This Fourth of July, impress all of your tipsy friends with your peer-reviewed knowledge of America’s favorite explosives.
The Fourth is here, and with it come the usual traditions: barbecue, fireworks, and the tacit agreement among Americans to not look too closely at the historical sausage factory that was the American Revolution. It’s commonplace knowledge that the Founders were all too human and that they were in many ways—take slavery, for example—creatures of their horrible, horrible century. But being trapped in a certain historical era doesn’t excuse everything. Some people are just colossal jerks regardless of the historical context. Here are three of the most revered Founding Fathers, along with a handful of awful things we’d rather forget.
John Adams Was Basically Darth Vader
These days, July 4th is all about barbecues, fireworks and a healthy dose of red, white and blue excesses. And as the most well-known symbol of U.S. patriotism, the American flag is often a prominent feature of Fourth of July parades and parties. Yet today’s flag has come a long way since the first design created more than two centuries ago. Here’s an intriguing look at the evolution of the American flag over time.