This Day in History - July 4

July 4

1551 – Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell, dies

1712 – 12 slaves are executed for starting an uprising in New York that killed nine whites

1776 – The amended Declaration of Independence, prepared by Thomas Jefferson, is approved and signed by President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, and Congress secretary, Charles Thomson thus proclaiming the independence of the US.  The state of New York abstains from signing

1804 – Writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, is born

1804 – Lewis and Clark fire the expedition cannon and order an extra ration of whiskey for the men in the first-ever Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi River

1807 – Italian military leader and unifier of modern Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi, is born

1817 – Construction begins on the Erie Canal, to connect Lake Erie and the Hudson River

1826 – Two of America’s founding fathers die-Thomas Jefferson and John Adams

1826 – American composer, Stephen Foster, is born

1831 – The fifth president of the US, James Monroe, dies

1845 – Henry David Thoreau begins his 26-month stay at Walden Pond

1855 – Walt Whitman publishes the first edition of Leaves of Grass at his own expense

1861 – Union and Confederate forces skirmish at Harpers Ferry

1862 – Charles Dodgson first tells the story of Alice’s adventures down the rabbit hole during a picnic along the Thames

1863 – The Confederate town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, surrenders to General Ulysses Grant

1872 – 30th President of the US, Calvin Coolidge, is born

1881 – Billy the Kid is shot dead in New Mexico

1883 – Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Rube Goldberg, is born

1894 – After seizing power, Judge Stanford B. Dole declares Hawaii a republic

1895 – The poem, America the Beautiful, is first published

1898 – English actress, Gertrude Lawrence, is born

1901 – William Taft becomes the American governor of the Philippines

1905 – Literary critic and educator, Lionel Trilling, is born

1910 – Race riots break out all over the US after Black Jack Johnson knocks out Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match

1911 – Record temperatures strike the northeastern US, and will go on to kill 380

1917 – US troops march through Paris to the grave of Marquis de Lafayette (French hero of the American Revolutionary War) in their first public display of WWI

1919 – Challenger, Jack Dempsey, defeats heavyweight champion, Jess Willard, for the heavyweight championship of the world

1927 – Playwright, Neil Simon, is born

1930 – American businessman, George Steinbrenner, is born

1931 – Novelist, James Joyce, and Nora Barnacle are married in London after a 26-year relationship

1934 – Boxer, Joe Louis, wins his first professional fight

1934 – Polish Nobel Prize-winning chemist, Marie Curie, dies

1943 – Polish General, Wladyslaw Sikorski, dies when his plane crashes less than a mile from its takeoff at Gibraltar.  Controversy remains as to whether it was an accident or an assassination

1946 – The US grants the Philippine Islands their independence

1952 – 39th President of Colombia, Alvara Uribe, is born

1954 – Marilyn Sheppard, wife of Dr. Sam Sheppard, is beaten to death in her Cleveland, Ohio home.  Her husband claimed to have fallen asleep only to wake as a man with bushy hair was fleeing the scene.  Due to proof of Dr. Sheppard having had an affair, police didn’t believe his story and charged him with killing his pregnant wife.  The case drew national attention and led to the sequestering of jurors, as it was felt Dr. Sheppard’s conviction was unfair.  In 1998, DNA tests revealed that another man had indeed been present at the murder scene.  This is also the case that loosely inspired the hit television show, The Fugitive

1960 – The 50-star flag makes its debut in Philadelphia

1960 – American wrestler, Barry Windham, is born

1963 – South Vietnamese officers plot a coup against South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem

1973 – Japanese singer, songwriter, actor, musician, and producer, Gackt, is born

1976 – An Israeli raid at Entebbe airport in Uganda rescues 105 hostages

1976 – The punk rock band, The Clash, play their debut performance in Sheffield, England as the opening act for The Sex Pistols

1987 – A rock concert in Moscow, jointly organized by American promoters and the Soviet government, plays to a crowd of approximately 25,000, and served as a gesture of peace and understanding by people of both countries

1997 – NASA’s Mars Pathfinder becomes the first US spacecraft to land on Mars in more than two decades

2008 – American politician, Jesse Helms, dies

2011 – Austrian and German son of Charles I of Austria, Otto von Habsburg, dies





Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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