U.S. founding father Thomas Jefferson. Photo: The Trace


As a kid growing up in Cuba, we were blessed in my family to have Uncle Joaquin, who was a fanatic about U.S. history, especially the Gettysburg Address.

I don’t know of anyone else who could recite the speech in English and then translate it into Spanish.

He was a very well-educated man who taught at the law school and served as a judge around the area where the U.S. base is located in Guantanamo.

He and my aunt stayed in Cuba and died in the 1970s. (Who knows what happened to his nice home?)

It was Uncle Joaquin who used to tell us stories about the United States.

One of them was how John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

They died within a few hours of each other, neither aware that the other was also dying.

Jefferson was in Virginia and Adams in Massachusetts.

Adams’ last words were: “Thomas Jefferson survives,” while Jefferson’s were: “This is the Fourth of July.”

They were among the last American revolutionaries who stood up to the British Empire and created what we celebrate today.

They also spent the last few years of their lives exchanging some great letters, an amazing story and something to share with your kids today, especially if they are going to college.

Happy Fourth of July and show your flag proudly today.

I have a funny feeling that Uncle Joaquin is somewhere up in heaven, looking down and cheering that I’m sharing this story with you today.

SILVIO CANTO, JR. is a Cuban-born U.S. citizen who teaches English at a north Texas college. He is the author of the book “Cubanos in Wisconsin” and has a daily online radio program and blog dealing with U.S. and Latin American politics, as well as sports and historic events, and is a regular contributor to American Thinker.

…July 4, 2020

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