Fact or Fiction?

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By Ron Kaiser

Legend has it that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 4thof July a few hours apart on the country’s 50thAnniversary in 1826. Some writings suggest Adam’s final words were “Jefferson survives.”

Not likely. No documented evidence substantiates this rumor. Even if Adams had uttered that sentence, he would have been wrong. Jefferson died several hours earlier.

It is true, however, that in 1831, just five years later, fifth President James Monroe joined with Jefferson and Adams to die on July 4.


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