2012 – The discovery of particles consistent with the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider is announced at CERN.
2009 – The first of four days of bombings begins on the southern Philippine island group of Mindanao.
1998 – Japan launches the Nozomi probe to Mars, joining the United States and Russia as a space exploring nation.
1966 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act into United States law. The act went into effect the next year.
1960 – Due to the post-Independence Day admission of Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959, the 50-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, almost ten and a half months later (see Flag Act).
1951 – A court in Czechoslovakia sentences American journalist William N. Oatis to ten years in prison on charges of espionage.
1950 – Radio Free Europe first broadcasts.
1946 – After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule by various powers, the Philippines attains full independence from the United States.
1934 – Leo Szilard patents the chain-reaction design that would later be used in the atomic bomb.
1927 – First flight of the Lockheed Vega.
1913 – President Woodrow Wilson addresses American Civil War veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913.
1911 – A massive heat wave strikes the northeastern United States, killing 380 people in eleven days and breaking temperature records in several cities.
1910 – African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocks out white boxer Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match, sparking race riots across the United States.
1903 – Philippine–American War is officially concluded.
1901 – William Howard Taft becomes American governor of the Philippines.
1892 – The first double-decked street car service was inaugurated in San Diego, California.
1886 – The first scheduled Canadian transcontinental train arrives in Port Moody, British Columbia.
1863 – American Civil War: Siege of Vicksburg: Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege. One hundred fifty miles up the Mississippi River, a Confederate Army is repulsed at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas.
1863 – American Civil War: The Army of Northern Virginia withdraws from the battlefield after losing the Battle of Gettysburg, signalling an end to the Southern invasion of the North.
1855 – The first edition of Walt Whitman's book of poems, Leaves of Grass, is published In Brooklyn.
1837 – Grand Junction Railway, the world's first long-distance railway, opens between Birmingham and Liverpool.
1826 – Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, dies the same day as John Adams, second president of the United States, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence.
1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is announced to the American people.
1802 – At West Point, New York, the United States Military Academy opens.
1778 – American Revolutionary War: American forces under George Clark capture Kaskaskia during the Illinois campaign.
1776 – American Revolution: The United States Declaration of Independence is adopted by the Second Continental Congress.
1634 – The city of Trois-Rivières is founded in New France (now Quebec, Canada).
1990 – Jake Gardiner, American ice hockey player. Jake William Gardiner (born July 4, 1990) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman who is currently playing for the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL).
1986 – Terrance Knighton, American football player. Knighton is nicknamed "Pot Roast" and "Mutton Chop" by his teammates.
1983 – Andrew Mrotek, American drummer, was an American rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 2003. Before disbanding, they were signed by the Decaydance imprint of the Fueled by Ramen label.
1983 – Ben Jorgensen, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Ben Jorgensen is an American musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Armor for Sleep.
1982 – Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino, American model, author and television personality. He appeared on all six seasons of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore, from 2009 through 2012.
1981 – Brock Berlin, American football player, was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida and the University of Miami.
1979 – Josh McCown, American football player, was named the East Texas Player of the Year and earned All-State honorable mention honors as a senior. McCown then played three seasons of college football for the Mustangs of Southern Methodist University, where he passed for totals of 4,022 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 34 interceptions.
1978 – Andrea Gabriel, American actress, producer, and screenwriter. She is known for her role on the ABC drama series Lost as Sayid Jarrah's love interest Nadia Jaseem.
1974 – Adrian Griffin, American basketball player and coach. Adrian Darnell Griffin (born July 4, 1974) is an American professional basketball coach and former player who is the lead assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1974 – Jill Craybas, American tennis player. From the 2000 US Open to the 2011 US Open, Craybas competed in 45 consecutive Grand Slam main draws; her best result coming in the 2005 Wimbledon Championships where she reached the fourth round, which included wins over Marion Bartoli and Serena Williams.
1974 – La'Roi Glover, American football player and sportscaster. La'Roi Damon Glover (/ləˈrɔɪ/; born July 4, 1974) is a former American football defensive tackle and current assistant defensive line coach for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL).
1972 – Mike Knuble, Canadian-American ice hockey player and coach. Michael Rudolph Knuble (/kɪˈnuːbəl/ ki-NOO-bəl; born July 4, 1972) is a Canadian-born American former professional ice hockey right winger who played in the National Hockey League (NHL).
