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Today in history: July 4

Today in history: July 4
04 Jul
1:13

Take a step back in time via the pages of The Sentinel. Also, see local births and celebrity birthdays.

Today in history

In 1968, Holland City Council unanimously approved restoration of the grandstand at Riverview Park at a cost of approximately $40,000 at a meeting in City Hall Wednesday night. The program, as outlined by Elzinga and Volkers, calls for restoring the grandstand and roof, and providing rest rooms and other facilities under the stands for teams and the public. It is expected the improvements will add at least 20 years to the life of the structure, provided some $400 a year is spent on maintenance.

On this day

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

In 1802, the United States Military Academy officially opened at West Point, New York.

In 1817, ground was broken for the Erie Canal in Rome, New York. The middle section of the waterway took three years to complete; the entire canal was finished in 1825.

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 1917, during a ceremony in Paris honoring the French hero of the American Revolution, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles E. Stanton, an aide to Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, declared: “Lafayette, we are here!”

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 1942, Irving Berlin’s musical revue “This Is the Army” opened at the Broadway Theater in New York.

In 1947, the small central California town of Hollister was overrun by thousands of motorcycling enthusiasts, dozens of whom ended up being arrested, most for drunkenness, in what came to be called the “Hollister Riot.”

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, which went into effect the following year.

In 1987, Klaus Barbie, the former Gestapo chief known as the “Butcher of Lyon,” was convicted by a French court of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison (he died in September 1991).

In 1997, NASA’s Pathfinder spacecraft landed on Mars, inaugurating a new era in the search for life on the red planet. CBS newsman Charles Kuralt died in New York at age 62.

Celebrity birthdays

Geraldo Rivera is 75.

Gina Lollobrigida is 91.

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is 36.

Malia Obama is 20.

Births

Zeeland Hospital/Spectrum Health

June 13, 2018

A son, Drew James, to Shannon and Brad Zonca of Hudsonville.

A son, Elliott Joseph, to Bridgett and Daniel Sila of Norton Shores.

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