July Fourth — the United States’ “Independence Day” — events include:
1054 – A supernova was spotted by Chinese, Arab, and possibly Amerindian observers near the star Zeta Tauri, remaining, for several months, bright enough to be seen during the day. Its remnants form the Crab Nebula.
1776 — The Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, thus formalizing its policy of secession from the rule of the Kingdom of Great Britain.
1803 — The Louisiana Purchase was announced to the American people.
1804 – Nathaniel Hawthorne, American author of The Scarlet Letter, House of Seven Gables, The Blithesdale Romance, and other classics, was born.
1826 – Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, died a few hours before John Adams, second president of the United States, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the United States’ Declaration of Independence.
1826 – Stephen Foster, composer of “Old Black Joe,“ ’“Beautiful Dreamer,” and many other classic American songs, was born.
1827 – Slavery was abolished in New York State.
1831 – Samuel Francis Smith wrote “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” for Boston’s July 4th festivities, set to the tune of Great Britain’s national anthem, “God Save the King/Queen.”
2009 – The Statue of Liberty’s crown re-opened to the public after eight years of closure that resulted from security concerns following the September 11, 2001, attacks.