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Take 5: Great American TV characters

As we celebrate Independence Day on Wednesday, let's give a shoutout to those courageous colonials who signed the Declaration of Independence. And make note that these five TV characters shared names (and more) with these five courageous patriots:

1. GEORGE JEFFERSON ("The Jeffersons") -- Thomas Jefferson lived in Monticello (which means "little mountain"), which rose above Charlottesville, Va.; George (Sherman Hemsley) moved on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky.

2. PRESIDENT JOSIAH 'JED' BARTLET ("The West Wing") -- Martin Sheen's idealistic chief executive was a direct descendant of Declaration of Independence signer Josiah Bartlett, a New Hampshire physician. It was never explained why someone in the family dropped a "t" from their surname.

3. GRIZZLY ADAMS ("The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams") -- The real Grizzly Adams, on whom Dan Haggerty's frontiersman was based, was born in Massachusetts in 1812. Who knows? He may have actually known Bay State Declaration signer John Adams, the future president and HBO miniseries subject, who died in 1826. Unfortunately for Grizz, signer Samuel Adams, the legendary Boston brewer, I mean, merchant, died in 1803.

4. THE WALTONS -- The tight-knit TV clan lived in Virginia, the birth state of signer George Walton, a lawyer. (By 1776, just to set record straight, he had moved to Georgia.)

5. MR. WHIPPLE (Charmin commercials) -- Signer William Whipple was a New Hampshire merchant. Alas, it's highly unlikely that he ever told any of his customers to please don't squeeze that eminently squeezable brand of toilet paper.

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