1818 – Abigail Smith Adams, the wife of U.S. president John Adams, died at age 73. She was the chief figure in the social life of her husband’s administration and one of the most distinguished and influential first ladies in American history. A lively, intelligent woman, her letters are a vivid source of social history, and she worked for social justice and abolition of slavery. A devoted Unitarian, Adams was noted for a serene religiosity. Read more about Abigail Smith Adams.