1972 – William Goldsmith, American drummer. William Goldsmith is an American drummer best known for being with Sunny Day Real Estate and his tenure with Foo Fighters.
1969 – Al Golden, American football player and coach. He has also served for five years as defensive coordinator at Virginia (2001–2005) and five years as the head coach at University of Miami (2011–2015).
1969 – Todd Marinovich, American football player and coach. He is currently the QBs/strength coach for the San Diego Strike Force of the Indoor Football League.
1968 – Jack Frost, American guitarist and songwriter. He is a variant of Old Man Winter who is held responsible for frosty weather, nipping the fingers and toes in such weather, coloring the foliage in autumn, and leaving fern-like patterns on cold windows in winter.
1966 – Lee Reherman, American actor (d. 2016), was an American actor, appearing in television and film and hosting television reality shows.
1965 – Harvey Grant, American basketball player and coach. He is the identical twin brother of Horace Grant, also a former NBA player.
1965 – Horace Grant, American basketball player and coach. Horace is the twin brother of former NBA player Harvey Grant.
1964 – Cle Kooiman, American soccer player and manager. Christopher Clemence "Cle" Kooiman (born July 3, 1963) is a retired American soccer defender.
1964 – Mark Slaughter, American singer-songwriter and producer. Mark Allen Slaughter (born July 4, 1964) is an American singer and musician, and one of the founders of the hard rock band Slaughter.
1964 – Mark Whiting, American actor, director, and screenwriter. Mark Randolph Whiting (born July 4, 1964) is an American writer, director, designer and actor.
1963 – José Oquendo, Puerto Rican-American baseball player and coach. José Manuel Roberto Guillermo Oquendo Contreras (born July 4, 1963), nicknamed The Secret Weapon, is a Puerto Rican former infielder and current coach in Major League Baseball (MLB).
1962 – Pam Shriver, American tennis player and sportscaster. Pamela Howard Shriver (born July 4, 1962) is a former professional tennis player from the U.S. known primarily as a doubles specialist, but also with success as a singles player.
1961 – Richard Garriott, English-American video game designer, created the Ultima series. Garriott, who is the son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, was originally a game designer and programmer, and is now involved in a number of aspects of computer-game development.
1954 – Morganna, American model, actress, and dancer. Morganna Roberts (born July 4, 1954) is an entertainer who became known as Morganna or Morganna, the Kissing Bandit in baseball and other sports from 1970 through the 1990s.
1952 – Paul Rogat Loeb, American author and activist. Paul Rogat Loeb (born July 4, 1952) is an American social and political activist.
1951 – Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, American lawyer and politician, 6th Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, was the sixth Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003. She ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Maryland in 2002.
1951 – Vladimir Tismăneanu, Romanian-American political scientist, sociologist, and academic. Over the years, Tismăneanu has been a contributor to several periodicals, including Studia Politica, Journal of Democracy, Sfera Politicii, Revista 22, Evenimentul Zilei, Idei în Dialog and Cotidianul.
1946 – Michael Milken, American businessman and philanthropist. Since his release from prison, he has also become known for his charitable giving.
1946 – Ron Kovic, American author and activist, was wounded and paralyzed in the Vietnam War. He is best known as the author of his best selling 1976 memoir Born on the Fourth of July, which was made into the Academy Award–winning 1989 film directed by Oliver Stone.
1943 – Emerson Boozer, American football player and sportscaster. Emerson Boozer (born July 4, 1943) is a former running back in the American Football League (AFL) and in the National Football League (NFL).
1943 – Geraldo Rivera, American lawyer, journalist, and author. Geraldo Rivera (born Gerald Michael Riviera; July 4, 1943) is an American tabloid talk show host, reporter, attorney, and author.
1942 – Floyd Little, American football player and coach, was a three-time All-American at Syracuse University. In 1967, he was the 6th selection of the first common AFL-NFL draft.
1942 – Hal Lanier, American baseball player, coach, and manager. Harold Clifton Lanier (born July 4, 1942) is a former infielder, coach and manager in Major League Baseball.
1942 – Peter Rowan, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Peter Rowan (born July 4, 1942) is an American bluegrass musician and composer.
1941 – Brian Willson, American soldier, lawyer, and activist. Sydney Brian Willson, commonly known as Brian Wilson (born July 4, 1941), is a U.S.
