On This Day in History July 4

July 4 – Events:

  • 836 – Pactum Sicardi, peace between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples
  • 993 – Saint Ulrich of Augsburg canonized.
  • 1120 – Jordan II of Capua anointed as prince after his infant nephew’s death.
  • 1187 – The Crusades: Battle of Hattin – Saladin defeats Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.
  • 1253 – Battle of West-Capelle: John I of Avesnes defeats Guy of Dampierre.
  • 1359 – Francesco II Ordelaffi of Forlì surrenders to the Papal commander Gil de Albornoz.
  • 1634 – The city of Trois-Rivières is founded in New France, later to become the Canadian province of Quebec.
  • 1636 – City of Providence, Rhode Island forms.
  • 1754 – Lt-Col. George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity to French Capt. Louis Coulon de Villiers.
  • 1776 – American Independence Day: The United States Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress declaring itself free of British rule.
  • 1802 – At West Point, New York the United States Military Academy opens.
  • 1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is announced to the American people.
  • 1810 – The French occupy Amsterdam.
  • 1817 – At Rome, New York, United States, construction on the Erie Canal begins.
  • 1826 – Former American presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson die, fifty years to the day after the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence.
  • 1827 – Slavery is abolished in New York State.
  • 1837 – Grand Junction Railway, world’s first long-distance railway, opens between Birmingham and Liverpool.
  • 1838 – The Iowa Territory is organized.
  • 1840 – The Cunard Line’s 700 ton wooden paddle steamer RMS Britannia departs from Liverpool bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia on the first transatlantic crossing with a scheduled end.
  • 1845 – Near Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau embarks on a two-year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond.
  • 1855 – In Brooklyn, New York, the first edition of Walt Whitman’s book of poems titled Leaves of Grass is published.
  • 1859 – Austro-Sardinian War: The Battle of Magenta.
  • 1862 – Lewis Carroll tells Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Battle 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 – First scheduled Canadian transcontinental train arrives in Port Moody, British Columbia.
  • 1892 – Western Samoa changes the International Date Line, so that year there were 367 days in this country, with two occurrences of Monday, July 4.
  • 1894 – The short-lived Republic of Hawaii is proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole.
  • 1910 – Black boxer Jack Johnson knocks out white boxer Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match sparking race riots across the United States.
  • 1918 – Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI ascends to the throne.
  • 1918 – Bolsheviks kill Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family (Julian calendar date).
  • 1927 – First flight of the Lockheed Vega.
  • 1934 – Joe Louis wins his first professional boxing match.
  • 1934 – Leo Szilard patents the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb.
  • 1939 – Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, tells a crowd at Yankee Stadium he considered himself “The luckiest man on the face of the earth” as he announces his retirement from major league baseball.
  • 1940 – Robert Pershing Wadlow, the tallest man on Earth, died in his sleep.
  • 1941 – Mass murder of Polish scientists and writers, committed by Nazi Germans in the captured Polish city of Lwów.
  • 1946 – After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule, the Philippines is granted full  independence by the United States.
  • 1947 – “Indian Independence Bill” is presented before British House of Commons, suggesting bifurcation of British India into two sovereign countries – India and Pakistan.
  • 1950 – First broadcast by Radio Free Europe.
  • 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 Hawai’i 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.
  • 1966 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act into United States law. The act goes into effect the next year.
  • 1968 – Two teens are killed at Lake Herman Road in California. They were the first (known) victims of the Zodiac Killer.
  • 1976 – Israeli commandos raid Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.
  • 1982 – Iranian diplomats kidnapping (1982):Four Iranian diplomats kidnapped by Lebanese militia in Lebanon.
  • 1987 – In France, former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (aka the “Butcher of Lyon”) is convicted of crimes against humanity and is sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • 1992 – USS George Washington (CVN-73), a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy is commissioned at Norfolk, Virginia.
  • 1993 – Sumitomo Chemical’s resin plant in Nihama explodes killing one and injuring three workers.
  • 1997 – NASA’s Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.
  • 2005 – The Deep Impact collider hits the comet Tempel 1.
  • 2006 – Space Shuttle program: STS-121 Mission – Space Shuttle Discovery launches at 18:37:55 UTC.
  • 2006 – North Korea tests four short-range missiles, one medium-range missile, and a long-range Taepodong-2. The long-range Taepodong-2 reportedly fails in mid-air over the Sea of Japan.
  • 2007 – Zaca Fire Starts in Santa Barbara, California becomes second largest fire in California history.

