Today is Saturday, July 4, the 185th day of 2015. 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 1815, the cornerstone was laid for a monument in Baltimore honoring George Washington (the monument was completed in 1829).
In 1831, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York City at age 73.
In 1845, Henry David Thoreau began his two-year experiment in simpler living at Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts.
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 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 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir parted after spending five days in orbit docked together.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, during an Independence Day visit to Morgantown, West Virginia, urged resolve in the war in Iraq and said that "the proper response is not retreat. It is courage." Hall of Fame football coach Hank Stram died in Covington, Louisiana, at age 82. Movie musical actress June Haver died at age 79.
Five years 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 election 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.
One year ago: Germany summoned the U.S. ambassador in Berlin after the arrest of a man reported to have spied for the United States, heightening friction between the two countries over alleged U.S. eavesdropping in Germany. Richard Mellon Scaife, 82, the billionaire heir to the Mellon banking and oil fortunes and a newspaper publisher who funded libertarian and conservative causes and various projects aimed at discrediting President Bill Clinton, died in Pittsburgh.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Eva Marie Saint is 91. Actress Gina Lollobrigida is 88. Playwright Neil Simon is 88. Country singer Ray Pillow is 78. Singer Bill Withers is 77. Actor Ed Bernard is 76. Actress Karolyn Grimes is 75. Broadcast journalist Geraldo Rivera is 72. Vietnam War veteran and peace activist Ron Kovic is 69. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ralph Johnson (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 64. Rock musician Domingo Ortiz (Widespread Panic) is 63. Singer John Waite is 60. Rock musician Kirk Pengilly (INXS) is 57. Country musician Teddy Carr is 55. Rock DJ Zonka is 53. Tennis Hall of Famer Pam Shriver is 53. Rock musician Matt Malley is 52. Christian rock singer Michael Sweet is 52. Actor-playwright-screenwriter Tracy Letts is 50. Actor Al Madrigal is 44. Actress Jenica Bergere is 41. Actor-singer John Lloyd Young is 40. Singer Stephen "Ste" McNally (BBMak) is 37. Actress Becki Newton is 37. TV personality Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Melanie Fiona is 32. Malia Obama is 17.
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 Saturday, July 4)
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