Today in History: Independence Day

Spectators watch the Independence Day fireworks Thursday night, July 4, 1996 at the grounds of the Washington Monument. (AP Photo/Mark Wilson)

Today is Monday, July 4, the 186th day of 2016. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

On this date:

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

In 1826, 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, former presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died.

In 1831, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York City at age 73.

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

In 1910, in what was billed as “The Fight of the Century,” black world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson defeated white former champ James J. Jeffries in Reno, Nevada.

In 1939, Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees delivered his famous farewell speech in which he called himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

In 1946, the Philippines became independent of U.S. sovereignty.

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

In 1976, America celebrated its bicentennial with daylong festivities; President Gerald R. Ford made stops in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and New York, where more than 200 ships paraded up the Hudson River in Operation Sail.

In 1982, the space shuttle Columbia concluded its fourth and final test flight with a smooth landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne married his manager, Sharon Arden, in Maui, Hawaii.

In 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir parted after spending five days in orbit docked together.

In 2001, Vladivostok Air Flight 352, a Russian Tupolev Tu-154, crashed near the Siberian city of Irkutsk, killing all 145 people aboard.

In 2002, actress Julia Roberts married cameraman Daniel Moder outside Taos, New Mexico.

Thought for Today: “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” — Attributed to Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).

 

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