Fun Video Facts
The videos launched as promotional videos for POTUSMatch.com are not simply entertainment! Did you catch some of the little fun or interesting references hidden?
The Handmaidens on John Adams, John Quincy Adams & Samuel Adams
- The "Founding Father" term was not integrated into our society until Ohio Senator Warren Harding used it in a speech at the Republican National Convention in 1916. It can refer to a few types of people: The "signers" of the Declaration of Independence, the "framers" of the U.S. Constitution, or it can also generally mean those at all various ranks whose contributions helped form the United States of America. With these definitions, both John and his second cousin Samuel were "signers" as well as contributors to the cause of creating a new nation, though they each played drastically different roles.
- Though John Quincy is the first President we have a daguerreotype/photograph of on record, he was not in office when it was taken; it was taken in 1843 when he was 76 years old. The first sitting President to have a photograph taken was William Henry Harrison in 1841, taken immediately after he had given his inaugural address.
- John did receive two degrees from Harvard; the first one was a four year degree in 1755 with no particular focus; he ranked 14th out of 24 in his class. He had a personal desire to focus on law, but his father was a Deacon and wanted him to consider joining the clergy. Knowing that law would only increase his secret ambition for fame and recognition (something that greatly conflicted with his Puritan upbringing), John would continue at Harvard for two more years with a focus on law, graduating with a Masters in 1758. He would become the first of eight Presidents to hold a Harvard degree, which also includes his son John Quincy.
- Though largely unpopular, John co-defended eight British soldiers and their leader Captain Preston in the Boston Massacre, which had led to the deaths of six civilians, including an African American man named Crispus Attucks. This event further pushed colonists into the mindset of "independency" from Britain. Though it is unclear why John defended the British - whether it be a respect for the law or the idea that it could earn him a seat in Boston's legislature if handled well - he took the assignment and the British were found not guilty. It is a ruling that is controversial to this day, but it did boost his career (and he did get that legislative seat) even though he had fought for the "other side."
- John Quincy (and his father) was an anti-slavery advocate. In 1841, after he had already served as President, he represented defendants in United States vs. The Amistad Africans in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. He successfully argued that the Africans should not be extradited but instead should be considered free even though they had seized control of a Spanish ship that had been transporting them all illegally to be sold as slaves. John Quincy won their freedom, and they were given the chance to stay in the U.S. or return to Africa. Given the continued divide over the issue of slavery in the country, it was a very controversial issue at the time. John Quincy never billed for his services on this case.
- As it was correctly pointed out in the video, Samuel (or "Sam") has never been President; the highest level of elected government he achieved was Governor of Massachusetts for two terms.
- Though the video states that Samuel organized the Boston Tea Party, he certainly was not a part of it because he enjoyed tea. Also, just how much he led the charge for this protest is questionable to this day. He was a member of "The Sons of Liberty", a Patriot political organization whose members were largely kept in secret to protect them from punishment for the various acts of protest they displayed towards the British government. Samuel is often credited as the founding member of this group, though because there are few records it is a hard claim to support. However, he was a member, and it was The Sons of Liberty (not just Samuel) that helped organize the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773, in which men (some disguised as American Indians) boarded ships and destroyed over 300 crates of tea sent by the East India Company. This was done in demonstration of the tea now carrying a tax that had been approved by Britain, but not the American colonists. Many men who participated left the city almost immediately after the event, and most kept their roles secret for years. Currently 116 men are known to have participated, though Samuel Adams is not listed as one of them. Samuel is only known to have publicized the upcoming event and to later defend the actions the men had taken.
- Though Samuel may have liked beer, the beer called "Samuel Adams" (often referred to as "Sam Adams") that we see on store shelves today was founded in 1984 by three men in Boston. The name was used in honor of Samuel's role in the American Revolution. Samuel himself has often been described as a brewer, but evidence suggests that he only produced the malt necessary for brewing beer.
- Though one of the women in the video express frustration that she left Ben Franklin for Samuel, there are two points here. First, the joke that Benjamin Franklin was never President (though he is someone who some often list as being one). Second, it touches upon Benjamin's reputation as a ladies man. Benjamin never had any reservations about pursuing married women or women of "disrepute." The one time he married it was to a woman who already had a husband (though the man had abandoned her), and Benjamin cheated on her constantly until her death.