If there’s one truth Americans all hold to be self-evident, it’s that we rightly celebrate our freedom tomorrow, July 4th, the date that appears on the Declaration of Independence.
Not so John Adams, the founding father who later became our second President.
Yes, the Fourth was the day the Continental Congress approved the Declaration, largely written by Thomas Jefferson (our future third President).
But for Adams, the true holiday was July 2nd, the day Congress actually voted for independence.
He made his case for the Second in a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated July 3rd, 1776 … 240 years ago today.
“I believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival …” he wrote. “It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
And so our Independence IS celebrated — on July the FOURTH.
For the rest of his life, John Adams reputedly declined to take part in ANY July 4th celebration. But in the end, the Fourth sought HIM out.
John Adams died on July 4, 1826 … the very same day as Thomas Jefferson, on the 50th anniversary of the first of our Glorious Fourths.