The 50th anniversary of July 4, 1776.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two of the main architects of the American Revolution, long estranged due to political differences, (and Jefferson referring, in public, to “political heresies” – meaning that he felt there was some orthodoxy and Adams was a heretic) had finally reconciled (engineered by Benjamin Rush, who thought it a shame that these two great patriots, once dear friends, would go their graves without making up). Then followed a 12-year correspondence between the two aging statesmen … a correspondence that has to be read to be believed.
And then … on the same day … which happened to be July 4 … which happened to be the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence … they both died. Within hours of each other.
I don’t even know what more to say about that.
John Adams’ last words were “Jefferson … still lives.” (Dammit, that just kills me.) Amazingly, though, is that Jefferson actually had died a couple of hours earlier.
Thomas Jefferson’s last words (and this always just chokes me up – I’m choked up right now): “Is it the fourth?”
Yes, Mr. Jefferson. It is the fourth. And thank you. Thank you both.