July 4 – Birthdays:

  • 1330 – Ashikaga Yoshiakira, Japanese shogun (d. 1367)
  • 1546 – Murat III, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1595)
  • 1694 – Louis-Claude Daquin, French composer (d. 1772)
  • 1715 – Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, German poet (d. 1769)
  • 1719 – Michel-Jean Sedaine, French dramatist (d. 1797)
  • 1790 – George Everest, Welsh surveyor and namesake of Mt. Everest (d. 1866)
  • 1799 – King Oscar I of Sweden, French general (d. 1859)
  • 1804 – Nathaniel Hawthorne, American writer (d. 1864)
  • 1807 – Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian patriot (d. 1882)
  • 1816 – Hiram Walker, American grocer and distiller (d. 1899)
  • 1826 – Stephen Foster, American songwriter (d. 1864)
  • 1845 – Thomas Barnardo, Irish humanitarian (d. 1905)
  • 1847 – James Anthony Bailey, American circus impresario (d. 1906)
  • 1854 – Victor Babes, Romanian bacteriologist (d. 1926)
  • 1872 – Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States (d. 1933)
  • 1881 – Ulysses S. Grant III, American soldier (d. 1968)
  • 1882 – Louis B. Mayer, American film producer (d. 1957)
  • 1883 – Rube Goldberg, American cartoonist (d. 1970)
  • 1895 – Irving Caesar, American lyricist and composer (d. 1996)
  • 1896 – Mao Dun, Chinese writer (d. 1981)
  • 1898 – Dr. Pilar Barbosa, Puerto Rican historian (d. 1997)
  • 1898 – Gertrude Lawrence, English-born actress (d. 1952)
  • 1902 – Meyer Lansky, Russian-born American gangster (d. 1983)
  • 1902 – George Murphy, American entertainer (d. 1992)
  • 1903 – Flor Peeters, Belgian composer, organist and teacher (d. 1986)
  • 1904 – Angela Baddeley, English actress (d. 1976)
  • 1905 – Irving Johnson, American adventurer (d. 1991)
  • 1907 – Gordon Griffith, American director (d. 1958)
  • 1907 – Howard Taubman, American music and theater critic (d. 1996)
  • 1910 – Gloria Stuart, American actress
  • 1911 – Mitch Miller, American entertainer
  • 1912 – Viviane Romance, French actress (d. 1991)
  • 1916 – Iva Toguri D’Aquino, American thought to be Tokyo Rose in World War II (d. 2006)
  • 1917 – Manolete, Spanish bullfighter (d. 1947)
  • 1918 – Ann Landers, American advice columnist (d. 2002)
  • 1918 – Abigail Van Buren, American advice columnist (“Dear Abby”)
  • 1918 – King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV of Tonga (d. 2006)
  • 1920 – Norm Drucker, American basketball referee
  • 1920 – Leona Helmsley, American hotel operator and real estate investor (d. 2007)
  • 1921 – Gerard Debreu, French economist, Nobel laureate (d. 2004)
  • 1921 – Tibor Varga, Hungarian violinist (d. 2003)
  • 1923 – Rudolf Friedrich, Swiss Federal Councilor
  • 1924 – Eva Marie Saint, American actress
  • 1926 – Alfredo Di Stéfano, Argentine-Spanish footballer
  • 1927 – Gina Lollobrigida, Italian actress
  • 1927 – Neil Simon, American playwright
  • 1929 – Al Davis, American football team owner (Oakland Raiders)
  • 1929 – Chuck Tanner, American baseball player
  • 1929 – Bill Tuttle, American baseball player (d. 1998)
  • 1930 – Frunzik Mkrtchyan, Armenian actor
  • 1930 – George Steinbrenner, American businessman & baseball team owner (New York  Yankees)
  • 1930 – Yuri Tyukalov, Soviet Olympic rower
  • 1931 – Stephen Boyd, Northern Irish actor (d. 1977)
  • 1931 – Sébastien Japrisot, French author, film director and sreenwriter (d. 2003)
  • 1934 – Colin Welland, English actor
  • 1935 – Paul Scoon, Governor General of Grenada
  • 1937 – Sonja Haraldsen, Queen of Norway (spouse of King Harald V of Norway)
  • 1938 – Bill Withers, American singer and songwriter
