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Birthdays: Jean Pierre Blanchard the balloonist-1753, George M. Cohan, Stephen Foster, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Calvin Coolidge, cartoonist Rube Goldberg, Louis Armstrong*, Mayer Lansky, Tokyo Rose, Louis B. Mayer, George Murphy, Emerson Boozer, Neil Simon, Mitch Miller, Eve Marie Saint is 83, Gina Lollabrigida is 80, Al Davis, George Steinbrenner, Ann Landers, Ron Kovic, Geraldo Rivera, Victoria Abril, Pam Shriver Rene Laloux, Gloria Stuart the old lady in the film Titanic is 97 and Edward Walker the inventor of the Lava Lamp

* Louis Armstrong always claimed his birthday was July 4th 1900, records show his birth was August 4th 1901.

painting by Howard Pyle, the man! taught NC Wyeth, inspired the Brandywine School.

1776- U.S. INDEPENDENCE DAY- The actual vote for independence was on July 2nd, two days were required for rewrites, but the 4th was the day of the vote to approve the amended Declaration and the official announcement. After 46 revisions and deletions Tom Jefferson showed the finished document to Ben Franklin, he smiled :”Now we may proceed.” The 56 men who signed the document knew that this was their death warrant as they were committing high treason. Many had their personal fortunes ruined as a result. It then took two months for the news to cross the Atlantic. In London King George III wrote in his diary for July 4th, 1776:" Nothing important happened today..."

1848- The Communist Manifesto published by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels.

1855- Henry Davis Thoreau moves to Walden Pond. He was the first U.S. writer to espouse nature as a thing of beauty instead of an enemy to be conquered. This date is considered the birth of the American Conservation Movement.

1855- Walt Whitman published his quarto of poems The Leaves of Grass. Many people were shocked at it’s frank description of sexual desire. Whitman’s mother said :”Walt is a good boy, but strange.”

1862-Oxford mathematics professor Charles Dodgson rowed ten year old Alice Liddell and her sister up the Thames in a small punt. The little girls begged him for a story, so Dodgson made up fantastic tales of March Hares, Mad Hatters and the Queen of Hearts.
Dodgson later wrote them down and published them in 1865 as Alice in Wonderland. He used the penname Lewis Carroll, which was a joke on the fact that Rennaissance scholars adopted big stuffy Latin names like Ludovicus Carolus Magnus.

1883- Buffalo Bill staged his first Wild West Show in North Platte Nebraska. Bill and his partners took the show all over the US and played for the crowned heads of Europe until 1916. In an interesting case of life imitating art until the Wild West Shows not many gunfighters carried their six shooters in a holster slung low on their hip. Wild Bill Hickock for instance carried his in a sash around his waist. But cowboys went to the Wild West Show and saw a hip holster was the only proper way to carry your shootin iron. Likewise before the Wild West Shows cowboys wore any kind of hat: sombrero, derbys, old cavalry kepis. But soon the wide brimmed Stetson was the only proper attire for any self respecting cow puncher.

1898- The US flag first raised over Wake Island in the Pacific.

1905- Los Angeles developer Abbott Kinney had broke with his partners over the Santa Monica Pleasure Pier. He moved down the coast to some marshy wetlands and built a new community with canals, lagoons and gondolas. VENICE California opened this day. In 1925 the City of LA got rid of most of the canals and gondolas. Venice went on to be a seaside mecca for Beatniks, Hippies and weightlifters like young Arnold Schwarzenegger.

1911- The first rollercoaster on the Pacific Coast opened on Santa Monica Pier.

1914- First day of filming on D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of an Nation.”

1946- The Independence of the Philippines is declared.

1947- THE WILD ONES- 400 motorcyclists converge on a small California town called Hollister to party hard. The local police arrest 49 and call for State reinforcements. The national media sensationalized the wild bikers terrorizing a small town, calling them "Hell's Angels" three years before the first chapter was formed. Truth be told many residents remember the incident fondly and said it livened things up. Many of the bikers weren’t teenage delinquents but World War Two veterans who used motorcycles to recapture the thrill and camaraderie of action. The Life Magazine that dramatized the Hollister incident had a cover photo showing a depraved biker swilling beer. The shot was staged and the man in the photo was actually a Hollister local who never went near a Harley. The Marlon Brando film 'The Wild One" was based on the Hollister incident.

1966- President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act.

1969-“ Give Peace a Chance.” released by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band.

1976-What’s Love Got to Do With It? Singer Tina Turner left Ike Turner.

1976- The first true Punk Band, The Ramones, arrived in England for a tour. They greatly inspired future bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols. When playing at the Palladium the Sex Pistols said they couldn’t get tickets to get in so the Ramones pulled them in through the men’s room window. Hey, Ho, Lets Go!

1982- Jimmy Connors defeated John MacEnroe for his last Wimbledon Championship.

1982- Ozzie Ozbourne married Sharon Ozbourne.

1984- First Lady Nancy Reagan began the campaign to combat drugs among kids by saying “Just Say No”. Two of her Secret Service bodyguards standing behind her were cocaine snorters.

1987- Martina Navratilova defeated Steffie Graf for her 6th straight Wimbledon championship.

1990- 2 Live Crew released the song Banned in the USA.

1997- NASA landed Pathfinder on Mars and deployed Sojourner the first ever autonomous robotic rover. The rover collected image and science data on the Red Planet for the next two months. A JPL scientist said that during the press conference announcing the results suddenly all the reporters jumped up from their seats and rushed out of the room. The Scientists thought some new news event had occurred but what really happened was the Hot Wheels toy car people were outside and giving away free samples of their Mars Pathfinder toy.


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