Tag Archives: Revolutionary War

The Brief Existence of Franklin, America’s Craziest State

“Fine, if you won’t let us be a state, we’ll do our own thing.”

~Citizens of Franklin       

franklin map

Americans (ourselves absolutely included) are garbage at geography.  Our hypothesis for this is that we’ve had to learn the name and (relative) location of 50 states, and that’s just a lot of names and places to process.  America’s pretty big, you know.  People from other countries should learn to give us a break.  But this is not an article about geography (thank God), but rather, about how we very nearly had 51 states that we would have been forced to memorize in grade school.

This is the story of Franklin, the almost-14th state of the United States of America, who paid government officials in deer pelts.

The Brief Existence of Franklin, America’s Craziest State

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America’s Drunkest Presidents: George Washington

“Listen, it’s the 18th century, you’d drink to chase the boredom too.”

~George Washington

washington

America loves drinking so much that a bunch of people set us aside and said, “America, we think you may have a problem,” and actively banned the entire nation from drinking booze.  And our response to that was to say, “In the entire history of our nation, we have never repealed an amendment.  Until now, GIVE US BACK OUR BOOZE YOU ASSHATS.”  That’s history to be proud of, and it’s no surprise that many of the greatest figures behind this, the greatest country in the world, are also some of history’s greatest drinkers.

That is why it is our duty, and frankly our pleasure, to introduce the latest running series to America Fun Fact of the Day.  Welcome to America’s Drunkest Presidents, where we look at the drinking habits of our greatest presidents and tell you which ones were the drunkest.  This is important work we’re doing here.  This is God’s work.  One nation under God.  One nation under drunk.  Like, like the, you know.  Like the Pledge of Allegiance?  Only,   Okay, cards on the table, we’re pretty soused right now.

Let’s start with our first president, who spent more money on booze in a year than most people do in a decade.

America’s Drunkest Presidents:  George Washington

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The Bermuda Gunpowder Plot

“Well, we’re not NOT stealing gunpowder.”

~Colonel Henry Tucker

bermuda stamp

Bermuda is a small island nation some 600 miles off the coast of North Carolina  primarily known for the fact that planes and boats historically like to disappear around it.  But, it also has impacted history with America more than just being responsible for the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly (that was a Bermuda Triangle thing, right?).  Bermuda was colonized with the British around the same time we were, and while they’re still technically a British Overseas Territory, they have a shared history with America, and have even been known to help us out on occasion.

One such occasion was the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot of 1775, where America’s young revolution was aided by some Bermudians who decided to shout, “Fuck you, dad” to all of the United Kingdom.

The Bermuda Gunpowder Plot

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Samuel Whittemore: The Most Badass Grumpy Old Person in American History

“Do not fuck with me.”

~Samuel Whittemore

samuel whittemore

So long as they don’t accidentally go vegetarian or something, all Americans turn into badass zero-fuck-giving machines once they reach a certain age.  The whispers of mortality apparently change the American temperament as they get louder, turning our nation’s elderly into stubborn, fighting-off-bears, beating-up-a-robber-after-getting-shot-in-the-head badasses.  This is not a recent quality only seen in the Greatest Generation, it’s engrained in our DNA.  Trust us on this, if you think you’re kind of soft and weak currently, you should really do something about your self-esteem.  But also, you should know that by the time you hit 80 you’re basically going to be a superhero.

That being said, no matter how badass you get in your old age, you still won’t have anything on Samuel Whittemore, the oldest known colonial combatant in the Revolutionary War.  Trust us on this.

Samuel Whittemore:  The Most Badass Grumpy Old Person in American History

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The 1778 American Invasion of Whitehaven, England

“Yeah I’ll invade England, whatever, I do what I want, you ain’t the boss of me.”

~John Paul Jones

whitehaven

Considering that we wouldn’t have ended up becoming a country if the end result had gone a different way, it’s surprising how little about the Revolutionary War the average American is aware of.  We know about the Declaration of Independence, and Concord and Lexington at the start of things.  We know Bunker Hill.  We know that Benedict Arnold was an asshole, and that Nathanael Greene was a badass, and that Yorktown pretty much sealed the whole deal for us.  But apart from the founding fathers, and some iconic imagery of George Washington, when we think of the American Revolution we think of the early battles up until, say, Saratoga…and then, us eventually winning.

There were four years of war between Saratoga and Yorktown, and in general our history books kind of gloss over that period.  Pretty much the only people talking about that time period were, say, the screenwriters for The Patriot, and even with that you’d not immediately recall that the climax of that movie was 1781’s Battle of Cowpens.  We bring this up not to shame our history teachers—we get it, there’s a lot of important stuff to get through, and you might as well focus on the greatest hits—but rather to remind America that there was a lot of badassery going down in the American Revolution that gets swept under the rug.  We’re here to lift up that rug and show you those awesome, awesome dustballs.

Let’s talk about the time America invaded England.

The 1778 American Invasion of Whitehaven, England

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Get Your Hands Off My Bottle: A Short History of the Whiskey Rebellion

“Do.  Not.  Fuck.  With.  Our.  Whiskey.”

~18th Century Americans/19th Century Americans/20th Century Americans/You Get The Gist

whiskey rebellion

America was founded under a few core principles.  Now, it’s been a while since we’ve skimmed through the Declaration of Independence, and if you put a gun to our head we’d still not be able to tell you what the Third Amendment of the Constitution does, but we’re pretty sure America is all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness through the imbibement of alcohol.  Nope, that’s right, we nailed it on the first try, don’t even try to ask Google if that’s right they’ll just steal your cookies and put them on boat servers and sell them to Nigerian Princes (besides being keen historians, we’re also internet experts).

We bring this up because we’d like to tell you about a very important history tale, from America’s distant past.  Imagine, if you will, a time when America’s very existence could be threatened by even the smallest of threats.  Picture a government trying to tax our booze to pay for war debts.  And imagine people rising up and saying, “Get your hands off our fucking booze” with enough anger and violence that it marks the only time that an acting President led troops to battle.

Yes, that’s right, we’re here to talk about the Whiskey Rebellion, the relatively minor yet strangely important hiccup in American history that, naturally, was centered around our nation’s love of alcohol.

Get Your Hands Off My Bottle:  A Short History of the Whiskey Rebellion

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America Fun Fact of the Day 7/3- July 3rd in American History

“You want us to do a fun fact?  We’re too busy getting the ambulances on stand-by for when we celebrate July 4th, dammit.”

~AFFotD staff

As the cases of beers in your fridge and the excessive amounts of meat in your freezers are now doubt telling you, tomorrow is the goddamned 4th of July.  You’re going to be drunk on beer, fireworks, and more beer.  We will too.  The difference is that we love to pregame.  So we’re just going to bide our tie with…
Today’s American Day in American History (America Edition)

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Andrew Jackson Will Shoot You in the Face

“How have you not done a fun fact about me yet?  I ought to duel the shit out of you for that.”

~Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson

Every day, Americans deal with opposition, antagonization, and frustration at the actions of their fellow man.  Some of us bite our tongue and move on, choosing to take the high road.  Some of us complain about perceived injustices until they feel their grievances have been addressed.  AFFotD writers just stare at the person responsible and say in an eerily intense manner, “You’re next, fucker,” while scribbling their name down on a sheet of paper labeled Enemy’s List (admittedly, this list is often vague, with entries like, “That popped collar tool who cut me in line at Costco that one time.”)

And of course, some truly great Americans just decide to shoot their problems in the face.  Americans like Andrew “Middle Names Are For People Who Aren’t Called Old Hickory” Jackson.

As seen here unfortunately portrayed by John Kerry

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