1802 -- The US Military Academy officially opened at West Point, NY.
1803 -- The Louisiana Purchase was announced in newspapers. The property was purchased, by the US from France, for $15 million - 3 cents an acre. The "Corps of Discovery", led by Meriweather Lewis and William Clark, began exploration on May 14, 1894
1804 -- Nathaniel Hawthorne was born
1817 -- Construction began on the Erie Canal, to connect Lake Erie and the Hudson River.
1826 -- Former US Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died. Adams died at age 90 in Braintree MA. Jefferson died at age 83 near Charlottesville VA.
1831 -- James Monroe died at age 73 in New York City.
1832 -- The song "America" was sung in public for the first time at the Park Street Church in Boston MA.
1845 -- The Texas Constitutional Convention voted to accept the United States annexation proposal. It then drafted an Annexation Ordinance and State Constitution to submit to the voters of Texas.
1845 -- American writer, Henry David Thoreau, began his two year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond, near Concord MA.
1846 -- The 28th star, representing Texas, was added to the United States Flag.
1848 -- In Washington, DC, the cornerstone for the Washington Monument was laid.
1855 -- The first edition of "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman, was published in Brooklyn NY.
1863 -- The Confederate town of Vicksburg, MS surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant.
1872 -- Calvin Coolidge - 30th President of the United States - was born.
1884 -- Bullfighting was introduced in the US in Dodge City, KS.
1886 -- the first rodeo in America was held at Prescott AZ.
1892 -- the first double-decked street car service was inaugurated in San Diego, CA
1894 -- after seizing power, Judge Stanford B. Dole declared Hawaii a republic.
1895 -- The song "America the Beautiful" was first published.
1901 -- William H. Taft became the American governor of the Philippines.
1918 -- Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren were born.
1927 -- Neil Simon was born
1930 -- George Steinbrenner was born
1934 -- Boxer Joe Louis won his first professional fight.
1934 -- At Mount Rushmore, George Washington's face was dedicated.
1939 -- Lou Gehrig retired from major league baseball.
1946 -- The Philippines achieved full independence for the first time in over four hundred years.
1954 -- A sensationalized murder trial inspires "The Fugitive" ... Dr. Sam Sheppard was accused of beating his wife to death in their home in Cleveland, OH.
1959 -- The 49 star US flag debuted.
1960 -- The 50 star US flag made its debut in Philadelphia PA.
1966 -- President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, which went into effect the following year.
1987 -- Klaus Barbie, the former Gestapo chief known as the "Butcher of Lyon" was convicted by a French court of crimes against humanity and sentenced to a life in prison.
1997 -- Ferry service between Manhattan and Staten Island was made free of charge.
2004 -- In New York, the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower was laid on the former World Trade Center site.
Fun facts for July 4th --
*The biggest hot dog day of the year =) Average of 155 million hot dogs are consumed on July 4th
*It was not hot dogs that John Adams ate on July 4th -- According to legend, on July 4, 1776, John Adams and his wife Abigail, sat down for a celebratory meal of - turtle soup, poached salmon with egg sauce, green peas and boiled new potatoes in jackets. They followed the meal with Indian pudding or Apple Pandowdy.
*Estimated population of people living in the newly independent nation, July 4, 1776 -- 2.5 million
Estimated population of people now living in the United States of America, July 4, 2013 -- 316.2 million
*56 signers to the Declaration of Independence
*59 places in America that contain the word "liberty" ... with 11 in Pennsylvania.
1 place has "patriot" in its name - Patriot, Indiana.
*The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.
*The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so that all the colonies would appear equal.
*Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird, but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson - they wanted the bald eagle.
*The first official Fourth of July party was held at the White House in 1801.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!!