Today in History – The Boston Globe

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

In 1802, the United States Military Academy officially opened in West Point, NY

In 1826, 50 years to the day after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, former Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died.

In 1831, the fifth President of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York at the age of 73.

In 1863, the Civil War siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi ended when a Confederate garrison surrendered to Union forces.

In 1910, in what was billed as “The Fight of the Century”, black world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson defeated former white champion James J. Jeffries in Reno.

In 1912, the 48-star American flag, recognizing New Mexico’s statehood, was adopted. A train crash near Corning, NY, killed 39 people.

In 1939, Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees gave his famous farewell speech in which he called himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

In 1976, America celebrated its bicentennial with day-long festivities; President Gerald R. Ford made stops in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and New York, where more than 200 ships paraded down the Hudson River in Operation Sail.

In 1987, Klaus Barbie, the former head of the Gestapo known as the “Boucher de Lyon”, was found guilty by a French court of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison (he died in September 1991).

In 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir parted ways after spending five days in orbit docked together.

In 2009, Serena Williams defeated her big sister, Venus, 7-6(3), 6-2 for her third Wimbledon title and 11th Grand Slam championship.

In 2012, scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva, home of the world’s largest atom destroyer, cheered the apparent end of a decades-long quest for a new subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, or “particle of God”. Joey Chestnut won his sixth consecutive 4th of July hot dog eating contest at Coney Island in New York, putting down 68 dogs and buns to tie his personal best.

In 2016, NASA received a radio signal from the solar-powered Juno spacecraft confirming that it was orbiting the planet Jupiter after a nearly five-year, 1.8 billion-mile journey.

In 2017, the United States confirmed that North Korea had launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, as the North had boasted and the United States and South Korea had feared. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called it “a further escalation of the threat” to the United States.

Last year, on the second July 4 holiday of the coronavirus pandemic, military and first responders were among more than 1,000 guests at an event at the White House, where President Biden said “the ‘America Comes Back Together’; Biden highlighted the success of the vaccination campaign, but warned that the fight against COVID-19 was not over. Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks has died of chest trauma caused by a fireworks mortar exploding in a Michigan home.