Today's Holidays for July 4
Independence Day Commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776 by the Continental Congress. It declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire.
Today's History Trivia for July 4
1862 Alice in Wonderland While on a rowboat to a picnic, 10-year-old Alice Liddell asks Charles Dodgson (AKA Lewis Carroll) to tell her and her sisters a story. He spun the story of a girl named Alice and her adventures when she fell down a rabbit hole. He then turned this into his most famous book.
The cornerstone of the first national monument to honor George Washington is laid.
1979 First Disneyland birth Teresa Salcedo is born in the amusement park.
1976 Largest U.S. classical concert A crowd of 400,000 attends a concert conducted by Arthur Fielder.
1961 Nuclear mishap The Soviet Union's first nuclear-powered missile-carrying submarine experiences a reactor failure during its maiden voyage, killing 10 crewmen.
1952 First song by a British artist to hit #1 on the American Billboard chart Auf Wiederseh'n, Sweetheart by Vera Lynn.
1946 Philippine Independence Pres. Truman grants independence to the islands which were acquired by the U.S. in 1898.
1934 Mt. Rushmore Washington's face is completed and dedicated. The memorial was completed in 1941.
1929 Longest home run Minor-league player Dizzy Carlyle hits a 618-footer. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1919 Jack Dempsey The American fighter known as the Manassa Mauler becomes the world heavy weight boxing championship with a 3rd-round TKO's of defending champion Jess Willard.
1908 First airplane flight of one kilometer American aviator Glenn Curtiss flies the 1¼-mile distance in 1 minute 42 2/5 seconds, winning the prize offered by Scientific American.
1903 First Pacific Cable The communications cable connecting San Francisco and the Philippines opens. Pres. Roosevelt sends a message around the world in 12 minutes.
1895 America the Beautiful Katherine Lee Bates' poem is first published in the church publication Congregationalist.
1894 The first U.S. automobile Elwood Haynes takes his creation for a test drive. It had a top speed of about 7 mph. Source: Myth Information: More Than 590 Popular Misconceptions, Fallacies, and Misbeliefs Explained!
1842 First ship sunk by an electrically detonated mine American gun manufacturer Samuel Colt sinks a gun boat with his device - called a torpedo - in New York harbor.
1828 First U.S. passenger railroad The Baltimore & Ohio begins construction.
1802 West Point Military Academy Formally opens.
1789 First U.S. tariff law Congress enacts a tax on imported goods to protect U.S. products. It also established customs officers.
1776 Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson drafts the famous document. Signing began on August 2nd.
1054 Super Nova Explosion The exploding star, SN 1054, is sighted by Chinese astronomers. Its remnants now form the Crab Nebula.
Today's Birthdays for July 4
1916 Iva Ikuko Toguri D'Aquino d. 2006 American propaganda broadcaster for the Japanese. She was the most famous of the women referred to as "Tokyo Rose" during World War II. Born in the U.S. to Japanese immigrants, she was visiting Japan when the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor. Unable to to return the U.S., she began hosting the radio show Zero Hour broadcasting propaganda and entertainment to U.S. troops. However, she also smuggled food to allied POWs. Convicted of treason for her broadcasts (1949), she served six years in prison. She was pardoned by U.S. President Jimmy Carter (1977).
1951 Ralph Johnson American drummer, founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire. Music: Shining Star (1975, #1, Grammy), Best of My Love (1977, #1), and After the Love has Gone (1979, #2, Grammy).
1946 Ronald Lawrence Kovic American paralyzed Vietnam veteran, anti-war activist. The movie Born on the Fourth of July is based on his memoirs. He was paralyzed while leading an attack in the DMZ.
1946 Michael Milken American securities expert, philanthropist, "Junk-Bond King." In 1987 alone, he was paid $550,000,000 by Drexel Burnham Lambert. He later served 22 months in jail and paid $1.1 billion in fines after pleading guilty to insider trading and securities fraud.
1943 Geraldo Rivera American Emmy-winning reporter, talk-show host.
1939 Ed Bernard American actor. TV: Police Woman (Det. Joe Styles).
1930 George Steinbrenner d. 2010 (George Michael Steinbrenner III), American baseball owner, principal owner of the N.Y. Yankees from 1973-2010, during which time they won seven World Series titles.
