11 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Sam Adams

His name comes up in lots of conversations about beer, but Samuel Adams was an American patriot and a huge influence on the Revolutionary War. Here are a few things you may not know about this founding father.

1. Samuel Adams came from a prominent family.

The Adams clan was a very politically active family in Boston; John (destined to become the second president of the United States) and Samuel Adams were second cousins.  The family was also very large: Samuel was the 10th child out of 12. Unfortunately, only two siblings survived past childhood. 

2. Adams’ education was paid for with flour and molasses.

Adams spent his time at Harvard learning law, philosophy, and Latin. His mother did not want her son to be a lawyer and discouraged the pursuit. Instead of choosing law, the fresh graduate decided to try apprenticing as a merchant, but found he did not have a head for business and quickly abandoned it— his real calling was politics.

3. His father was a founding member of the Boston Caucus.

The Boston Caucus was a political organization that helped spark the American Revolution. The group had enormous sway in government and would often handpick political figures— Boston Caucus-favored candidates rarely lost. Samuel Adams was an active member of all the various branches. The group also worked closely with the Loyal Nine and Sons of Liberty, other patriot organizations.

4. Sam Adams didn’t brew beer.

Despite popular belief, the Founding Father never brewed beer. He did, however, work for his father’s malt house. The business simply made malt that was then sold to breweries. After his father passed away in 1748, Adams took over the family business. Opponents would use this information to tease Adams, and call him a “maltster.”

5. He was not great at being a maltster.

Unfortunately for the malt company, Adams still wasn’t much of a businessman and instead gave the majority of his attention to politics. The malthouse closed shortly after he took over.

6. He wasn’t very committed to being a tax collector, either.  

From 1756 to 1764, Adams worked as a tax collector. As tax rates mounted, it became more difficult for colonists to foot the bill. Ever the ally of the underdog and always a poor businessman, Adams decided to look the other way. By not collecting debts, Adams earned the undying affection of taxpayers, even when the government ran out of money.

Political opponents tried to use the deficit as a means to discredit Adams. Eventually, his friends ended up paying off the majority of the shortfall, while a town meeting cleared away the rest. It was decided that the uncollected debts were unavoidable, and Adams’ reputation emerged relatively unscathed.

7. He wasn’t great at sticking to a budget.

Adams’ financial struggles weren’t limited to his professional life as a tax collector and malthouse operator—he struggled to manage his own money as well. As such, his family was often on the brink of poverty. Thankfully, his second wife, Elizabeth Wells, was resilient and found creative ways to keep the home comfortable with a low income.

8. He started his own newspaper.

Adams and his friends started a newspaper called the Independent Advertiser in 1748. The publication consisted of anonymous essays written about colonial politics. Adams’ own writing was heavily influenced by John Locke and argued for reform in government.

9. He was called the “Father of America.”

Although he usually wasn’t the leader or at the top of the chain of command, Adams was often chosen to be rebellious colonists’ spokesperson. He was not very attractive and had a weak voice, but was said to move audiences by sheer intelligence and passion. Despite his unglamorous disposition, after the Boston Tea Party the city celebrated him as hero. Thomas Jefferson called him “truly the Man of the Revolution.” 

10. He might not actually be the man on the beer label. 

Although a popular beer shares his name, it may not share Adams’ face. Adams grayed at an early age, dressed sloppily, and had dull, washed-out eyes. John Adams once described him, "in common appearance he was a plain, simple, decent citizen, of middling stature, dress, and manners.” In other words, not exactly a looker!  

11. The grave of Samuel Adams is viewed more than any other American patriot. 

This has more to do with geography than popularity. The simple metal disk marking his resting place is smack in the middle of Boston’s Granary Burying-Ground; you can peer through the fence to see it. Since the graveyard is in such a central location, and you can view the grave without leaving the curb, many tourists can see it as they walk by. 

