Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October 30, 1735:

John Adams' Birthday

The First Vice President and the Second President of the United States, John Adams of Massachusetts, lived a long time -- 90 years, and it wasn't until the 21st century that two presidents, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, lived longer than Adams.

The 90 years of Adams' lifetime saw astonishing changes for North America, not the least of which was the transformation of 13 British colonies on the eastern seaboard -- one of which, Georgia, was only a few years older than Adams -- into a robust nation of 24 states with territory stretching off into the Rocky Mountains. Adams certainly did his part to bring about that transformation.

Writing in April 1776, Adams said: "If the colonies should assume governments separately, they should be left entirely to their own choice of the forms; and if a continental constitution should be formed, it should be a congress, containing a fair and adequate representation of the colonies, and its authority should sacredly be confined to these cases, namely, war, trade, disputes between colony and colony, the post office, and the unappropriated lands of the crown, as they used to be called.

"These colonies, under such forms of government, and in such a union, would be unconquerable by all the monarchies of Europe."

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