On July 4, 1826, U.S. Independence Day, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third presidents of the U.S., both died within hours of each other. Adams and Jefferson personified opposing factions in U.S. politics, with Adams favoring a strong central government and Jefferson partial to a decentralized agrarian society. They fell out over Adams’ espousal of the Alien and Sedition Act, which Jefferson saw as out of step with the ideals of liberty that underpinned the founding of the United States. Once they were both out of office, they reconciled and continued a mutual correspondence until their deaths.
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