July 4

Scott Winters, Realtor


1776 – The amended Declaration of Independence, prepared by Thomas Jefferson, was approved and signed by John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress in America.

1802 – The U.S. Military Academy officially opened at West Point, NY.

1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was announced in newspapers. The property was purchased, by the U.S. from France, was for $15 million (or 3 cents an acre). The “Corps of Discovery,” led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, began the exploration of the territory on May 14, 1804.

1817 – Construction began on the Erie Canal, to connect Lake Erie and the Hudson River.

1845 – American writer Henry David Thoreau began his two-year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond, near Concord, MA.

1848 – In Washington, DC, the cornerstone for the Washington Monument was laid.

1859 – Grand Rapids, MI folks were thrilled by an Independence Day balloon ascension by Prof. William Bannister.

1865 – “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” was published.

1881 – Tuskegee Institute opened in Alabama.

1884 – Bullfighting was introduced in the U.S. in Dodge City, KS.

1886 – The first rodeo in America was held at Prescott, AZ.

1886 – The people of France offered the Statute of Liberty to the people of the United States.

1892 – The first double-decked street car service was inaugurated in San Diego, CA.

1895 – The song “America the Beautiful” was first published.

1899 – The biggest of all Grand Rapids Police raids occurred when 145 liquor dealers were arrested on charges of violating a state law by selling alcoholic beverages on a legal holiday. The law was frequently disregarded in Grand Rapids on Independence Day.

1910 – Race riots broke out all over the United States after African-American Jack Johnson knocked out Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match.

1929 – A early morning storm caused two giant wave incidents to strike west Michigan beaches. The seiches cause several deaths (nine at Grand Haven beach). Witnesses reported the waves exceeded 20 feet.

1934 – Boxer Joe Louis won his first professional fight.

1934 – At Mount Rushmore, George Washington’s face was dedicated.

1939 – There was not a dry eye in the house of 61,808 fans at Yankee Stadium, in New York, NY, as Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, informed the crowd that he considered himself the “luckiest man on the fact of the earth”, and then announced his retirement from major league baseball.

1955 – The first king cobra snakes born in captivity in the U.S. hatched at the Bronx Zoo in New York, NY.

1957 – The U.S. Postal Service issued the 4¢ Flag stamp.

1959 – The 49-star U.S. flag became official.

1960 – The 50-star U.S. flag made its debut in Philadelphia, PA.

1966 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, which went into effect the following year.

1970 – Casey Kasem hosted radio’s “American Top 40” for the first time.

1976 – The U.S. celebrated its Bicentennial.

1997 – The Mars Pathfinder, an unmanned spacecraft, landed on Mars. A rover named Sojourner was deployed to gather data about the surface of the planet.

1997 – Ferry service between Manhattan and Staten Island was made free of charge. Previously, the charge had ranged from 5 cents to 50 cents.

2004 – In New York, NY, the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower (One World Trade Center) was laid on the former World Trade Center site.

2005 – NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft took pictures as a space probe smashed into the Tempel 1 comet. The mission was aimed at learning more about comets that formed from the leftover building blocks of the solar system. The Deep Impact mission launched on January 12, 2005.

2009 – The Statue of Liberty’s crown reopened to visitors. It had been closed to the public since 2001 due to security concerns following the September 11 attacks.



Eva Marie Saint – 94 years old (1924) – Actress (“On the Waterfront”, “North by Northwest”, “A Hatful of Rain”, TV’s “People Like Us”)

Gina Lollobrigida – 91 years old (1927) – Actress

Neil Simon – 91 years old (1927) – Playwright (“The Odd Couple”, “Brighton Beach Memories”, “Barefoot in the Park”, “The Sunshine Boys”)

Ray Pillow – 81 years old (1937) – Country singer

Bill Withers – 80 years old (1938) – Singer (“Lean on Me”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”)

Ed Bernard – 79 years old (1939) – Actor (TV’s “Police Woman”, “The White Shadow”)

Karolyn Grimes – 78 years old (1940) – Actress (“It’s a Wonderful Life”, “The Bishop’s Wife”)

Geraldo Rivera – 75 years old (1943) – TV personality

Jeremy Spencer – 70 years old (1948) – Guitarist (Fleetwood Mac)

John Waite – 66 years old (1952) – Singer (“Missing You”, The Babys, Bad English)

Kirk Pengilly – 60 years old (1958) – saxophonist, guitarist (INXS)

Signy Coleman – 58 years old (1960) – Actress (TV’s “The Young and the Restless”, “Guiding Light”)

Mark Slaughter – 54 years old (1964) – Musician (Slaughter)

William Goldsmith – 46 years old (1972) – Drummer (Foo Fighters)



Barbecue Day

Caesar Salad Day

Independence Day

Independence from Meat Day

Jackfruit Day

Spareribs Day


For additional information check out websites like: www.on-this-day.comwww.born-today.com, www.famousbirthdays.com, and www.daysoftheyear.com.

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