It happened today – this day in history – July 4

1415: Angelo Correr renounces his claim to the Papacy as Pope Gregory XII.

1610: Sigmund III’s Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army defeats Russia and Sweden.

1653: The English Barebones Parliament goes into session.

1708: Swedish King Charles XII defeats superior Russian force at the Battle of Holowczyn.

1776: The US Congress proclaims independence from Britain.

1779: The French fleet occupies Grenada.

1782: William Petty becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain following the death of Charles Watson-Wentworth.

1802: The first US Military Academy opens at West Point.

1803: The Louisiana Purchase is announced to the American people by President Thomas Jefferson.

1810: French troops occupy Amsterdam.

1826: Past US presidents Thomas Jefferson and and John Adams both die on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. On the same day, composer Stephen Foster is born in Pennsylvania.

1827: Slavery is abolished in New York.

1829: The first London omnibus begins service between Marylebone Road and Bank.

1831: Former US president James Monroe dies of heart failure and tuberculosis aged 73.

1838: A mining pit at Huskar Colliery, Silkstone, Barnsley, floods and drowns 26 children, leading to the 1842 ‘Mines and Collieries Act’ which bans women and children from working underground.

1840: Cunard’s wooden paddle steamer RMS Britannia departs from Liverpool bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the first transatlantic crossing with a scheduled end.

1861: Skirmish at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, during the American Civil War. On the same day, in a special session of Congress, Abraham Lincoln requests 400,000 troops.

1862: Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) creates Alice in Wonderland for Alice Liddell on a family boat trip on the river Isis (Thames) in Oxford.

1863: General Robert E Lee’s Confederate army withdraws from Gettysburg. On the same day, Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to Union forces.

1865: Exactly three years after the character’s creation, Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is published.

1866: A firecracker thrown in wood starts a fire that destroys half of Portland, Maine.

1876: The first public exhibition of electric light in San Francisco. On the same day, on the US East coast, sculptor Frédéric Auguste Batholdi visits Bedloe Island, future home of his Statue of Liberty.

1894: The Republic of Hawaii is proclaimed, with Sanford B Dole as president.

1906: Great Britain, France, and Italy declare independence of Abyssinia, but all lay claim to their own ‘spheres of influence’.

1907: Tommy Burns KOs Bill Squires of Australia in round 1 for his sixth heavyweight boxing title defence.

1910: Jack Johnson beats James J Jeffries by a TKO in Round 15 in Reno, Nevada to retain his world heavyweight boxing title.

1912: Jack Johnson beats “Fireman” Jim Flynn by disqualification in Round 9 in Las Vegas to retain the world heavyweight boxing title.

1917: Troops of the Russian Provisional Government open fire on protesters in Petrograd.

1919: Jack Dempsey beats champion Jess Willard in the third round in Toledo, Ohio for the world heavyweight championship.

1923: Jack Dempsey beats Tommy Gibbons on points over 15 hard fought rounds in Shelby, Montana, to retain the world heavyweight boxing title.

1934: Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard patents the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb. On the same day, scientist Marie Curie dies aged 66.

1944: The first Japanese kamikaze attack on the US fleet near Iwo Jima.

1945: Field Marshal Henry Maitland Wilson gives Britain’s agreement to use the atomic bomb against Japan at the Combined Policy Committee in Washington D.C.

1946: The Philippines gains independence from the US.

1947: Jack Kramer wins his only Wimbledon singles title beating fellow American Tom Brown 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.

1950: The first broadcast by Radio Free Europe.

1952: Australian Frank Sedgman wins his only Wimbledon singles title beating Czech Jaroslav Drobný 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.


1954: West Germany beat Hungary 3-2 to win the World Cup in Switzerland. On the same day, 14 years of food rationing in Britain ends as restrictions on the purchase of meat are lifted.

1959: Chris Blackwell forms Island Records in Jamaica.

1966: After playing at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, Manila, to over 80,000 fans, the Beatles fail to appear at a palace reception hosted by Imelda Marcos, who was not informed that the Beatles had declined their invitation. The Philippine media misrepresent this as a deliberate snub and when Brian Epstein tries to make a televised statement, his comments are disrupted by static. The next day they are greeted by angry mobs and are manhandled by police in the departure lounge of the airport. On the same day, US President Lyndon B Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act.

1968: Round-the-world yachtsman Alec Rose receives a hero’s welcome as he sails into Portsmouth at the end of his voyage.

1969: Beginning of the first two-day Atlanta Pop Festival featuring Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Joe Cocker, Credence Clearwater Revival, Blood Sweat and tears, Canned Heat, Spirit and Chicago.

1970: A hundred people die in race riots in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

1973: Slade drummer Don Powell is badly injured in a car crash in which his girlfriend is killed. On the same day, Alan Ayckbourne’s “Absurd Person Singular,” premieres in London and British Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles marries Camilla Rosemary Shand at Guards Chapel in Birdcage Walk, London.

