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How many times have we driven or walked through the same locales day in and day out and suddenly one day we notice something of interest that has been there always but escaped our attention?

Many times on my early morning walks through Groton, I have passed the Union Congregational Church on Main Street and Willowdale Avenue and never noticed the granite cornerstone inconspicuously placed on the Willowdale Avenue side.

What aroused my curiosity was the date engraved on the granite stone, July 4, 1826, the day the church was dedicated but also the significance of this date in history. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two of our great presidents and founding fathers, died on the same date — July 4, 1826, within hours of each other. Adams/ last words were “Jefferson lives” but Thomas Jefferson, age 83, had already passed. John Adams, age 90, followed.

This is a coincidence of considerable magnitude, since it involves three distinct components: the date the Declaration of Independence was signed and the same historic anniversary, 50 years.

Groton has been added to the number of coincidences — the dedication of the Union Congregational Church.

Nancy LeMay

Groton

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