1. George Washington Washington was an ultra-successful liquor distributor in the new country. He made rye whiskey, apple brandy and peach brandy in his Mount Vernon distillery. 2. John Adams Adams and Thomas Jefferson were close friends and correspondents — but they also had a bit of a rivalry. Adams’ dying words were, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” unaware that he had died hours earlier. In another shocker, both died on July 4, 1826. 3. Thomas Jefferson Jefferson and John Adams paid a visit to William Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1786. There, they chipped off a piece from Shakespeare’s chair as a souvenir. 4. James MadisonRead More →

Alabama Before Europeans landed on American shores, the upper stretches of the Alabama River in present-day Alabama used to be the home lands of a Native American tribe called – drum roll, please – the Alabama (Albaamaha in their own tribal language). The river and the state both take their names from the tribe, that’s clear enough, but the meaning of the name was another matter. Despite a wealth of recorded encounters with the tribe – Hernando de Soto was the first to make contact with them, followed by other Spanish, French and British explorers and settlers (who referred to the tribe, variously, as theRead More →

William Koch is one-half of the billionaire brother duo famous for their Koch Industries empire and their massive political influence — but he’s also a big-time buff of Wild West history. In 2011, he scooped up the gem of the genre when he paid $2.3 million for the world’s only authenticated photograph of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid.Read More →