The Founding Fathers were the most prominent figures during America’s Revolution. In honor of the Independence Day, here are some fun facts about a few of these influential men and the beginning of our great nation that are perfect to share while watching fireworks and enjoying the company of your friends and family this holiday.
- George Washington, the first president of the United States, is well known for being an honest man. He is less well known for his dance skills, although he had a reputation in his day for being a rather skilled dancer. Most depictions of Washington, show him with white hair, however, he was actually a redhead. In his younger years, his hair appeared white due to the popular 18th century custom of applying powder to the hair. After his inauguration, Washington and the first family resided in New York City and later relocated to Philadelphia; making him the only president to never reside in Washington D.C.
- Alexander Hamilton is as popular today as he was during his lifetime, thanks in part to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway play about his life. He famously died after being shot in a duel with Aaron Burr, but prior to that, he accomplished many things, such as founding the Treasury Department and strengthening the banking system. He was a skilled writer, which enabled him to leave his home in the British West Indies and settle in the colonies. During his life, he helped write the Federalist Papers, which ratified the Constitution, and he started a daily newspaper, which became the New York Post.
- Thomas Jefferson could read and write six languages and is regarded as the father of American Archaeology due to the methodology he formulated when performing excavations on his property at Monticello. Jefferson doubled the size of the country with the Louisiana Purchase and asked Merriweather Lewis to be on the lookout for giant sloths while on his expeditions with William Clark. While Lewis and Clark didn’t encounter giant sloths, they did tell Jefferson tales they had heard of the dangers of grizzly bears, of which there were two in an enclosure on the White House lawn for a time. He should hold a special place in the hearts and stomachs of many Americans, as he is credited with introducing macaroni and cheese to the United States after bringing recipes and pasta machines to the back from Europe.
- Benjamin Franklin was the tenth son born to a soap and candle maker. He had only two years of formal education but became regarded as one of the most intelligent men of his era. Some of his achievements include owning a print shop, publishing the Poor Richard’s Almanac, and inventing devices such as the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, the Franklin stove, swimming fins, and an odometer for his carriage. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence, but it is said that due to his wit and sense of humor he was not allowed to draft the document over fears that he would conceal a joke in it.
In honor of Independence Day, all Eastex Credit Union branches will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th. You may continue to access your accounts via online and mobile banking during this time, and our ATMs are available 24/7.
Sources: History.com, Smithsonianmag.com, and MountVernon.org.