Wednesday, October 30, 2019

“The colossus of independence” (b. 30 October 1735)

On October 30, 1735, John Adams, the son of a farmer and a descendant of Plymouth Rock pilgrims, is born in Braintree, Massachusetts.He enrolled in Harvard University at 16 and went on to teach school and study law before becoming America’s second president. 

(Continue reading at the History Channel via this link.)

Personal Postscript — The foregoing is the occasion for me to tell you that I have long been a reader of biographies. I recall that when I was in junior high school, I was quite a fan of Landmark books. The book cover illustrated below shows one of my favorites. That was because Washington’s early military adventures happened only a few miles from my western Pennsylvania home.

Now, with the John Adams birthday as my motivation, I’m going to return to reading biographies. First on my reading schedule will be H. W. Brands’ biography of Benjamin Franklin. Then I’ll move on to biographies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and other American presidents. Of course, choosing the “best” biographies can be a challenge. I welcome your recommendations.


  1. i've read some bios, mostly of musicians and writers, tho... the founding fathers had a lot of true grit...

    1. If you ever want some Rx for political bios, I'll share some with you. As for historians, David McCullough ranks very high with me.