Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Munroe deaths: Eerie connection of Fourth of July to America's Presidents

Three American Presidents died on the same day — John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1826 and James Monroe in 1831 — after US gained independence


                            Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Munroe deaths: Eerie connection of Fourth of July to America's Presidents
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Munroe (Getty Images)
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Over 244 years have passed since the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776. As fireworks light up the sky and freedom flags are unfurled this Fourth of July, here's a slice of history that may come as a bolt out of the blue. Call it a one-in-a-million chance, three American Presidents — John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1826 and James Monroe in 1831 — died on the same day after America gained independence. 

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On the 50th anniversary of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both lost their lives. The third president of America, Jefferson lived to the age of 83, but his health started declining early in February 1826. On July 3, he caught a severe fever and turned down an anniversary celebration in Washington. He was surrounded by his family and close friends during the last hours of his life. When the clock struck 12.50 pm, he breathed his last.

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It is believed that his last words were: "No, doctor, nothing more," and many historians say he asked "Is it the Fourth?" or "This is the Fourth," just before his death. Shortly after his death, a gold locket chain was found on his neck, which had carried a tiny blue ribbon with a lock of his wife Martha's brown hair. 

Barely hours later, America's second president John Adams lost his life at around 6.20 pm. His last words were: "Thomas Jefferson survives." Adams was unaware that his longtime friend and rival had passed away that day too. At 90, he became the longest-lived US president until Ronald Reagan surpassed him in 2001. Adams's son, John Quincy Adams, who was the president at that time called the coincidence of their deaths on the nation's anniversary "visible and palpable remarks of Divine Favor."

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Five years later, in 1831, James Monroe, the fifth president, died at the age of 73 at his son-in-law’s home in New York City. He had been reported unwell for quite some time. After his death, many local and national newspapers called his passing a “remarkable” coincidence. Reminiscing, one of his best friends, James Madison, said his last words were, "I regret that I should leave this world without again beholding him." 

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But, the day doesn't just mark famous deaths. Although the Fourth of July saw the demise of three US presidents, Calvin Coolidge — the 30th president of the United States — was born on Independence Day in the year 1872. Of course, it could be just pure luck, but doesn't the Fourth of July signify an eerie connection with America's presidents? 

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