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July 4, 2013

Today in History for Thursday, July 4, 2013

VALDOSTA — Today is Thursday, July 4, the 185th day of 2013. 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, N.Y.

In 1863, the Civil War Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., ended as a Confederate garrison surrendered to Union forces.

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

In 1912, the 48-star American flag, recognizing New Mexico statehood, was adopted. A train wreck near Corning, N.Y., 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 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.

Ten years ago

A speaker claiming to be Saddam Hussein called on Iraqis in a taped message to rally behind anti-U.S. resistance. President George W. Bush visited Dayton, Ohio, to praise the work of U.S. troops and celebrate the 100th anniversary of flight in the hometown of the Wright brothers. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman at a hotel near Vail, Colo. (Bryant denied assaulting the woman, but did acknowledge an adulterous encounter; prosecutors later dropped their case against Bryant because the woman did not want to go ahead with a trial.) Rhythm-and-blues singer Barry White died in Los Angeles at age 58.

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