1941 – Sam Farr, American politician, was the U.S. Representative for California's 17th (1993–2013) and 20th congressional districts (2013–17).
1938 – Bill Withers, American singer-songwriter and producer. Withers won three Grammy Awards and was nominated for four more.
1937 – Richard Rhodes, American journalist and historian. Richard Lee Rhodes (born July 4, 1937) is an American historian, journalist, and author of both fiction and non-fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986), and most recently, Energy: A Human History (2018).
1937 – Thomas Nagel, American philosopher and academic. His main areas of philosophical interest are legal philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics.
1934 – Yvonne B. Miller, American academic and politician (d. 2012), was an American politician in Virginia. A Democrat, she was the first African-American woman to be elected to the state house when she won in 1983.
1931 – Rick Casares, American football player and soldier (d. 2013), was an American college and professional football player who was a fullback in the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) for twelve seasons during the 1950s and 1960s. Casares played college football for the University of Florida, where he was standout fullback and kicker.
1931 – Stephen Boyd, Northern Ireland-born American actor (d. 1977), was a Northern Irish actor. A native of Glengormley, County Antrim, Boyd appeared in some 60 films, most notably as the villainous Messala in Ben-Hur (1959), a role that earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.
1930 – George Steinbrenner, American businessman (d. 2010), was an American businessman who was the principal owner and managing partner of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. During Steinbrenner's 37-year ownership from 1973 to his death in July 2010, the longest in club history, the Yankees earned seven World Series titles and 11 pennants.
1929 – Al Davis, American football player, coach, and manager (d. 2011), was an American football coach and executive. He was the principal owner and general manager of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL) for 39 years, from 1972 until his death in 2011.
1929 – Bill Tuttle, American baseball player (d. 1998), was an American professional baseball player. Primarily a center fielder, he appeared in 1,270 games played in Major League Baseball over 11 seasons for the Detroit Tigers (1952; 1954–1957), Kansas City Athletics (1958–1961) and Minnesota Twins (1961–1963).
1928 – Chuck Tanner, American baseball player and manager (d. 2011). He was known for his unwavering confidence and infectious optimism.
1927 – Neil Simon, American playwright and screenwriter, was an American playwright, screenwriter and author. He wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his plays.
1926 – Lake Underwood, American race car driver and businessman (d. 2008), was an American entrepreneur who competed as a champion in the racing of prototype automobiles and motorcycles. He was a master mechanic who, although high performance fuel delivery and carburetor design and mechanics were his specialties, also invented automobile improvements, especially in electronics for German automobiles.
1924 – Eva Marie Saint, American actress. In a career spanning 70 years, she is known for starring in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954), for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, and Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959).
1920 – Leona Helmsley, American businesswoman (d. 2007), was an American businesswoman, known for her flamboyant personality and her reputation for tyrannical behavior, earning her the nickname Queen of Mean.
1920 – Norm Drucker, American basketball player and referee (d. 2015), was a major influence in professional basketball officiating for over 35 years. His NBA and ABA officiating career as both a referee and Supervisor of Officials spanned the careers of all-time pro basketball greats, from George Mikan, Bob Cousy, Dolph Schayes and Bob Pettit in the 1950s, to Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Bill Russell in the 1960s, to Julius Erving, Rick Barry, Bill Bradley and Walt Frazier in the 1970s and to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the 1980s.
1918 – Eppie Lederer, American journalist and radio host (d. 2002), was an American advice columnist and eventually a nationwide media celebrity. She began writing the "Ask Ann Landers" column in 1955 and continued for 47 years, by which time its readership was 90 million people.
1918 – Johnnie Parsons, American race car driver (d. 1984), was an American race car driver from Los Angeles, California who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1950.
1918 – Pauline Phillips, American journalist and radio host, created Dear Abby (d. 2013), was an American advice columnist and radio show host who began the Dear Abby column in 1956. It became the most widely syndicated newspaper column in the world, syndicated in 1,400 newspapers with 110 million readers.
1916 – Iva Toguri D'Aquino, American typist and broadcaster (d. 2006), was an Japanese American who participated in English-language radio broadcasts transmitted by Radio Tokyo to Allied soldiers in the South Pacific during World War II on The Zero Hour radio show. Toguri called herself "Orphan Ann", but she quickly became identified with the name "Tokyo Rose", coined by Allied soldiers and which predated her broadcasts.
