Since 1941, this federal holiday has paid tribute to the birthdate of our nation when our forefathers in the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence on July 2nd, 1776. Two days later, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence. Thanks to Thomas Jefferson, this historic document still holds the vital key to how our country has stood the test of time.
Here is an interesting July 4 fact that many of us may not realize, but according to the Constitution Daily, “It is a fact of American history that three Founding Father Presidents—John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe—died on July 4, the Independence Day anniversary. But was it just a coincidence?
“On July 4, 1831, James Monroe, the fifth President, died at the age of 73 at his son-in-law’s home in New York City. Monroe had been ill for some time and newspapers had reported on Monroe’s illness before his passing.
“Local and national newspapers were also quick to report after Monroe’s death that they thought his July 4 passing was a ‘remarkable’ coincidence, at the least, since Jefferson and Adams had both also died on July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
“The oddness of the events wasn’t lost on the New York Evening Post in 1831, when the newspaper founded by Alexander Hamilton called it a ‘coincidence that has no parallel.’
“Three of the four presidents who have left the scene of their usefulness and glory expired on the anniversary of the national birthday, a day which of all others, had it been permitted them to choose [they] would probably had selected for the termination of their careers,” the Post reported on July 5, 1831.
There is an interesting blog post at Boston University’s History Society that excerpts Margaret P. Battin’s research on the coincidental deaths of Adams and Jefferson. Battin evaluated the circumstances under six different criteria, ranging from mere coincidence and divine intervention, to the men’s willingness or desire to die on the anniversary day.
“But back in 1826, Daniel Webster’s eulogy for Adams and Jefferson spoke to a point many people believed: that something other than coincidence was involved. Webster remarked that ‘The concurrence of their death on the anniversary of Independence has naturally awakened stronger emotions. It cannot but seem striking and extraordinary, that these two should live to see the 50th year from the date of that act, that they should complete that year, and that then, on the day which had fast linked forever their own fame with their country’s glory, the heavens should open to receive them both at once. As their lives themselves were the gifts of Providence, who is not willing to recognize in their happy termination, as well as in their long continuance, proofs that our country and its benefactors are objects of His care?’”
Coincidence or not, perhaps this amazing fact will add to your July 4 memories. And if you’d like to watch some patriotic movies over the weekend to help warm your patriot’s heart, may I suggest three that are among my favorites: First, dating back to the 1940’s, is a foot-tapping musical, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” starring James Cagney. Next is a Mel Gibson film, “The Patriot,” which details how ordinary people were drawn into our quest for independence through personal tragedy. Last is one of my all-time favorite musicals, “1776” which historically is pretty accurate and loaded with wonderful songs.
So do celebrate America’s birthday! In these troubling times, Denton County residents all have much to be thankful for as we celebrate our nation’s independence.
Please enjoy your Independence Day festivities but also remember that these freedoms which we so enjoy have been secured for us by the brave men and women who proudly serve in our nation’s military, and without their sacrifices, we might not see Old Glory unfurled throughout our land.
Happy Fourth of July!
[email protected] or phone her at 972-434-3960. You can also stop by her office in the Southwest Courthouse, 6200 Canyon Falls Drive, Suite 900, in Flower Mound.