In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams wrote: "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America."
Adams' prediction came as the result of Richard Henry Lee's motion for independence being approved by the Congress on July 2, 1776. It was Lee's motion that officially separated the thirteen American colonies from Great Britain.
A confident and euphoric Adams declared:
"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
Adams would be two days off from his prediction, however. On July 4, the day after writing Abigail, Adams joined with the rest of his colleagues in approving the Declaration of Independence, a document that eloquently articulated the reasons why the colonies had separated from the British Empire.
It was this vote - the one on July 4 - that would go down in history as a "memorable Epocha."