July 4th This Day in History Happy Birthday USA, Koko & Ulysses S. Grant

July 4, 2010
By Vannini

Notable Events

1054 – A supernova is observed by the Chinese, the Arabs and possibly Amerindians near the star Tauri. For several months it remains bright enough to be seen during the day. Its remnants form the Crab Nebula.

1187 – The Crusades: Battle of Hattin – Saladin defeats Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.

1744 – The Treaty of Lancaster, in which the Iriquois ceded lands between the Allegheny Mountains and the Ohio River to the British colonies, is signed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

1776 – American Revolution: the United States Declaration of Independence is adopted by the Second Continental Congress

1802 – At West Point, New York the United States Military Academy opens.

1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is announced to the American people.

1827 – Slavery is abolished in New York State.

1845 – Near Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau embarks on a two-year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond (see Walden).

1855 – In Brooklyn, New York, the first edition of Walt Whitman’s book of poems, titled Leaves of Grass, is published.

1862 – Lewis Carroll tells Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels.

1863 – American Civil War: Siege of Vicksburg – Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege. 150 miles up the Mississippi River, a Confederate Army is repulsed at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas.

1865 – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is published.

1881 – In Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute opens.

1886 – The people of France offer the Statue of Liberty to the people of the United States.

1946 – After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule by various powers, the Philippines attains full independence from the United States.

1947 – The “Indian Independence Bill” is presented before British House of Commons, suggesting bifurcation of British India into two sovereign countries – India and Pakistan.

1959 – With the admission of Alaska as the 49th U.S. state earlier in the year, the 49-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1960 – Due to the post-Independence Day admission of Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959, the 50-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania almost ten and a half months later (see Flag Act).

1966 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act into United States law. The act goes into effect the next year.

1969 – Two teens (one male, one female) are attacked at Blue Rock Springs in California. They are the second (known) victims of the Zodiac Killer. The male survives.

1976 – Israeli commandos raid Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but four of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.

1997 – NASA’s Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.

Notable Births

1330 – Ashikaga Yoshiakira, Japanese shogun (d. 1367)

1816 – Hiram Walker, American grocer and distiller (d. 1899)

1881 – Ulysses S. Grant III, American soldier (d. 1968)

1882 – Louis B. Mayer, American film producer (d. 1957)

1902 – Meyer Lansky, Russian-born American gangster (d. 1983)

1921 – Gerard Debreu, French economist, Nobel laureate (d. 2004)

1930 – George Steinbrenner, American businessman

1937 – Thomas Nagel, American philosopher

1971 – Koko, sign-language gorilla

Notable Deaths

1826 – John Adams, 2nd President of the United States (b. 1735)

1826 – Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States (b. 1743)

1831 – James Monroe, 5th President of the United States (b. 1758)

1905 – Élisée Reclus, French anarchist (b. 1830)

2003 – Barry White, American singer (b. 1944)

2008 – Jesse Helms, American politician (b. 1921)

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