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7 Delightfully Random History Facts

Winter can be a little dull, so we’re going to liven things up today with 7 delightfully random history facts! From the secrets of our Founding Fathers to surprising uses for condiments, this roundup of historical facts may surprise you.


John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Founding Fathers and the 2nd and 3rd Presidents of the United States respectively, died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826 – exactly 50 years after the adoption of The Declaration of Independence. The two had a rocky relationship as they forged a new political system in the colonies, but ultimately spent their “golden  years” as friends. Adams’ last words were “Jefferson lives”, though Jefferson had died just hours before his political counterpart.

OTC Ketchup

Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine by an Ohio physician named John Cook. He claimed that the nutrients in tomatoes could aid in relief from diarrhea, indigestion, rheumatism, and jaundice. It wasn’t popularized as a condiment until the late 19th century!

Cheers, George!

George Washington opened a whiskey distillery after his presidency. By 1799, Washington’s distillery was the largest in the country, producing 11,000 gallons of un-aged whiskey. After Washing’s death in 1799, the distillery was destroyed by a fire in 1814 and was never reconstructed. In 1997, archaeologists discovered the distillery’s original foundation and set out to reconstruct it for the next 10 years. It opened to the public in 2007 and remains in operation today!

“Cute feed bag!”

During the Great Depression, people made clothes out of food sacks. People used flour bags, potato sacks, and anything made out of burlap. Because of this trend, food distributors started to make their sacks more colorful to help people remain a little bit fashionable.

Death by Molasses

Everyone learned about the Boston Tea Party in school, but we bet you’ haven’t heard about the Boston Molasses Disaster. On January 15, 1919, an enormous cast-iron tank filled to the brim with sticky molasses exploded, sending 2.5 million gallons of crude molasses spewing into the streets of Boston. Waves of molasses 15 feet high reached speeds of 35 miles per hour, demolishing everything in its path, including buildings, horses and people.

Oh, Ben.

In 1998, 1,200 bones from 10 human bodies were found in the basement of Ben Franklin’s home in London during a reconstruction project. Though this seems like a rather dark discovery (and one that might make you rethink the moral character of this former Revolutionary), the likely explanation is that Franklin was studying anatomy. Phew.


We hope you’ve enjoyed these 7 delightfully random history facts! We’ll keep finding ways to keep you entertained through every season. 

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