Today in History

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Posted: Jul 04, 2011 12:01 AM
Today in History

Today is Monday, July 4, the 185th day of 2011. 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, N.Y.

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, Vt.

In 1894, the Republic of Hawaii was proclaimed. (Hawaii was annexed by the United States four years later.)

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, Nev.

In 1911, pop music conductor Mitch Miller was born in Rochester, N.Y.

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 1959, America's 49-star flag, honoring Alaskan statehood, was officially unfurled.

In 1960, America's 50-star flag, honoring 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.

Ten years ago: A Russian airliner crashed in Siberia, killing all 145 people aboard.

Five years ago: Discovery lifted off in the first Independence Day shuttle launch. Word reached the United States that North Korea had test-fired several missiles, including a long-range device that failed within seconds (because of the time difference, it was July 5 at the launch site).

One year ago: Gen. David Petraeus formally assumed command of the 130,000-strong international force in Afghanistan, declaring "we are in this to win." Interim Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski held off a last-minute surge from Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the identical twin brother of the late president, Lech Kaczynski, who'd died in an April plane crash. Dr. Robert Butler, 83, a Pulitzer Prize-winning expert on aging who coined the phrase "ageism," died in New York. Rafael Nadal swept Tomas Berdych in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, to win his second Wimbledon title and eighth Grand Slam championship.

Today's Birthdays: Advice columnist Pauline Phillips (the original "Dear Abby") is 93. Actress Eva Marie Saint is 87. Actress Gina Lollobrigida is 84. Playwright Neil Simon is 84. Country singer Ray Pillow is 74. Singer Bill Withers is 73. Actor Ed Bernard is 72. Actress Karolyn Grimes is 71. Broadcast journalist Geraldo Rivera is 68. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ralph Johnson (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 60. Rock musician Domingo Ortiz (Widespread Panic) is 59. Singer John Waite is 56. Rock musician Kirk Pengilly (INXS) is 53. Country musician Teddy Carr is 51. Rock DJ Zonka is 49. Tennis Hall of Famer Pam Shriver is 49. Rock musician Matt Malley is 48. Christian rock singer Michael Sweet is 48. Actor Al Madrigal is 40. Actress Jenica Bergere is 37. Actor-singer John Lloyd Young is 36. Singer Stephen "Ste" McNally (BBMak) is 33. Actress Becki Newton (TV: "Ugly Betty") is 33. Presidential daughter Malia Obama is 13.

Thought for Today: "All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions." _ Adlai E. Stevenson, American diplomat and politician (1900-1965).

(Above Advance for Use Monday, July 4)

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