Today is July 4. This is Independence Day. On this date in:
The Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
The United States Military Academy officially opened at West Point, New York.
Ground was broken for the Erie Canal in Rome, New York. The middle section of the waterway took three years to complete; the entire canal was finished in 1825.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both pass away on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
The first edition of the poetry collection “Leaves of Grass” by American poet Walt Whitman was published.
The Centennial Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States of 1888, held in Cincinnati at Music Hall and the surrounding area, began its four-month run in honor of the city’s 100th birthday.
During a ceremony in Paris honoring the French hero of the American Revolution, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles E. Stanton, an aide to Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, declared: “Lafayette, we are here!”
Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees delivered his farewell speech in which he called himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
The small central California town of Hollister was overrun by thousands of motorcycling enthusiasts, dozens of whom ended up being arrested, most for drunkenness, in what came to be called the “Hollister Riot.”
Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops opened the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati with a concert featuring Ella Fitzgerald.
Klaus Barbie, the former Gestapo chief known as the “Butcher of Lyon,” was convicted by a French court of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison (he died in September 1991).
NASA’s Pathfinder spacecraft landed on Mars, inaugurating a new era in the search for life on the red planet.
Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair was fatally shot in a Nashville condo by his mistress, Sahel Kazemi, who then killed herself.