On July 4th, 1776, 12 of the 13 original colonies ratified the Declaration Of Independence. Two of the Declaration's principal architects, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, went on to become among the most prominent Americans of their time and bitter rivals as well. Although seven years older than Jefferson, Adams always swore that he would outlive his rival...
Fast-forward exactly 50 years later to July 4th 1826. John Adams lies dying in Quincy, Massachusetts, on Independence Day. His last words were, "Thomas Jefferson survives!".
Unbeknownst to Adams, Thomas Jefferson had actually died several hours earlier at his home in Monticello, Virginia on that same Independence Day.
It is said that messengers from the each man's home actually passed each other en route to informing the other of the death of his rival. That's the way it was, July 4th, 1826.