For those of you who don’t keep up with America, July Fourth is a big thing here because that’s the day the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, effectively creating the U.S. (OK, in reality the Declaration was likely signed on a later date and in intervals, but keeping it to just the one day saves a lot on fireworks).
So it’s one of those “more ironic than weird” coincidences that one of the founding fathers and second President of the United States, John Adams, met his maker on July 4, 1826: 50 years to the day after America was born.
Where it Gets Weird:
Right before John Adams died, he muttered, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” since the two enjoyed a bit of a bromance in the twilight of their lives (Jefferson of course taking the White House right after Adams).
However, little did the Adams’s (or the country) know, Jefferson had just died a few hours prior, also on the fiftieth anniversary of American independence.
We admit that having just one of these men die on July 4, 1826 as opposed to any of the 18,261 other days after signing the Declaration is kinda weird, but having both these men die on this day?
Where it Gets Even Weirder:
So, two of the nation’s first three presidents died on the same day. So by our calculations, it’d be like a thousand presidents before you’d have another die on the Fourth of July.
Or, you know, two. Our fifth President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831. Yep, three of our first five Presidents died on Independence Day.
While we’re on the July 4th thing, can we also throw in the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest and most pivotal battle in the Civil War, a day that determined the fate of the nation Adams and Jefferson helped create? It ended on July 4, 1863.
And that victory was crucial for the Union forces because, in a completely unrelated battle, Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s six-month campaign against Vicksburg, Mississippi finally ended in the city’s unconditional surrender.
Also on July Fourth.
By the way, we said July Fourth was a big deal here, that may not go for places like Vicksburg, who didn’t celebrate it as a holiday until after World War II. Possibly because they were still bitter over the Civil War thing, or because they’re just worried that the vengeful July 4 spirit will return to take out another president.