1954 : Rationing of meat and bacon through the use of ration books ends bringing to an end rationing in Great Britain which had been in place for 14 years since the beginning of World War II. During the war all kinds of goods were rationed including: All Meats Butter Sugar Sweets and chocolate Clothes Canned and dried fruit Chocolate biscuits Jelly Mincemeat. Petrol Plus for a long time fruit was unavailable due to problems in supply and took till the early 1950s before fresh fruit was affordable and available.
1776 : The United States Declaration of Independence Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson is adopted by the Continental Congress and signed by 56 delegates to the Continental Congress from the Thirteen British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733.
1802 : West Point Military Academy is in Orange County, New York. Originally the United States Military Academy was the U.S. Corps of Engineers training school, but was made the U.S.M.A. by Congress on March 16th, 1802. It was officially opened as such on July 4th, 1802.
1911 : Following a deadly heat wave in the northeastern United States including New York, Philadelphia and many other cities temperatures reached 106 degrees Fahrenheit in Nashua, New Hampshire. The heat wave caused the death of 380 people through heatstroke.
1932 : The plan by many organizations, companies and Government Departments to cut the number of hours worked or days worked by those in current employment, this provides better chances for workers of staying employed and also should help with those seeking work in these testing times. Feelings are mixed with many of those in work concerned about the drop in wages but in general the plan is accepted as a way forward out of the current problems facing the country.
1946 : The Philippines became a self-governing nation after 48 years of U.S. sovereignty.
1959 : A 49th star is added to the American flag to represent the new state of Alaska.
1960 : A 50th star is added to the American flag to represent the new state of Hawaii.
1966 : The New York Transit authority chose the holiday to increase it's minimum fares on Subway and Buses from 15 cents to 20 cents.
1968 : Alec Rose on his 36 ft ketch 'Lively Lady' receives a hero's welcome as he sailed into Portsmouth Harbour after his 354-day round-the-world trip. Unlike many of the earlier and later solo trips around the world Alec Rose did not have large corporate sponsors and had truly sailed round the world on his own. He was knighted the next day to become Sir Alec Rose for his achievement.
1969 : Atlanta International Pop Festival held at Atlanta International Raceway featuring some of the great names in music at the time including Janis Joplin, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Led Zeppelin attracts 100,000 even in temperatures nearing 100 degrees. The concert was billed as a great success with peace, harmony and great music.
1976 : The 200th birthday Bicentennial celebrations of the United States independence from British Rule.
1976 : Israeli commandos rescue 100 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers at Entebbe airport in Uganda.
1984 : Richard Petty the king of stock car racing, won his 200th career victory at the Firecracker 400 race in Daytona, Florida.
1997 : NASA's Mars Pathfinder becomes the first U.S. spacecraft after 20 years to land on Mars after traveling 120 million miles in seven months.
1998 : Forest fires are sweeping across Florida and are now threatening Daytona Beach and nearby Ormond Beach. So far during this emergency over 120,000 have been forced to leave their homes as the wind and lack of rain has fueled hundreds of fires many believed to have been started deliberately.
1999 : Pete Sampras wins in three straight sets beating Andre Agassi for his sixth Men's Wimbledon title in seven years and beating the previous record of Bjorn Borg.
1999 : Osama bin Laden who is on the FBI's "10 most wanted list" is now believed to have established his Al-Qaeda terrorist base in Afghanistan. He is wanted by the US on charges of international terrorism in connection with the 1998 bombing of American embassies in Africa and last year's attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. Osama bin Laden has called for a holy war against the United States, saying it was the duty of Muslims to free their land of American occupation. This was 2 years before his involvement in the 9/11 suicide attacks by al-Qaeda members upon the United States.
2005 : Prior to the meeting later this week of the G8 nations President George W Bush has again said the United States will not support a Kyoto-style agreement on legally binding reductions on carbon emissions. Without US commitment it is unlikely carbon emission by other nations will have the impact many hope for. Even members of his own party including Senator John McCain has called the president's approach on the issue "disgraceful". The other area of major discussion will be Common Agricultural Policy by Europe and farm subsidies in the United States which unfairly distort the world market faced by African farmers.
2006 : The shuttle Discovery launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center and was bound for the International Space Station with seven astronauts aboard. This was the second space shuttle to launch after the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.
2006 : Five Afghan civilians were killed by suspected Taliban militants. The victims were workers at a United States military base in the Kunar province in Eastern Afghanistan. There were also two explosions in Kabul, injuring at least seven people.
2008 : After six decades, the first direct flight that is to become a regular occurrence took place between China and Taiwan. Taiwan and China broke political ties 1949 when the two took on separate governments. The regular flights were expected to boost tourism in both countries.
2009 : North Korea tested seven ballistic missiles over the Sea of Japan, in defiance of UN sanctions that banned any activities involving ballistic missiles in the country. The tests were thought to be a protest against the United States as they took place on the United States independence day.
2011 : Otto von Habsburg, the oldest son of the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the only remaining heir, died at the age of ninety-eight in Germany. Habsburg had served in the European parliament for twenty years and had been a proponent of European unity. Habsburg officially relinquished his rights to the empire in 1961 and was allowed to return to Austria in 1966 for the first time since his family fled in 1919. Habsburg had also been against the Nazi annexation of Austria during World War II and had spoken out against it in 1938.
2012 : Scientists at the Cern laboratories announced the discovery of a boson that is thought to be similar to the illusive Higgs boson (a particle that would help explain how matter gets its mass) through the use of the Large Hadron Collider. Much more research would need to be conducted in order to be more certain of their discovery, however they were able to say with some confidence that the particle may be related the the Higgs boson.
2013 : The French newspaper Le Monde alleges that France's DGSE intelligence agency collects and stores internet and phone data much in the way the US was revealed to with the Prism program.
Celebrating Birthdays Today
Born: Iva Ikuko Toguri, July 4th, 1916, Los Angeles, California
Died: September 26th, 2006, Chicago, Illinois
Known For : Japanese-American woman who broadcast to the U.S. troops in World War II. Post-war she was convicted of treason and served six years in a Federal Reformatory for Women in West Virginia. Having graduated from U.C.L.A. she had gone to Japan in 1941 because of family illness (although other sources claim this was to study medicine). With the attack on Pearl Harbor she was unable to return to U.S. and was employed by Radio Japan. Her broadcasts were used for propaganda reasons as well as domestic fare. They were typically listened to with a degree of skepticism.
Celebrating Birthdays Today
Born: July 4, 1872, Plymouth Notch, Vermont
Died: January 5, 1933, North Hampton, Massachusetts
Known For : alvin Coolidge became the 30th US president (1923 to 1929) after the sudden death of Warren G. Harding. He had previously served as the Vice President. He was also a major player in Massachusetts state government, serving as the Governor of Massachusetts from 1919 to 1921.