start the first public hospital in the United States, as well as the first volunteer firefighters association and the first lending library
- James Madison was the first President of the United States to wear long pants instead of knee breaches
- James Madison was introduced to his future wife Dolley by the infamous Aaron Burr, the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel
- Thomas Jefferson was six feet tall and had red hair
- Thomas Jefferson was one of the primary founders of the University of Virginia
- Martha Washington burned all of the letters between she and George to protect their privacy
- Thomas Jefferson used to greet people at the White House in a robe and slippers
- President James Madison fled Washington DC when the British invaded in 1812 and burned the city
- Benjamin Franklin was once injured while trying to electrocute a turkey
- Samuel Adams is sometimes called "The Father of the American Revolution"
- John Adams was nicknamed "His Rotundity" by opposing members in Congress while he was Vice-President
- Paul Revere was a famous church bell manufacturer
- John Hancock's signature was the ONLY one on the FIRST Declaration of Independence
- Betsy Ross was kicked out of church because she married the wrong guy
As you can see, there are loads of family friendly fun facts about our American founding fathers. These fun facts would make a great trivia game for your 4th of July cookout guests to play! Winners could take home a batch of groovy summer cupcakes!
Have a safe and festive 4th of July! Happy 238th Birthday America!
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