Today in history: Friday, July 4, the 185th day of 2014

Today is Friday, July 4, the 185th day of 2014. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day.


On this date in:

1776: The Declaration of Independence is adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

1802: The United States Military Academy officially opens at West Point, N.Y.

1831: The fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, dies in New York City at 73.

1863: The Civil War Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., ends as a Confederate garrison surrenders to Union forces.

1872: The 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, is born in Plymouth, Vt.

1912: The 48-star American flag, recognizing New Mexico statehood, is adopted.

1939: Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees delivers his famous farewell speech in which he calls himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

1942: Irving Berlin’s musical revue, “This Is the Army,” opens at the Broadway Theater in New York.

1959: America’s 49-star flag, recognizing Alaskan statehood, is officially unfurled.

1960: America’s 50-star flag, recognizing Hawaiian statehood, is officially unfurled.

1976: Israeli commandos raid Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing almost all of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by pro-Palestinian hijackers.

1982: The space shuttle Columbia concludes its fourth and final test flight with a smooth landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne marries his manager, Sharon Arden, in Maui, Hawaii.

1999: White supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith shoots himself to death as police close in on him in southern Illinois, hours after he had apparently shot and killed a Korean man outside a church in Bloomington, Ind.; authorities believe Smith is also responsible for killing former college basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong during a three-day rampage targeting minorities.

2004: A 20-ton slab of granite, inscribed to honor “the enduring spirit of freedom,” is laid at the World Trade Center site as the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower skyscraper that replaced the destroyed twin towers.

Defending the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush tells a cheering crowd outside the West Virginia state capitol that America is safer because Saddam Hussein is in a prison cell

2013: Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, is sworn in following the ouster of Mohammed Morsi, the Islamist leader overthrown by the military after just one year in office.


1989: Trumbull County planners are seeking a $75,000 federal grant for further study of a proposed “Kinsman Reservoir” in northern Trumbull County.

Randy Ayers, 33, becomes the first black head basketball coach in Ohio State University history when he is named to succeed Gary Williams.

For the fifth straight year the Youngstown Employment and Training Corp. exceeds federal performance standards for job training and placement.

1974: At the halfway mark, 1974 is on track to be the biggest in business and payroll, and possibly production, in Youngstown district industrial history.

Two young women who said they were “selling soap door to door” pull a gun on George Betras, 85, and his niece, Edith Betras, 65, at their Lockwood Avenue home, bind and gag them before ransacking the house.

Conservationists in Berne, Ind., build portable nests to protect the eggs of Canada geese who flock to the area to nest. In past years most of the eggs were lost to floods and predators.

1964: The Youngstown district records its first traffic fatality of the July Fourth holiday weekend with the death of Alvin Shaffer, 19, of West Farmington, whose car collided with a cement truck on Route 88 east of Route 46 in Trumbull County.

A skeleton of 100 tons of steel beams is rising at Kirk and Raccoon roads, revealing the outline of a three-story domed structure that will be the Calvary Religious Center. The Rev. Clement Humbard, pastor, describes it as a “community church with a world vision.”

Township trustees call a special meeting to discuss a replacement for Austintown Police Chief Harry Husk, who resigned the $6,500 post to take a job as a claims adjuster for Nationwide Insurance. Husk said he found it difficult to run the department due to political interference.

1939: One of Youngs-town’s most famous landmarks, the Parmalee Block at W. Federal and Fifth Avenue, will be razed to make way for a parking lot. The White Drug Co., Ress Music Store and Washington Restaurant have been given notices to vacate within 60 days.

Three Youngstowners are reported injured by firecrackers despite efforts of the police department to enforce ordinances against selling or setting off fireworks in the city.

Margaret McNab, who organized the first PTA in Youngstown schools and took a leading role in every educational movement in the city’s elementary schools, retires as principal of Jefferson School, ending a 50-year career.

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