As the Fourth of July came and went, most of us (including myself) were preoccupied with barbequing, firework watching, and perhaps some heavy drinking. While we all know this summer holiday marks our country’s self-declared independence, many do not know about the famous men who passed on the fourth.
As history has it, both John Adams (second president) and Thomas Jefferson (third president) died on July 4, 1826. They were the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence and went on to become presidents. It is said they died within hours of each other after slowly declining in health toward their deaths. Another important figure, James Monroe (president number five), also died on the Fourth of July in 1831. All three of these presidential deaths seem to support the case that someone can hold out just a few more days or weeks for an important event. As these men seem to demonstrate—two patriots who perhaps wanted to see one more celebration of the country they founded—maybe we have more control over the timing of our deaths than we thought.
In contrast to those famous Independence Day deaths, our current president’s daughter, Malia Obama, was born in Chicago on July 4, 1998. Former president Calvin Coolidge was also born on the Fourth in 1872. And so, the deaths and births of famous leaders can happen on the same day we choose to celebrate the beginnings of our country. Indeed, this day marks not only our birth as an independent country but also the death of an old, monarchical era. Perhaps the Fourth of July has more to do with the natural cycle of life than we thought.
- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Fourth of July (newsfeed.time.com)
- Don’t Forget Why We Celebrate The Fourth of July….And Fireworks…. (noahring.wordpress.com)