  • 1942 – Hal Lanier, American baseball player
  • 1942 – Floyd Little, American football player
  • 1942 – Stefan Meller, Polish foreign minister
  • 1943 – Konrad “Conny” Bauer, German musician
  • 1943 – Geraldo Rivera, American reporter
  • 1943 – Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, American musician (Canned Heat) (d. 1970)
  • 1943 – Emerson Boozer, American football player
  • 1944 – Ray Meagher, Australian actor
  • 1946 – Tish Howard, American model
  • 1946 – Ron Kovic, American peace activist
  • 1946 – Michael Milken, American financier
  • 1946 – Ed O’Ross, American actor
  • 1947 – Morganna Roberts, American personality (kissing bandit)
  • 1948 – Ed Armbrister, baseball player
  • 1948 – René Arnoux, French race car driver
  • 1948 – Tommy Körberg, Swedish singer and actor
  • 1948 – Jeremy Spencer, English musician
  • 1950 – David Jensen, Canadian-born British radio DJ
  • 1951 – Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, American politician
  • 1952 – Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Colombian politician
  • 1954 – Jim Beattie, American baseball player
  • 1955 – John Waite, English singer (The Babys)
  • 1958 – Kirk Pengilly, Australian musician (INXS)
  • 1959 – Victoria Abril, Spanish actress
  • 1960 – Sid Eudy, American professional wrestler
  • 1960 – Roland Ratzenberger, Austrian racing driver (d. 1994)
  • 1961 – Richard Garriott, English video game designer
  • 1962 – Neil Morrissey, English actor
  • 1962 – Pam Shriver, American former tennis player
  • 1963 – Henri Leconte, French former tennis player
  • 1963 – Matt Malley, American musician (Counting Crows)
  • 1963 – José Oquendo, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1964 – Cle Kooiman, American soccer player
  • 1964 – Mark Slaughter, American singer (Slaughter)
  • 1966 – Lee Reherman, American actor
  • 1965 – Horace Grant, American basketball player
  • 1967 – Vinny Castilla, Mexican baseball player
  • 1967 – Andy Walker, Canadian television personality
  • 1967 – Rick Wilkins, American baseball player
  • 1970 – Tony Vidmar, Australian former footballer
  • 1971 – Andy Creeggan, Canadian musician (ex-Barenaked Ladies)
  • 1971 – Brendan Donnelly, American baseball player
  • 1971 – Koko, sign-language gorilla
  • 1971 – Andrew Murray, English entrepreneur
  • 1971 – Ned Zelic, Australian footballer
  • 1973 – Gackt, Japanese singer (ex-vocalist of Malice Mizer)
  • 1973 – Keiko Ihara, Japanese racing driver
  • 1973 – Michael Johnson, English-born Jamaican footballer
  • 1973 – Jan Magnussen, Danish racing driver
  • 1973 – Tony Popovic, Australian footballer
  • 1974 – La’Roi Glover, American football player
  • 1974 – Vince Spadea, American tennis player
  • 1975 – Tania Davis, Australian violist (bond)
  • 1976 – Daijiro Kato, Japanese motorcycle racer (d. 2003)
  • 1977 – Katia Zygouli, Greek super model, winner of Elite Model Look contest 1996
  • 1978 – Vicky Kaya, Greek supermodel and actress
  • 1978 – Emile Mpenza, Belgian footballer
  • 1978 – Becki Newton, American actress
  • 1981 – Francisco Cruceta, Dominican baseball player
  • 1983 – Isabeli Fontana, Brazilian model
  • 1983 – Ben Jorgensen, American musician (Armor For Sleep)
  • 1983 – Andy Mrotek, American musician (The Academy Is…)
  • 1984 – Gina Glocksen, American Idol finalist
  • 1984 – Akanishi Jin, Japanese Idol (member of KAT-TUN)
  • 1986 – Takahisa Masuda, Japanese Idol (member of NEWS (band) and Tegomass)
  • 2003 – Alessia di Matteo, first survivor of eight transplants in one operation (d. 2005)

