Originally Published: July 2, 2011 9:57 p.m.
There are probably a number of young people who will say that "Independence Day" is a 1996 movie starring Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum about an alien invasion of Earth. For most adults, the annual 4th of July holiday represents a day of celebration, a paid day off from work. Fireworks, military parades and cookouts exhibit our celebration of our country's Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
While the Second Continental Congress approved the document on July 2, 1776, it was dated July 4th by the committee of five led by Thomas Jefferson. Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were also members. Adams, who went on to be our second president, was a little miffed by Jefferson. He is quoted sometime later as saying, "The Declaration of Independence I always considered a theatrical show. Jefferson ran away with all the stage effects and all the glory of it."
History records a long period of bitter exchanges between Adams and Jefferson, who followed Adams as the third president of the United States. Much later, in retired life, the two rivals reconciled over numerous letters to each other and became friends near the end of their lives. On July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson passed away in the comfort of their own homes.