It’s the Fourth of July: Independence Day—America’s equivalent of Canada Day! Today everyone will have picnics and set off fireworks. We’ve been lucky to have three beautiful days for the holidays, sunny and with temperatures not exceeding 25°C. And so it shall be today.
And of course on this day in history occurred what we’re celebrating: in 1776 the Continental Congress of the U.S. adopted the Declaration of Independence. If it hadn’t, Boris Johnson would be our President and we wouldn’t have proper sandwiches. Also on this day was a poignant event: both John Adams (second president of the U.S.) and Thomas Jefferson (the third) died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence—July 4, 1826. Both desperately wanted to stay alive to see that day, and both made it. An account from the librarian website Finding Dulcinea:
Jefferson desired to live until July 4 so “that he might breathe the air of the Fiftieth Anniversary.” His last words, spoken the night before his death in the early afternoon of July 4, are traditionally given as some variation of “Is it the Fourth?”
Adams spent his final days at his home in Quincy, Mass. On the morning of July 4, he remarked, “It is a great day. It is a good day.”He died in the early evening, hours after Jefferson. According to tradition, Adams uttered the final words, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” unaware of the fact that his longtime friend had just passed away.
According to a journal entry by John Quincy Adams, who returned home 13 days after his father’s death, “About one afternoon [1 pm] he said ‘Thomas Jefferson survives,’ but the last word was indistinctly and imperfectly uttered. He spoke no more.”
Here is today’s Google Doodle, showing fifty stars at play:
Finally, July 4, 1886 the people of France offered the people of the U.S. our Statue of Liberty, which still stands proudly in New York Harbor. Thanks, France!
Those born on this day include Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804), Calvin Coolidge (1872) and Lionel Trilling (1905). Those who died on this day include Marie Curie (1934). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is feeling her oats—or her kibbles—and playing Jungle Cat:
A: You look like a wild cat.Hili: Yes, I’ve had a good sleep and I have plenty of energy.
Ja: Wyglądasz jak dziki kot.
Hili: Tak, wyspałam się i mam dużo energii.
Enjoy this painting courtesy of reader Taskin. It’s by David Teniers the Younger and called “The Cat Concert” (1635). See also his “Costumed apes having a meal.” There are the archetypes of all pictures of “Dogs playing poker.”
Finally, over at Ten Cats, there’s a bird convention at the brand new Cat’s Inn: