By The Associated Press
Today is Monday, July 4, the 186th day of 2016. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
On this date:
In 1802, the United States Military Academy officially opened at West Point, New York.
In 1826, 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, former presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died.
In 1831, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York City at age 73.
In 1872, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was born in Plymouth, Vermont.
In 1910, in what was billed as “The Fight of the Century,” black world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson defeated white former champ James J. Jeffries in Reno, Nevada.
In 1939, Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees delivered his famous farewell speech in which he called himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
In 1946, the Philippines became independent of U.S. sovereignty.
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, which went into effect the following year.
In 1976, America celebrated its bicentennial with daylong festivities; President Gerald R. Ford made stops in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and New York, where more than 200 ships paraded up the Hudson River in Operation Sail.
In 1982, the space shuttle Columbia concluded its fourth and final test flight with a smooth landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne married his manager, Sharon Arden, in Maui, Hawaii.
In 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir parted after spending five days in orbit docked together.
In 2001, Vladivostok Air Flight 352, a Russian Tupolev Tu-154, crashed near the Siberian city of Irkutsk, killing all 145 people aboard.
Ten years ago: Discovery lifted off in the first Independence Day shuttle launch. Word reached the United States that North Korea had test-fired several missiles, including a long-range device that failed within seconds (because of the time difference, it was July 5 at the launch site).
Five years ago: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return to his country after undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba. Otto von Hapsburg, 98, the oldest son of Austria’s last emperor and longtime head of one of Europe’s most influential families, died in Poecking, Germany.
One year ago: Billy Joel married girlfriend Alexis Roderick in a surprise ceremony at the couple’s annual Fourth of July party; New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo presided over the nuptials at Joel’s Long Island estate. Diana Douglas, 92, the first wife of Kirk Douglas and mother of Michael Douglas, died in Los Angeles. Matt Stonie shocked the competitive eating world by upsetting Joey “Jaws” Chestnut at the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island, thwarting Chestnut’s bid for a ninth straight victory.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Eva Marie Saint is 92. Actress Gina Lollobrigida is 89. Playwright Neil Simon is 89. Country singer Ray Pillow is 79. Singer Bill Withers is 78. Actor Ed Bernard is 77. Actress Karolyn Grimes is 76. Broadcast journalist Geraldo Rivera is 73. Vietnam War veteran and peace activist Ron Kovic is 70. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ralph Johnson (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 65. Rock musician Domingo Ortiz (Widespread Panic) is 64. Singer John Waite is 61. Rock musician Kirk Pengilly (INXS) is 58. Country musician Teddy Carr is 56. Rock DJ Zonka is 54. Tennis Hall of Famer Pam Shriver is 54. Rock musician Matt Malley is 53. Christian rock singer Michael Sweet is 53. Actor-playwright-screenwriter Tracy Letts is 51. Actor Al Madrigal is 45. Actress Jenica Bergere is 42. Actor-singer John Lloyd Young is 41. Singer Stephen “Ste” McNally (BBMak) is 38. Actress Becki Newton is 38. TV personality Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Melanie Fiona is 33. Malia Obama is 18.