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Meet Amazing Americans U.S. Presidents John Adams
Signing of the Declaration of Independence
Signing of the Declaration of Independence

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Adams's Friend (and Rival)

John Adams grew up the son of a farmer and was nicknamed "His Rotundity" because he was short and chubby and fond of formal titles. Thomas Jefferson was the son of an upper-class slave owner, and was tall and lean. They were different in many ways, but they shared a love for their country. It made them the best of friends and worst of enemies at different times during their political history together.

In June 1776, both men were selected as members of the Continental Congress's five-person committee tasked with drafting the Declaration of Independence. Between June 11 and 28, Jefferson completed a working rough draft, which was then edited first by Adams and Benjamin Franklin, then by the entire committee. On June 28, it was presented to Congress, which then made a number of other revisions. On July 4, it was finished and independence was formally declared. A Philadelphia printer, John Dunlap, produced the first copies of the Declaration of Independence. They are now known as the "Dunlap Broadside" and only 24 of these original copies are known to exist.

Do you know what Declaration of Independence "trivia" both Adams and Jefferson share?

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