The New Apple Watch SE Is Now Available on Amazon

Apple/Amazon
Apple/Amazon

Apple products are notorious for their high price tags. From AirPods to iPads to MacBooks, it can be difficult to find the perfect piece of tech on sale when you are ready to buy. Luckily, for those who have had their eye on a new Apple Watch, the Apple Watch SE is designed with all the features users want but at a lower starting price of $279— and they're available on Amazon right now.

The SE exists as a more affordable option when compared to Apple's new Series 6 line of watches. This less expensive version has many of the same functions of its pricier brethren, except for certain features like the blood oxygen sensor and electrical heart sensor. To make up for the truncated bells and whistles, the SE comes in at least $120 cheaper than the Series 6, which starts at $400 and goes up to $800. The SE comes with technical improvements on previous models as well, such as the fall detection, a faster processor, a larger screen, water resistance, and more.

Now available in 40mm ($279) and 44mm ($309), both SE models offer a variety of colors to choose from, such as sliver, space gray, and pink. If you want cellular connection, you’ll have to pay a bit more for the 40mm ($329) and the 44mm ($359).

For more, head to Amazon to see the full list of offerings from Apple.

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50 Years of Monday Night Football's Memorable Theme Music

iStock
iStock

Monday Night Football turns 50 years old today—notably on a Monday! And as the Raiders and Saints warm up for tonight's kickoff, fans will know it's game time when they hear four distinct, descending notes. But it wasn't always that way. The biggest game of the week has been soundtracked by a handful of theme songs, starting back on September 21, 1970.

When Monday Night Football premiered on ABC, it was accompanied by the thoroughly groovy, Hammond organ-heavy “Score” by Charles Fox. The composer had previously written the theme for ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and he would later make a name for himself doing the theme songs for Happy Days and The Love Boat, as well as composing Roberta Flack’s Grammy-winning “Killing Me Softly with His Song.”

“No network had ever programmed a regular sporting event in the evening in prime time,” Fox wrote in his autobiography, and though no one could know what a juggernaut the show would become, he set about writing a funky soul-jazz tune. The song was released under the alias “Bob’s Band”—presumably because Fox was employed at the time by Bob Israel’s Score Productions, a music company specializing in theme songs and background music.

Fox retained its rights over that song, but the show moved on to a new opener after a few years. “Monday Night Football is still on the air, but my theme was replaced after seven years by someone named … Bob Israel,” Fox wrote of his former boss. Well, almost. First, there was a version simply called “ABC – Monday Night Football Theme” that aired from 1976 to 1981. Then in 1982, Israel’s Score Productions was brought in to update that song. The three composers of the 1976 piece unsuccessfully sued for copyright infringement.

Then, in 1989, Johnny Pearson’s “Heavy Action” rang in a new era of watching live sports from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy. Though the company had retained the rights to the song a decade previously, they used it primarily as background music and didn't make it an official theme until '89. The first four notes of the British composer’s opener became synonymous with American football, and the song is likely one of the most widely and easily recognized themes in television history.

Also in 1989, country star Hank Williams Jr. reworked his earlier hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" into a bar-room blues rocker that spoke of "turning on [his] TV for some pigskin fun." The song was a huge success and ran in various forms on the program for over 20 years. Williams enthusiastically growling "Are you ready for some football?" became as identifiable to the show as the opening notes of "Heavy Action."

Unfortunately, in 2011, Monday Night Football (which in 2006 moved from ABC to ESPN) dropped Williams' theme after he made controversial statements about President Barack Obama on Fox News. The network reverted to featuring "Heavy Action" most prominently, and in 2015 they reworked the theme yet again. That intro, which ran before each of the season's games, featured archive videos and computer generated players to highlight some of the greatest plays and playmakers in the history of the broadcast.

In 2017, Hank Williams Jr. and all his "Rowdy Friends" made their way back to the top of the football broadcast, but they've been replaced again in 2020 for Monday Night Football's 50th anniversary season with a cover of Little Richard's "Rip It Up," courtesy of Butcher Brown.

Yeah, we're definitely ready for some football.