July 4th in History

Today's Highlight in History:
On July fourth, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

On this date:
In 1802, the United States Military Academy officially opened at West Point, New York.

In 1831, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York City.

In 1845, Henry David Thoreau began his two-year experiment in simpler living at Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts.

In 1872, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was born in Plymouth, Vermont.

In 1939, baseball's "Iron Horse," Lou Gehrig, said farewell to his fans at New York's Yankee Stadium.

In 1942, Irving Berlin's musical review "This Is the Army" opened at the Broadway Theater in New York.

In 1959, America's 49-star flag, honoring Alaskan statehood, was officially unfurled.

In 1960, America's 50-star flag, honoring Hawaiian statehood, was officially unfurled.

In 1966, President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, which went into effect the following year.

In 1976, Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing almost all of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by pro-Palestinian hijackers.

Ten years ago: Rioting that left three people dead erupted in 30 English towns following England's loss to West Germany in World Cup soccer.

Five years ago: President Boris Yeltsin announced that Russian troops would be permanently stationed in Chechnya. British Prime Minister John Major won re-election as Conservative Party leader. The space shuttle "Atlantis" and the Russian space station "Mir" parted after spending five days in orbit docked together. Actress Eva Gabor died in Los Angeles at age 74.

One year ago: White supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith shot himself to death as police closed in on him in southern Illinois, hours after he apparently shot and killed a Korean man outside a church in Bloomington, Indiana; authorities believe Smith was also responsible for killing former college basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong during a three-day rampage targeting minorities. Pete Sampras and Lindsay Davenport won the singles titles at Wimbledon, defeating Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf.


"America is American: that is incontestable."

-- Henry James, American author (1843-1916).


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