Tuesday, July 04, 2006

50 Years Later

No poet has ever expounded upon the virtue of a committee. They are not delicate lovely things. They are not joyous, or pleasures to behold. They are not efficacious. They are not conducive to immediate or certain action.

Surprisingly, the world-altering document discussed in last night's blog was written by just such a body. While Thomas Jefferson did most of the heavy lifting in its drafting, he was joined by John Adams, Ben Franklin, and a couple of other guys...

For his hard work, Jefferson was rewarded with the Presidency, but only after his co-drafter and political rival, John Adams, had it first. Adams had been instrumental in making the argument for its ratification, and was eventually elected as the second President, after Washington.

After the Declaration had been ratified, Adams wrote to his wife, saying: "I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival... It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other..."

Then, on July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day, John Adams died. His final words were: "Thomas Jefferson still survives..." What the Dying Adams didn't know was that Thomas Jefferson had also just died two hours earlier, hundreds of miles away.


Reading for Comprehension
1. Guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations: I feel sorry for the Salem Police Department.
2. There have been three presidents who have died on July 4, who was the third, and when?
3. Can you write a poem about the loveliness of a committee?? Perhaps a haiku?


  1. Anonymous11:36 PM

    1. Are you talking about the fireworks or what Carl's meat is going to do to you?

    2. James Monroe. Five years after Jefferson and Adams.

    3. No.

  2. "Committee meeting.
    Gone for the rest of the day"
    Now, free to goof off

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Committee chairman
    Eating tuna fish sandwich . . .
    Sipping a juice box.


Be compelling.

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