November 3, 1796 — John Adams is elected president of the United States of America today. The American lawyer, author, statesman, and diplomat, of Welsh decent served as the first Vice President (1789–1797) under George Washington, and the second President (1797–1801).
Historians explain that the founding father was a political theorist in the Age of Enlightenment who promoted republicanism and a strong central government. He was also a dedicated diarist and correspondent, particularly with his wife and key advisor Abigail. Adams is also famous for his collaborations with his cousin, revolutionary leader Samuel Adam; and he was the father of John Quincy Adams, the 6th President of the United States.
More claims to fame: Adams assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and was its foremost advocate in the Congress. As a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and acquired vital governmental loans from Amsterdam bankers. Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780 which influenced American political theory, as did his earlier Thoughts on Government. He was the first U.S. president to reside in the executive mansion, now known as the White House.
In 1800, Adams lost re-election to Thomas Jefferson, and retired to Massachusetts. He resumed his friendship with Jefferson upon the latter’s own retirement by initiating a correspondence which lasted 14 years. They both died on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.