Today is Sunday, July 4, the 185th day of 2021 with 180 to follow.
This is Independence Day in the United States.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, 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 in 1826; circus operator James Bailey in 1847; astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt in 1868; 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 97); playwright Neil Simon in 1927; actor Gina Lollobrigida in 1927 (age 94); New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in 1930; singer Bill Withers in 1938; TV reporter Geraldo Rivera in 1943 (age 78); activist Ron Kovic in 1946 (age 75); former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in 1952 (age 69); chef Andrew Zimmern in 1961 (age 60); tennis player Pam Shriver in 1962 (age 59); actor/playwright Tracy Letts in 1965 (age 56); rapper Post Malone, born Austin Richard Post, in 1995 (age 26); Malia Obama, daughter of former President Barack Obama, in 1998 (age 23); actor Alex Hibbert in 2004 (age 17).
On this date in history:
In 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming U.S. independence from Britain.
In 1826, in one of history's notable coincidences, former U.S. Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died, 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
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 1986, more than 250 sailing ships and the United States' biggest fireworks display honored the Statue of Liberty in its 100th birthday year.
In 1995, the British Parliament reconfirmed John Majors as prime minister.
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 2006, North Korea test-launched seven ballistic missiles in what it called "routine military exercises," causing a firestorm of anger among its neighbors and the United States.
In 2010, U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus took command of the Afghan war, acknowledging the "tough fight" ahead for NATO forces while pledging "We are in this to win."
In 2013, the Statue of Liberty reopened to the public nine months after it was closed because of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
In 2018, Hong Kong's high court ruled unanimously that same-sex couples are entitled to spousal visas like married heterosexual couples.
In 2019, a quartzite bust of the pharaoh Tutankhamun sold for nearly $6 million in a Christie's auction in London despite objections from Egypt that the statue was stolen.
A thought for the day: "Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains." -- British social reformer Jane Ellice Hopkins