Originally created 07/04/99

This day in history: July 4



LOCAL:

1976: Augusta's Bicentennial Park on the 600 and 700 blocks of Broad Street, the first phase of a $4 million beautification project, was dedicated during a daylong downtown Independence Day celebration.

NATION/WORLD:

1776: The Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

1802: The United States Military Academy officially opened at West Point, N.Y.

1831: The fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York City.

1845: Henry David Thoreau began his two-year experiment in simpler living at Walden Pond, near Concord, Mass.

1872: The 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was born in Plymouth, Vt.

1917: During a ceremony in Paris honoring the French hero of the American Revolution, U.S. Lt. Col. Charles E. Stanton declared, "Lafayette, we are here!"

1939: Baseball's "Iron Horse," Lou Gehrig, said farewell to his fans at New York's Yankee Stadium.

1946: The Philippines became independent of U.S. sovereignty.

1959: America's 49-star flag, honoring Alaskan statehood, was officially unfurled.

1960: America's 50-star flag, honoring Hawaiian statehood, was officially unfurled.

1976: Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing almost all of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by pro-Palestinian hijackers.

1989: Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev arrived in France for a three-day visit that included an address to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

1994: Rwandan Tutsi rebels seized control of most of their country's capital, Kigali, and continued advancing on areas held by the Hutu-led government.

1994: The United States opened its embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with a Fourth of July party.

1998: Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic won the women's title at Wimbledon, defeating France's Nathalie Tauziat 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).

1998: Japan launched its Planet-B probe to Mars, which is to begin beaming back photographs and data from the Red Planet in October 1999.