Their views on government diverged over the years, and they ran against each other in the presidential elections of 1796 and 1800.
Adams won in 1796 on the platform of building a strong government, but Jefferson defeated him four years later, favoring a more limited government.
The political powerhouses renewed their friendship in the winter of 1812 and remained friends until their deaths.
Adams, 90, lay on his deathbed while the country celebrated Independence Day. His last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Unbeknownst to him, Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 83.
Then, on July 4, 1831, James Monroe, the fifth U.S. president, died at his son-in-law’s home in New York City. Monroe, 73, had been ill for some time but died from tuberculosis.
Words of Wisdom for July 4, 2016
“Thomas Jefferson still survives.”
— The last words of John Adams, 90, on July 4, 1826