Happy Independence Day!
Take a moment to remember what we're celebrating today. Around 233 years ago -- the Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2 and approved the Declaration of Independence on July 4, most of them signing it later -- a group of men literally put their lives on the line to endorse this country's existence. It was not an easy journey from there, either; there were grave doubts for many years that America would endure.
One of my favorite Independence Day stories comes from July 4, 1826. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had finally repaired their friendship, which had been left in tatters by political battles in the late 1790s and early 1800s. Both lie on their deathbeds on that day in 1826. Adams' final words were reportedly "Thomas Jefferson survives."
If that's what he said, he was wrong, because Jefferson was already dead.
Others say the only intelligible final words were "Thomas Jefferson." That one works for me just as well. Maybe better.