Jul 4, 2008

I'ts Friday, 4th of July... Trivia Time!

Fourth of July is one of the biggest celebrations in the USA, as it is "Independence Day" here.

But some other things happened also on this day and insterestingly enough some of those "other things" also are related to the formation and history of this country. Here is a short list of some of them:

  • In 1054, a supernova is observed by the Chinese, the Arabs and possibly Amerindians near the star ζ Tauri. For several months it remains bright enough to be seen during the day. Its remnants form the Crab Nebula.

  • In 1187, during the Crusades Saladin defeats Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hattin

  • In 1636, City of Providence, Rhode Island forms.

  • In 1754, Lt-Col. George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity to French Capt. Louis Coulon de Villiers.

  • In 1776 the United States Declared its Independence by the Second Continental Congress declaring itself free of British rule.

  • In 1802, The U.S. Military Academy opened at West Point, N.Y.

  • In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase is announced to the American people.

  • 1810 - The French occupy Amsterdam.

  • Also in 1810, Colombia's process of indepence starts with the "Shout of Pamplona".

  • In 1827, slavery is abolished in New York State.

  • In 1832, in what is now Argentina, Salta adheres to the Federal Pact.

  • 1837 - Grand Junction Railway, the world's first long-distance railway, opens between Birmingham and Liverpool.

  • 1838 - The Iowa Territory is organized.

  • 1855 - In Brooklyn, New York, the first edition of Walt Whitman's book of poems, titled Leaves of Grass, is published.

  • In 1863 during the American Civil War Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege.

  • In 1865, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is published.

  • In 1886, the people of France offer the Statue of Liberty to the people of the United States.

  • In 1892, Western Samoa changes the International Date Line, so that year there were 367 days in this country, with two occurrences of Monday, July 4.

  • In 1894, The short-lived Republic of Hawaii is proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole.

  • In 1910 - African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocks out white boxer Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match sparking race riots across the United States.

  • 1918 - Bolsheviks kill Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family (Julian calendar date).

  • 1934 - Leo Szilard patents the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb.

  • 1941 - Nazi Germans massacre Polish scientists and writers in the captured Polish city of Lwów.

  • 1946 - After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule, the Philippines is granted full independence by the United States.

  • In 1947, the "Indian Independence Bill" is presented before British House of Commons, suggesting bifurcation of British India into two sovereign countries - India and Pakistan.

  • 1950 - The first broadcast by Radio Free Europe.

  • In 1954, in Britain, housewives celebrate the end of fourteen years of food rationing, when restrictions on the sale and purchase of meat and bacon were lifted.

  • 1959 - With the admission of Alaska as the 49th U.S. state earlier in the year, the 49-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • 1960 - Due to the post-Independence Day admission of Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959, the 50-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania almost ten and a half months later (see Flag Act).

  • 1966 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act into United States law. The act goes into effect the next year.

  • 1966 - The Beatles, in the Phillipines to give two concerts, are accused of 'standing up' Imelda Marcos. Their entourage is beaten up at the airport.

  • 1976 - Israeli commandos raid Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but four of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.

  • 1987 - In France, former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (aka the "Butcher of Lyon") is convicted of crimes against humanity and is sentenced to life imprisonment.

  • 1991 - Colombia has a new Constitution.

  • 1992 - USS George Washington (CVN-73), a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy is commissioned at Norfolk, Virginia.

  • 1997 - NASA's Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.

  • 2005 - The Deep Impact collider hits the comet Tempel 1.

  • 2006 - Space Shuttle program: STS-121 Mission - Space Shuttle Discovery launches.

  • In 2007 Wikipedia in Spanish reached 250,000 articles.

  • Also, oddly enough, it was on July 4 that three of the five first Presidents of the USA died: in 1826, death claimed the second and third presidents of the United States; John Adams died at age 90 in Braintree, Mass., while Thomas Jefferson died at 83 at Monticello, his home near Charlottesville, Va. Five years later, in 1831, James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, died at age 73 in New York City.

    Via WikiEnglish, WikiSpanish, BBC and NYT

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