July 4 – Deaths:

  • 907 – Luitpold, Margrave of Bavaria
  • 943 – Taejo of Goryeo, ruler of Korea (b. 877)
  • 965 – Pope Benedict V
  • 973 – Ulrich of Augsburg, German bishop (b. 890)
  • 1187 – Raynald of Chatillon, Prince of Antioch
  • 1541 – Pedro de Alvarado, Spanish explorer (b. 1495)
  • 1546 – Hayreddin Barbarossa, Admiral of the Ottoman Navy (b. 1478)
  • 1603 – Philippe de Monte, Flemish composer (b. 1521)
  • 1623 – William Byrd, English composer
  • 1648 – Antoine Daniel, French Jesuit missionary, one of the Canadian Martyrs (b. 1601)
  • 1742 – Guido Grandi, Italian mathematician (b. 1671)
  • 1754 – Philippe Néricault Destouches, French dramatist (b. 1680)
  • 1761 – Samuel Richardson, English writer (b. 1689)
  • 1780 – Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, Austrian military leader (b. 1712)
  • 1787 – Charles de Rohan, prince de Soubise, Marshal of France (b. 1715)
  • 1821 – Richard Cosway, English artist (b. 1742)
  • 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)
  • 1848 – François-René de Chateaubriand, French writer (b. 1768)
  • 1850 – William Kirby, English entomologist (b. 1759)
  • 1854 – Karl Friedrich Eichhorn, German jurist (b. 1781)
  • 1857 – William L. Marcy, American statesman (b. 1786)
  • 1881 – Johan Vilhelm Snellman, Finnish statesman (b. 1806)
  • 1882 – Joseph Brackett, American composer (b. 1797)
  • 1891 – Hannibal Hamlin, U.S. Vice President (b. 1809)
  • 1901 – Johannes Schmidt, German linguist (b. 1843)
  • 1902 – Swami Vivekananda, Indian spiritual leader (b. 1863)
  • 1905 – Élisée Reclus, French anarchist (b. 1830)
  • 1910 – Melville Weston Fuller, 8th Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1833)
  • 1910 – Giovanni Schiaparelli, Italian astronomer (b. 1835)
  • 1916 – Alan Seeger, American war poet (b. 1888)
  • 1922 – Lothar von Richthofen, German pilot (b. 1894)
  • 1926 – Pier Giorgio Frassati, Italian mountaineer (b. 1901)
  • 1931 – Buddie Petit, American jazz musician (b. 1895)
  • 1931 – Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta, Italian aristocrat (b. 1869)
  • 1934 – Maria Sklodowska-Curie, Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Physics (b. 1867)
  • 1938 – Otto Bauer, Austrian Social Democratic politician (b. 1881)
  • 1938 – Suzanne Lenglen, French tennis player (b. 1899)
  • 1941 – Antoni Lomnicki, Polish mathematician (b. 1881)
  • 1946 – Gerda Steinhoff, Nazi concentration camp overseer (b. 1922)
  • 1948 – Monteiro Lobato, Brazilian writer (b. 1882)
  • 1963 – Bernard Freyberg, Governor-General of New Zealand (b. 1889)
  • 1970 – Barnett Newman, American artist (b. 1905)
  • 1970 – Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, member of the Vanderbilt family (b. 1884)
  • 1971 – August Derleth, American writer and editor (b. 1909)
  • 1975 – Georgette Heyer, English author (b. 1902)
  • 1976 – Antoni Slonimski, Polish poet (b. 1895)
  • 1977 – Gersh Budker, Russian physicist (b. 1918)
  • 1980 – Maurice Grevisse, Belgian grammarian (b. 1895)
  • 1982 – Terry Higgins, early British AIDS death (b. 1945)
  • 1984 – Jimmie Spheeris, American singer-songwriter (b. 1949)
  • 1986 – Oscar Zariski, Russian mathematician (b. 1899)
  • 1986 – Flor Peeters, Belgian composer, organist, and teacher (b. 1903)
  • 1988 – Adrian Adonis, American artist (b. 1954)
  • 1991 – Victor Chang, Australian physician (b. 1936)
  • 1992 – Ástor Piazzolla, Argentinian composer (b. 1921)
  • 1993 – Bona Arsenault, French Canadian politician and historian (b. 1903)
  • 1994 – Joey Marella, American professional wrestling referee (b. 1964)
  • 1995 – Eva Gabor, Hungarian actress (b. 1919)
  • 1995 – Bob Ross, American artist and television host (b. 1942)
  • 1997 – Charles Kuralt, American television presenter (b. 1934)
  • 1997 – John Zachary Young, English zoologist (b. 1907)
  • 1999 – Leo Garel, American artist and cartoonist (b.1917)
  • 2000 – Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski, Polish writer (b. 1919)
  • 2001 – Keenan Milton, Professional Skater (b. 1974)
  • 2002 – Benjamin O. Davis Jr., American general (b. 1912)
  • 2002 – Mansoor Hekmat, Iranian politician (b. 1951)
  • 2003 – Barry White, American singer (b. 1944)
  • 2003 – André Claveau, French singer (b. 1915)
  • 2004 – Jean-Marie Auberson, Swiss conductor (b. 1920)
  • 2004 – Frank Robinson (Xylophone Man), an eccentric street entertainer in Nottingham, England (b. 1932)
  • 2005 – Hank Stram, American football coach (b. 1923)
  • 2007 – Baris Akarsu, Turkish rock musician (b. 1979)
  • 2007 – Bill Pinkney, American singer and performer (b. 1925)

July 4 – Holidays:

  • United States – Independence Day (1776)
  • Filipino-American Friendship Day
  • In astronomy, the approximate date of Earth’s aphelion.
  • Liturgical feasts:

o   Saint Flavian

o   Translation, Ordination of Saint Martin, bishop of Tours, confessor

o   Saint Odo, bishop of Canterbury

o   Saint Procopius, abbot (at Prague), confessor

o   Saint Ulric, bishop of Augsburg, confessor (d. 973)

o   Saint Bertha, widow, abbess of Blangy in Artois

o   Saint Elizabeth Lusitania of Portugal (d. 136)

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