Interesting Facts About John Adams: First President To Live In The White House

John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was the second president of the United States. Washington and Jefferson often eclipsed him. However, he was a visionary who saw the importance of uniting Virginia, Massachusetts, and the rest of the colonies in a single cause.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1947, Adams grew up in New England. His music study was encouraged by his parents, both of whom were amateur musicians. As a youth, he studied clarinet with Felix Viscuglia, a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
His father was an influential farmer and craftsman who became Speaker of the Massachusetts Bay legislature. John was an intelligent boy and his father put an emphasis on education. He went to Harvard for college where his father expected him to study to become a minister.
John had different ideas, however, and decided to study law. He graduated from Harvard in 1755 and began practicing law in Boston soon afterward.
The lawyer and diplomat — who was also the country’s first vice president — was one of our most important founding fathers and helped establish many of the laws that built this nation. He fought for American Independence as a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress.
He was a member of the team that worked on the Declaration of Independence and one of only two people who signed the Declaration to later become president (the other was Thomas Jefferson).
Here are SEVEN interesting facts to know about John Adams:
1. He was the principal author of the oldest written constitution still in use in the world. Adams drafted the Massachusetts Constitution, which was approved by voters in 1780 and is still in effect today.
The document’s structure of chapters, sections and articles served as a model for the United States Constitution, and its Declaration of Rights itemized individual liberties such as freedom of the press and freedom of worship that were later enshrined in the federal Bill of Rights.
2. He was the first president to live in the White House. When President Adams arrived in Washington, D.C., from Philadelphia on June 3, 1800, the new national capital very much remained an active construction zone.
The President’s House, later known as the White House, remained far from completion, so Adams was forced to reside in temporary quarters at Tunnicliffe’s City Hotel. When the president finally moved into the White House on November 1, 1800, the mansion still reeked of wet plaster and paint fumes.
Fireplaces roared in every room to combat the cold and dampness, and the first lady used the unplastered East Room to hang the presidential laundry. Defeated in the 1800 election, Adams lived in the White House for barely more than four months.
3. Adams died on the same day as Thomas Jefferson. Once fellow patriots and then bitter rivals, Adams and Jefferson revived their friendship after their White House days. Perhaps fittingly, the two Declaration of Independence signatories both died 50 years to the day after the document’s adoption on July 4, 1826.
On his deathbed, the 90-year-old Adams whispered, “Thomas Jefferson survives.” It wasn’t the case. Five hours earlier, the 83-year-old Jefferson had died at Monticello. With the deaths of Adams and Jefferson, only one signatory of the Declaration of Independence—Charles Carroll—remained alive.
4. He founded one of America’s top scientific societies. The Harvard-educated Adams cherished education and knowledge and wrote public support of science and the arts into the Massachusetts Constitution.
In 1779, he proposed the establishment of the American Academy for Arts and Sciences, which still exists as a forum for scholarship and an incubator for practical ideas. According to Tom Shachtman’s book “Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries,” Adams ranked the founding of the academy as one of his proudest achievements.
5. He wanted the president to be addressed as “His Highness.” The debate on how to properly address George Washington consumed Congress in the weeks after his 1789 inauguration. Adams, who presided over the Senate as the vice president, felt the office required a grand title to convey power on par with the royal courts of Europe.
He scoffed that fire companies and cricket clubs had mere “presidents” and that Washington should be called “His Majesty the President” or “His Highness, the President of the United States of America, and Protector of the Rights of the Same.”
To many Americans who had just rid themselves of a monarch, the titles were too royal, and Congress agreed that Washington’s title should simply be “The President of the United States.” Opponents of the plump Adams seized on his titular suggestions to mock him as “His Rotundity.”
6. There is no monument to Adams in Washington, D.C. Unlike his presidential predecessor and successor, Washington and Jefferson, Adams has no monument to him in the national capital.
In 2001, the U.S. Congress authorized the Adams Memorial Foundation to construct a monument to the second president and his family, including sixth president John Quincy Adams, on federal land, but site selection, design and fundraising work is ongoing.
7. None of Adams’ family members were present for his inauguration. According to David McCullough’s Pulitzer-winning biography, the 2nd President of the United States had a relatively lonely inauguration.

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