Today is Wednesday, July 4, the 185th day of 2018 with 180 to follow.
This is Independence Day in the United States.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include author Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1804; songwriter Stephen Foster ("Oh! Susannah," "Beautiful Dreamer") in 1826; circus operator James Bailey (Barnum and Bailey) in 1847; Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States, in 1872; cartoonist Rube Goldberg in 1883; Louis B. Mayer, film mogul /co-founder of MGM, in 1885; actor Gloria Stuart in 1910; advice columnists Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, twin sisters, in 1918; actor Eva Marie Saint in 1924 (age 94); playwright Neil Simon in 1927 (age 91); actor Gina Lollobrigida in 1927 (age 91); New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in 1930; singer Bill Withers in 1938 (age 80); TV reporter Geraldo Rivera in 1943 (age 75); activist Ron Kovic in 1946 (age 72); former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in 1952 (age 66); chef Andrew Zimmern in 1961 (age 56); tennis player Pam Shriver in 1962 (age 56); rapper Post Malone, born Austin Richard Post, in 1995 (age 23); Malia Obama, daughter of former President Barack Obama, in 1998 (age 20).
On this date in history:
In 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming U.S. independence from Britain.
In 1863, Union troops defeated Confederate forces in a battle at Vicksburg, Miss.
In 1895, the poem "America the Beautiful," by Wellesley College Professor Katherine Lee Bates, was published. The poem with music by Samuel A. Ward was published as a song in 1910.
In 1910, African-American boxer Jack Johnson took on former undefeated heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries, beating him in 15 rounds, to stake his claim as the as the greatest heavyweight in the world.
In 1939, Lou Gehrig gave his "luckiest man on the face of the Earth" speech in announcing his retirement from the New York Yankees. Gehrig had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a debilitating motor neuron disease. United Press writer Jack Cuddy wasn't impressed with the Yankees' "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day," saying doctors made up his ailment to explain his unexpected retirement.
In 1976, Israeli commandos raided the airport at Entebbe, Uganda, rescuing 103 hostages held by Arab militants.
In 1997, NASA's Pathfinder reached Mars to become the first U.S. spacecraft to land on the planet in more than two decades.
In 2013, the Statue of Liberty reopened to the public nine months after it was closed because of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
In 2017, North Korea said it launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile over 580 miles into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan. South Korea and its allies described the test as a provocation.
A thought for the day: "Where liberty dwells, there is my country." -- Benjamin Franklin