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History's Happenings for July 4

Birth of the United States of America
1776

The Declaration of Independence is presented to the Congress for signing

On July 4, 1776, Congress issued the seminal American document, the Declaration of Independence, which marked the foundation of the United States of America as an independent nation. In actuality, the date does not mark the important actions as much as it exists at the top of the document itself -- the Declaration was written earlier after several drafts, and at least one delegate signed it much later.

Furthermore, independence had not been a seriously considered notion until virtually the last minute, when it became very evident that our grievances with Britain could not be resolved peacefully -- we were already at war -- nor within the framework of the Commonwealth.

This somewhat hasty and not universally popular decision created what was to become the most successful, freest nation on earth.

U. S. Military Academy Opens
1802

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Jefferson, John Adams Die
1826

Thomas Jefferson, who died hours before John Adams just fifty years after his great document

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Thoreau Moves To Walden Pond
1845

Writer Henry David Thoreau

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Birth of President Calvin Coolidge
1872

President Calvin Coolidge

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Statue of Liberty Presented to U.S.
1884

The Statue of Liberty

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Lou Gehrig Bids Farewell to Fans
1939

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U.S. Grants Philippine Independence
1946

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LBJ Signs Freedom of Information Act
1966

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Israelis Raid Entebbe, Rescue Hostages
1976

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Pathfinder Probe Lands on Mars
1997

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