Archive for April 12th, 2009

July 4, 1826 . . . What Are the Odds?

April 12, 2009

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


John Adams (1735-1826)

I’ve always loved this trivia question: Which two U.S. presidents died on the very same day? Well, not only did John Adams (the second president) and Thomas Jefferson (the third president) die on the same day, the day was July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence!

The two presidents’ lives were inextricably linked. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence with Adams and Ben Franklin. When Adams was elected president in 1796, Jefferson was named his vice president. (In those days, whoever received the second-most popular votes for president was named vice president.)

Adams and Jefferson became bitter political rivals but later settled their differences and became the best of friends. In their final days, they both hoped to live to see the fiftieth anniversary of their country. Adams’ final words reportedly were, (more…)