history lesson: what else has happened on the fourth of july?

Source: glo.msn.com via Kelly on Pinterest


I love the Fourth of July. It’s pretty much everything that’s awesome in life: beautiful summer weather, family picnics full of laughter and good food, swimming all day long, honoring the military, celebrating with parades and fireworks, watching holiday-appropriate movies, etc. At least, that’s how I have always spent my Fourth of July. Being the history nerd I am, I also love to imagine what that day was like in 1776. It got me thinking – what other major events in U.S. history have occurred on July 4th? Do any other countries share our Independence Day? Here’s what I found:


  • 1802: U.S. Military Academy officially opens (West Point)
  • 1803: The Louisiana Purchase is made public
  • 1826: Former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die
  • 1827: Slavery is abolished in New York
  • 1831: Former President James Monroe dies; “America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee)” is first sung in Boston
  • 1845: Texas Congress votes for annexation to the U.S.
  • 1861: During a special session of Congress, President Abraham Lincoln requests 400,000 troops
  • 1861: John Brown leads an attempted raid on the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia
  • 1863: Confederates withdraw from Gettysburg and surrender Vicksburg
  • 1884: The Statue of Liberty is presented to the U.S. in Paris
  • 1892: Western Samoa changes the International Date Line, causing there to be 367 days in the year 1892 for the U.S., including two Monday, July 4ths
  • 1895: Katherine Lee Bates publishes the song “America the Beautiful”
  • 1906: Ethiopia is granted independence from Great Britain, France, and Italy
  • 1913: President Woodrow Wilson speaks to American Civil War veterans (Union and Confederate) at the Great Reunion of 1913
  • 1946: The Philippines is granted independence from U.S.
  • 1950: President Harry S. Truman signs Public Law 600 (which authorizes Puerto Rico to draft its own constitution)
  • 1956: Independence National Historical Park is created in Philadelphia
  • 1959: A 49th star is added to the U.S. flag to represent the state of Alaska
  • 1960: A 50th star is added to the U.S. flag to represent the state of Hawaii
  • 1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act
  • 2004: The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower is laid (NYC)
  • 2009: The Statue of the Liberty’s crown reopens to the public after being closed for eight years
I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday! : )

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


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