Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Few More Reasons to Celebrate the Fourth of July

by Pa Rock
Citizen of the World

In addition to this being the 241st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a whole host of other less famous events occurred on this date across the centuries and throughout the world.  Related to the famous Declaration, two of the principals who were instrumental in its drafting, and later served as President - John Adams and Thomas Jefferson - both died on July 4th, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the signing.   Another future U. S. President, Ulysses S. Grant, led Union forces to victory over the Confederates at the Battle of Vicksburg on July 4th, 1863 - and still another future President, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4th, 1872.

American nineteenth century literary giant Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on the Fourth of July in 1804.

Italian freedom fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi was born on this date in 1807, and a century-and-a-half later he was honored by the United States in its "Champions of Liberty" postage stamp series.

Today is the ninetieth birthday of a pair of entertainment icons.  Playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon was born on this date in 1927, as was the post World War II Italian sex bomb Gina Lollobrigida. 

Stephen Foster, who was once considered to be "America's composer," was born on July 4th in 1826, and circus ringmaster, James Anthony Bailey of Barnum and Bailey Circus fame, was born on this date in 1847.  Cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who made exceeding complex drawings of bizarre contraptions designed to do very simple tasks, was born on the Fourth of July in 1883.  American distiller Hiram Walker was born on July 4th,  1899.  Mitch Miller, the musician who encouraged American television audiences to "sing along," was born on July 4th, 1911, and American folksinger Jimmie Rogers came into this world on the same date four years later in 1915.

Ron Kovic, a former Marine sergeant who saw service in Vietnam before returning home and becoming a dedicated anti-war activist, was born on July 4th, 1946.  Kovic authored the book and the screenplay, "Born on the Fourth of July."

And finally, the young girl who moved into the White House, America's fish bowl, at the tender age of ten and survived eight years of relentless observation and commentary with remarkable style and grace, Malia Obama, turns nineteen today.  Happy birthday, Malia - you still make us proud!

And happy Fourth of July to one and all!

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