Although he was failing fast, John Adams was determined to survive until the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence — July 4, 1826. At dawn on that day he was awakened by his servant, who asked if he knew what day it was. He replied, “Oh, yes, it is the glorious fourth of July. God bless it. God bless you all.” He then slipped into a coma. In the afternoon he recovered consciousness briefly to murmur, “Thomas Jefferson lives.” These were his last words. Unknown to him, Thomas Jefferson had died that same day. Adapted from The Little Brown Book of Anecdotes, Clifton Fadiman, Ed.
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