1976: Israeli commandos fly to Uganda to save 100 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers at Entebbe airport.

1977: Tommy Docherty is sacked as manager of Manchester United after a newspaper reveals his affair with Mary Brown, the wife of the club physio.

1981: John McEnroe ends Bjorn Borg’s streak of five straight Wimbledon titles with a famous 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory.

1982: Jimmy Connors beats John McEnroe 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 to win an ill-tempered Wimbledon Men’s singles final. On the same day, singer Ozzy Osbourne marries manager Sharon Arden in Hawaii.

1985: 13-year old child prodigy Ruth Lawrence achieves a starred first in Mathematics at Oxford University.

1990: England lose on penalties to West Germany in the semi final of the World Cup with Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle failing to score from the spot. Paul Gascoigne bursts into tears when he receives a booking that would have kept him out of the final. On the same day, Paul Stanley, guitarist/vocalist with Kiss, sustains neck and back injuries in a car crash in New Jersey.

1993: Pete Sampras beats fellow American Jim Courier 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 for his first of seven Wimbledon titles.

1995: Prime Minister, John Major, wins the battle to remain leader of the Conservative party.

1996: The email service Hotmail begins.

1999: Footballer David Beckham and Spice Girl Victoria Adams marry at Luttrellstown Castle in Dublin.

2000: A man falls 80 feet to his death during a Metallica concert at Raven Stadium, Baltimore.

2002: Actress Julia Roberts marries cameraman Danny Moder at her ranch in New Mexico.

2003: Singer/songwriter/producer Barry White dies from kidney failure aged 58.

2004: The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower is laid on the site of the World Trade Center in New Yorlicak. On the same day, in a huge upset, Greece beats host nation Portugal, 1-0 to win the EUFA European Championship.

Singles chart:

  1. Burn – Usher
  2. The Show – Girls Aloud
  3. Everytime – Britney Spears
  4. Obviously – McFly
  5. I Don’t Wanna Know – Mario Winans ft Enya & P Diddy
  6. Chocolate – Kylie Minogue
  7. Roses – Outkast
  8. Flawless (Go To The City) – George Michael
  9. Bubblin’ – Blue
  10. Dragostea Din Tei – O-Zone
2004; The Stone Roses

Album chart:

  1. Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters
  2. A Grand Don’t Come For Free – The Streets
  3. Up All Night – Razorlight
  4. Hopes And Fears – Keane
  5. Confessions – Usher
  6. The Soul Sessions – Joss Stone
  7. The Very Best Of – The Jacksons
  8. The Cure – The Cure
  9. Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
  10. Original Pirate Material – The Streets

2005: U2 win a court fight for the return of items of memorabilia, including a Stetson hat which they accused former stylist Lola Cashman of stealing.

2006: Richard Branson sells Virgin Mobile to NTL for £962.4 million.

2009: Allen Klein, former manager of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, dies aged 77 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

2010: George Michael is arrested after crashing his car into the front of a Snappy Snaps store in Hampstead.

2012: Scientists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announce the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson. On the same day, comedian/writer Eric Sykes dies aged 89.

2014: Rolf Harris is sentenced to 5 years and 9 months in prison for indecently assaulting underage girls. On the same day, actor Tom Hardy marries actress Charlotte Riley in a secret ceremony and TV presenter Fearne Cotton marries Jesse Wood.

2015: Hollywood stars Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis marry in LA.

2016: NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully enters Jupiter’s orbit.

2017: North Korea tests its first successful intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.

2019: The UN accuses the Venezuelan government of using death squads and a policy of instilling fear to remove opposition with 5,287 people killed in 2018 for supposedly resisting arrest. On the same day, Russian president Vladimir Putin meets with the Pope at The Vatican.

2021: Pope Francis undergoes surgery to remove part of his colon in Rome. On the same day, researchers reveal there are 14 living descendants of Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.

2022: A lone shooter at a parade in Highland Park, Chicago, kills seven and wounds 47.

Jo Whiley (Photo: Raph_PH)

BIRTHDAYS: Eva Marie Saint, actress, 100; Prince Michael of Kent, 82; Geraldo Rivera, journalist, 81; Jeremy Spencer, guitarist (Fleetwood Mac) 76; Ralph Johnson, drummer (Earth, Wind & Fire) 73; Kirk Pengilly, guitarist (INXS) 66; Mark Steel, comedian, 64; Neil Morrissey, actor, 62; Pam Shriver, tennis star, 62; Jan Mølby, footballer/manager, 61; Henri Leconte, tennis star, 61; Jo Whiley, broadcaster, 59; Ronni Ancona, comedian, 56; Andy Creeggan, piano (Barenaked Ladies) 53; Orri Páll Dýrason, drummer, (Sigur Rós) 47; Luke Thompson, actor, 36; Post Malone (Austin Post) rapper, 29.