Interesting July 4th coincidences
June 24, 2023
Very few days of the year have the kind of coincidences with respect to our founding fathers attached to them like our national birthday on July 4.
The two men most responsible for the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were both in George Washington's original Cabinet. John Adams as vice president, Thomas Jefferson as secretary of state.
The men were friends but had a huge political rivalry with insinuations and innuendo going back and forth during a vicious presidential election campaign.
The Adams camp accused Jefferson of nasty rumors that years later we found out were true!
Eventually, after both leaving politics, they resumed their friendship and had a wealth of letters going back and forth on a variety of subjects that are a treasure trove of early American political thought.
Both men died on the 50th anniversary of the document they had worked so hard to finish, July 4, 1826. Adams last words were reportedly, "Jefferson still lives." But unbeknown to our second president, his rival and friend the third president had died earlier in the day.
The last founding father to become president, the fifth president of the United States, was James Monroe.
Monroe also died oddly enough on July 4, but a few years later in 1831. His predecessor President James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, was the main author of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution.
Madison was facing death in the last week of June 1836 and his doctors wanted to keep him alive until July 4. He was in a lot of pain and declined to drag out the inevitable, and he passed away on June 28, 1836.