10 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About American History

Published May 9, 2014
Updated November 7, 2023
George Washington Whiskey

Source: iFood

6. Aside from being the first President of the United States, George Washington was also quite the booze hound – and manufacturer. Washington was a savvy businessman who owned one of the largest distilleries in 18th century America, and by 1799 alone he was producing 11,000 gallons of whiskey.

In 1797 George Washington’s farm manager, a Scot named James Anderson, convinced his employer that producing whiskey made from corn and rye grown on the plantation would be a natural complement to his milling business. Washington erected the 2,250 square foot distillery, making it among the largest whiskey distilleries in early America.

Today, the two-story stone distillery is reconstructed and operates seasonally, mashing, fermenting and distilling grain as it was done in the eighteenth century.

7. On September 25, 1820, Salem, NJ held a trial against… tomatoes. The general populace believed that tomatoes were poisonous, so Robert Johnson stepped in to prove them wrong. To do so, he bravely stood before a crowd at the courthouse and consumed a whole basket of the delectable fruit. Not dying after consumption, the trial was promptly dismissed.

Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.