Politics Archives - Page 3 of 3 - 500 Ways

Original US Declaration of Independence

In Thomas Jefferson’s first draft of the Declaration of Independence, he included a proposal to put an end to slavery.

Ben Franklin was on board with that, even though he owned two slaves at the time and held as many as seven previously. Ben also allowed the printing of rewards for the capture of slaves in his printing shop, and let slaves be sold in his general store, although he later became a staunch abolitionist.

Other politicians forced Thomas Jefferson to delete the anti-slavery portion in the final draft. They were so concerned with what they considered the most important first step, the freeing of America, and didn’t want to dilute their statement with a message about slavery.

California Belongs to Great Britain

California belongs to Great Britain. In 1579 Sir Francis Drake landed near Laguna Beach and met with the Indians who lived there. They thought he was a god and gave him all their land. He made a brass plaque decreeing California as property of the Queen. In 1933 a man found the plaque in the sand and took it home as a piece of scrap metal. Four years later, still having no idea that the plate with the faint old English lettering was anything of value, he junked it on the beach north of San Francisco. Then another man found it and took it to his home for possible car repair material. Fortunately, he had experts examine the lettering and discovered he had England’s deed to California.