Here in the States, July 4th is our Independence Day as it commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Interestingly, 50 years after that patriotic day, two former presidents–Thomas Jefferson (82) and John Adams (90)–died on July 4, 1826. They had previously been the last surviving members of the original American revolutionary group. Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence too.
After the American Revolution was over, the two men disagreed on how to run the newly independent nation. Adams believed in a strong central government, while Jefferson supported giving more power to the state government. A heated political rivalry ensued.
Luckily, in 1812, the two made amends and resumed their friendship. In fact, Adams last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” This was not true, however, as Jefferson died five hours earlier. Jefferson, who was in ill-health, vowed to live until the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. His last words were, “Is it the Fourth? I resign my spirit to God, my daughter, and my country.”
Although it’s hard to top that kind of patriotism, have a great Independence Day!