Once political enemies, they became close friends and died on yesterday's date, July 4, in the year 1826. An awe swept America as these two men, at a distance of 700 hundred miles from each other, died on the same day exactly 50 years since they had both signed the Declaration of Independence. Their names: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. President John Quincy Adams stated: "A coincidence ... so wonderful gives confidence . ... that the patriotic efforts of these ... men were Heaven directed, and furnishes a new ... hope that the prosperity of these States is under the special protection of a kind Providence."