The Fourth of July is the most important date in the History of the United States. The mere mention of July 4th conjures images of freedom and patriotism. We think of the Founding Fathers, the Revolutionary War, the early history of our country and what it means to be free. But, there are other events in history that have happened on this same date, some of which are significant in American history and some that are significant outside the U.S. Here are just a few significant events that occurred on July 4th.
1776: Continental Congress proclaims Declaration if Independence
1796: The first Independence Day celebration is held.
1802: The U.S. Military Academy at West Point opens.
1803: The Louisiana Purchase is announced
1826: The second and third presidents of the United States, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both die.
1827: Slavery is abolished in New York.
1828: Construction starts on the first U.S. passenger rail road, the Baltimore-Ohio.
1831: The 5th U.S. President James Monroe dies.
1832: “America” (My Country, ’Tis of Thee) was first performed in Boston.
1836: The Wisconsin Territory is formed.
1845: Texas Congress votes to annex the state into the United States.
1861: A Civil War skirmish broke out at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, and in a special session of Congress, President Abraham Lincoln requests 400,000 troops to combat the Confederate army.
1862: Civil War Battles at Port Royal in South Carolina and Green River, Kentucky.
1863: Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to Union troops a skirmish occurs at Smithburg, Tennessee, and most significantly, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army withdraws from Gettysburg. The Confederate army also failed to take Helena, Arkansas
1864: Another Civil War Battle takes place on Independence Day. This time, along the Chattahoochee River in Georgia.
1876: First public demonstration of electric light given in San Francisco
1881: Booker T. Washington establishes Tuskegee Institute in Alabama
1884: The Statue of Liberty is given to the U.S. by France.
1895: “America The Beautiful” was first published.
1906: Another country gets to celebrate a July 4th independence. Ethiopia was granted Independence from Great Britain, Italy and France
1925: The Dreyfus Hotel in Boston collapses, killing 44 people.
1942: The United States begins its first air offensive against Nazi Germany.
1959: The United States presents its new 49-star flag after Alaska becomes a state.
1960: The United presents the 50-star flag after Hawaii becomes a state.
1964: The Beach Boys’ song “I Get Around” reaches the top of the charts.
1966: The Freedom of Information Act is signed.
1969: The Soviet Union performs nuclear test in Eastern Kazakhstan.
1970: Kasey Kasem’s “American Top 40” debuts.
1988: The U.S. shoots down Iranian jetliner, killing 290 passengers.
1996: Hotmail launches.