1776 was a musical based on America's struggle for independence. John Adams is a central character, and the play was written by Sherman Edwards, a songwriter and musician who had briefly taught high school history after his military service during World War II.
The stage musical was written in 1969 and adapted to film in 1972.
President Richard Nixon saw a production of the musical in 1970, and successfully persuaded producer Jack L. Warner, a friend of his, to remove the number "Cool, Cool Considerate Men" from the film version. Nixon disliked the song, which shows the conservatives of the 1770s as "power-hungry wheedlers focused on maintaining wealth." The negative was supposed to be destroyed as well, but it was secretly preserved by the editor. Years later, the footage was restored and included in the "director's cut" for release on DVD.