Today in History: July 4

Today in History: July 4

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1712

12 slaves are executed for starting an uprising in New York that killed nine whites.

1776

The amended Declaration of Independence, prepared by Thomas Jefferson, is approved and signed by John Hancock--President of the Continental Congress--and Charles Thomson, Congress secretary. The state of New York abstains from signing.

1817

Construction begins on the Erie Canal, to connect Lake Erie and the Hudson River.

1826

Two of America's founding fathers--Thomas Jefferson and John Adams--die.

1831

The fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, dies at the age of 73.

1845

Henry David Thoreau begins his 26-month stay at Walden Pond.

1855

Walt Whitman publishes the first edition of Leaves of Grass at his own expense.

1862

Charles Dodgson first tells the story of Alice's adventures down the rabbit hole during a picnic along the Thames.

1863

The Confederate town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant.

1881

Billy the Kid is shot dead in New Mexico.

1894

After seizing power, Judge Stanford B. Dole declares Hawaii a republic.

1895

The poem America the Beautiful is first published.

1901

William H. Taft becomes the American governor of the Philippines.

1910

Race riots break out all over the United States after African American Jack Johnson knocks out Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match.

1931

Novelist James Joyce and Nora Barnacle are married in London after being together for 26 years.

1934

Boxer Joe Louis wins his first professional fight.

1946

The United States grants the Philippine Islands their independence.

1960

The 50-star flag makes its debut in Philadelphia.

1976

An Israeli raid at Entebbe airport in Uganda rescues 105 hostages.