|Jewish immigrants being greeted by Lady Liberty|
Did you know that both Jefferson and John Adams died on the 4th of July? Adams and Jefferson were the only two signers of the Declaration of Independence to become President. On the 50th anniversary of its adoption, Jefferson asked “Is it the fourth yet?” before passing away. Later that day, Adams died, saying, “Thomas Jefferson survives” (not having received a news feed). Five years later, on July 4, 1831, James Monroe, the last presidential Founding Father, died as well.
Charles Ives (1874-1954) was a true American original. Here are his Variations on "America," played by "The President's Own" United States Marine Band. Ives interspersed much of his music with patriotic themes.
"This remarkable set, composed when he was about 18, Ives later described as 'but a boy's work, partly serious and partly in fun.' These variations serve, however, as perhaps the most comprehensive illustration of Ives's youthful sweep of style. After a snappy figural variation, we hear a sinuous barbershop setting, a jaunty European cavalry march, a 'midway' polonaise, and a scherzo."
Further reading: John Adams: A Life by John Ferling is a portrait of America's favorite gadfly.