Born – And Died – On The Fourth Of July

By | July 4, 2022

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President Coolidge standing on the south lawn of the White House. (Bettmann/Getty Images)

To be "born on the Fourth of July" is to be considered as patriotic as they come, so it would be a real point in a presidential nominee's favor. If nothing else, it makes a great campaign slogan. Only one U.S. president, however, was born on America's Independence Day, although three of them ended up dying on the Fourth of July. In fact, two died on the same day in the same year, exactly 50 years after they signed the Declaration of Independence.

Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge made his grand entrance into the world on July 4, 1872. Coolidge hailed from a prominent and well-connected New England family, so the possibility of great things was well within his reach, but his goal was to be a quiet country lawyer. Still, his birthright called to him, so he ended up holding various government positions until he was elected the governor of Massachusetts. His response to the 1919 Boston police strike earned him national attention and a reputation as a take-charge leader, so the next year, he was elected to the vice presidency. When President Warren G. Harding died in office in 1923, Coolidge became the 30th President of the United States.

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Cropped portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. (White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Adams, Jefferson, And Hamlin

As Founding Fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were instrumental in the establishment of the new United States of America. Both signed the Declaration of Independence, and they became the second and third U.S. presidents, respectively. By 1826, they were among only a handful of surviving Founding Fathers, and on Independence Day, that number got even smaller. Adams, 90 years old and long ill, comforted himself as he lay dying, "Thomas Jefferson still survives," but unfortunately, the former president's final words weren't true. Just five hours earlier, the 83-year-old Jefferson passed away at his grand Virginia estate, Monticello.

Adams and Jefferson, who were both vice presidents before assuming the presidency, were not the only vice presidents who died on the Fourth of July. Hannibal Hamlin, who was vice president from 1861 to 1865 under Abraham Lincoln, died on July 4, 1891 in Bangor, Maine.