1927 Neil Simon American playwright. Film: Barefoot in the Park (1967), The Odd Couple (1968), The Sunshine Boys (1975)
1927 Gina Lollobrigida (Luigina Lollobrigida), Italian actress, photographer, one of the most glamorous stars of the 1950s.
1924 Eva Marie Saint American Oscar-winning actress. Film: On the Waterfront (1954, Oscar) and North By Northwest (1959). TV: Moonlighting (Maddie Hayes' mother).
1918 Craven Walker d. 2000 English inventor. He created the Lava Lamp (1963). He got the idea from similar device he saw in a pub that had been created by a then deceased patron. He spent the next 15 years developing a commercial version of the oozing lamp.
1918 Abigail Van Buren d. 2013 (Pauline Esther Friedman), American advice columnist of "Dear Abby" fame. She is the twin sister of advice columnist Ann Landers (Esther Pauline Friedman).
1911 Mitch Miller d. 2010 American music producer, arranger. Music: Let Me Go, Lover (1954, #1). The FBI used his songs in an attempt to drive the cult Branch Davidians from their compound (1993).
1902 Meyer Lansky d. 1983 (Maier Suchowljanksy), Russian-born American organized-crime financial wizard. He was responsible for laundering much of the Mafia's money.
1902 Abe Saperstein d. 1966 English-born basketball coach Hall of Famer. He formed and coached the Harlem Globetrotters (1927). At 5′3″ he is the shortest male member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Globetrotters won the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1940.
1883 Rube Goldberg d. 1970 (Reuben Lucius Goldberg), American Pulitzer-winning cartoonist (1948), known for designing elaborate machines to perform simple tasks.
1878 George M. Cohan d. 1942 American playwright, songwriter, Over There, You're a Grand Old Flag and I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy. Note: His birthday was actually July 3, although he claimed July 4.
1847 James Anthony Bailey d. 1906 American showman, Barnum's partner, owner of Jumbo, the giant elephant.
1826 Stephen Collins Foster d. 1864 American songwriter. Music: Oh! Susanna (1848) and My Old Kentucky Home (1853).
1804 Nathaniel Hawthorne d. 1864 American author, The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of Seven Gables (1851).
1790 Sir George Everest d. 1866 British surveyor. For whom Mt. Everest is named.
1753 Jean Pierre Francois Blanchard d. 1809 French balloonist, first to cross the English Channel in a balloon (1785) and is credited with inventing the parachute.
Deaths for July 4
1831 James Monroe b. 1758 5th U.S. President (1817-25). He was the last president among the Founding Fathers of the U.S. As a delegate to the Virginia convention, he opposed ratification of the U.S. Constitution, claiming it gave too much power to the central government.
1826 Thomas Jefferson b. 1743 3rd U.S. President (1801-09), 2nd U.S. Vice-President (1797-1801). Author of the Declaration of Independence, and the first U.S. Secretary of State (1790-93). Both he and John Adams died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
1826 John Adams b. 1735 first U.S. Vice-President (1789-97) and 2nd U.S. President (1797-1801). Father of the 6th president John Quincy Adams. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
2008 Jesse Helms b. 1921 American politician, U.S. Senator (Rep., N.C.). Known for his conservative views, he was a founder of the Moral Majority (1979).
2003 Barry White b. 1944 American singer-songwriter. Wrote The Harlem Shuffle, and recorded the #1 hit Can't Get Enough of Your Love Baby.
1997 Charles Kuralt b. 1934 American Emmy-winning TV journalist. TV: The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite ("On the Road" segments) and CBS News Sunday Morning (anchor).
1995 Eva Gabor b. 1919 Hungarian actress. TV: Green Acres (Lisa Douglas). Married five times, she once stated, "Marriage is too interesting an experiment to be tried only once."
1910 Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli b. 1835 Italian astronomer. He discovered the "canals" of Mars (1877).
1891 Hannibal Hamlin b. 1809 15th U.S. Vice-President (1861-65).
1840 Karl Ferdinand von Graefe b. 1787 German surgeon. Founder of modern plastic surgery.
966 Benedict V b. ???? Italian religious leader, 132nd Pope (May-June 964). Emperor Otho I had forcibly deposed Pope John XII, and replaced him Leo VIII. But the Romans expelled Leo and elected Benedict V. Otho, angered by this action, attacked Rome, seized Benedict, and reinstated Leo.