A big day in history
On July 4, 1054, a supernova in the sky near the star Tauri was observed and recorded by observers in China, Europe, the Ottoman Empire and the Americas. For months it remained bright enough to be seen during the day. Today, its remnants form the Crab Nebula.
On July 4, 1636, Providence, Rhode Island, was founded. On that same date in 1802, West Point, the United States Military Academy opened. In 1817, construction of the Erie Canal began.
In 1831 – Samuel Francis Smith unveiled the song "America" ("My country 'tis of thee") during Boston festivities. In 1863, Vicksburg, Mississippi surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant after a 47-day siege.
In 1865 – Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published.
In 1881, the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama opened.
In 1886, the people of France gave the Statue of Liberty to the people of the United States.
In 1894, the Republic of Hawaii was proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole, but later applied to be a U.S. territory.
In 1918, the Bolsheviks killed Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his family – but daughter Anastasia was rumored to have escaped.
In 1939, Lou Gehrig, diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, told a crowd at Yankee Stadium that he was retiring and considered himself "The luckiest man on the face of the earth."
In 1946, after 381 years of colonial rule, the Philippine Islands attained full independence.
In 1947, the "India Independence Bill" was presented before British House of Commons granting India and Pakistan self-government.
In 1950, Radio Free Europe broadcasted for the first time.
In 1976, Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but one of the passengers and the crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.
In 1997, NASA's Pathfinder space probe landed on the surface of Mars.
In 2004, the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower was laid at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.
In 2009, the Statue of Liberty's crown reopened to the public after being closed for eight years following the World Trade Center attacks.