-- — Today is Friday, July 4, the 185th day of 2014. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day.
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 1831, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York City at age 73.
In 1863, the Civil War Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, ended as a Confederate garrison surrendered to Union forces.
In 1872, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was born in Plymouth, Vermont.
In 1912, the 48-star American flag, recognizing New Mexico statehood, was adopted. A train wreck near Corning, New York, claimed 39 lives.
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 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, recognizing Alaskan statehood, was officially unfurled.
In 1960, America’s 50-star flag, recognizing Hawaiian statehood, was officially unfurled.
In 1976, Israeli commandos raided Entebbe (en-TEH’-bee) airport in Uganda (yoo-GAHN’-dah), rescuing almost all of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by pro-Palestinian hijackers.
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 1999, white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith shot himself to death as police closed in on him in southern Illinois, hours after he’d 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