1915 – Timmie Rogers, American actor and singer-songwriter (d. 2006), was an American comedian, singer-songwriter, bandleader and actor who appeared on many national TV shows in the 1960s and 1970s. Rogers was one of the first Black comedians allowed to directly address a white audience when he worked.
1911 – Mitch Miller, American singer and producer (d. 2010), was an American oboist, conductor, record producer and record industry executive. He was involved in almost all aspects of the industry, particularly as a conductor, and artist and repertoire (A&R) man.
1910 – Gloria Stuart, American actress (d. 2010), was an American actress, visual artist, and activist. She was initially known for her roles in Pre-Code films, though she would garner renewed fame later in life for her critically acclaimed role in James Cameron's Titanic (1997).
1910 – Robert K. Merton, American sociologist and scholar (d. 2003). He spent most of his career teaching at Columbia University, where he attained the rank of University Professor.
1907 – Howard Taubman, American author and critic (d. 1996), was an American music critic, theater critic, and author.
1906 – Vincent Schaefer, American chemist and meteorologist (d. 1993), was an American chemist and meteorologist who developed cloud seeding. On November 13, 1946, while a researcher at the General Electric Research Laboratory, Schaefer modified clouds in the Berkshire Mountains by seeding them with dry ice.
1905 – Irving Johnson, American sailor and author (d. 1991), was an American sail training pioneer, adventurer, lecturer and author.
1905 – Lionel Trilling, American critic, essayist, short story writer, and educator (d. 1975), was an American literary critic, short story writer, essayist, and teacher. He was one of the leading U.S. critics of the 20th century who traced the contemporary cultural, social, and political implications of literature.
1902 – George Murphy, American actor and politician (d. 1992), was an American dancer, actor, and politician. Murphy was a song-and-dance leading man in many big-budget Hollywood musicals from 1930 to 1952.
1902 – Meyer Lansky, American gangster (d. 1983), was an American major organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the National Crime Syndicate in the United States.
1898 – Gertrude Weaver, American supercentenarian (d. 2015). American supercentenarians are citizens or residents of the United States who have attained or surpassed 110 years of age.
1898 – Pilar Barbosa, Puerto Rican-American historian and activist (d. 1997). She was the first female Official Historian of Puerto Rico.
1895 – Irving Caesar, American songwriter and composer (d. 1996), was an American lyricist and theater composer, who wrote lyrics for numerous song standards including "Swanee", "Sometimes I'm Happy", "Crazy Rhythm", and "Tea for Two", one of the most frequently recorded tunes ever written. In 1972, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
1888 – Henry Armetta, Italian-American actor and singer (d. 1945), was an American character actor who appeared in at least 150 American films, beginning in silent movies. His last film was released posthumously in 1946, the year after his death.
1883 – Rube Goldberg, American sculptor, cartoonist, and engineer (d. 1970), was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor.
1881 – Ulysses S. Grant III, American general (d. 1968), was a United States Army officer and planner. He was the son of Frederick Dent Grant, and the grandson of General of the Army and U.S.
1872 – Calvin Coolidge, American lawyer and politician, 30th President of the United States (d. 1933), was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 30th president of the United States from 1923 to 1929. A Republican lawyer from New England, born in Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of Massachusetts.
1868 – Henrietta Swan Leavitt, American astronomer and academic (d. 1921). A graduate of Radcliffe College, she worked at the Harvard College Observatory as a "computer", tasked with examining photographic plates in order to measure and catalog the brightness of stars.
1847 – James Anthony Bailey, American circus ringmaster, co-founded Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (d. 1906), was an American circus ringmaster and impresario.
1826 – Stephen Foster, American songwriter and composer (d. 1864), was an American songwriter known primarily for his parlor and minstrel music. He wrote more than 200 songs, including "Oh! Susanna", "Hard Times Come Again No More", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"), "My Old Kentucky Home", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", "Old Black Joe", and "Beautiful Dreamer", and many of his compositions remain popular today.
1816 – Hiram Walker, American businessman, founded Canadian club whiskey (d. 1899), was an American entrepreneur and founder of the Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd. distillery in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Walker was born in East Douglas, Massachusetts, and moved to Detroit in 1838.
1804 – Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist and short story writer (d. 1864), was an American novelist, dark romantic, and short story writer. His works often focus on history, morality, and religion.
2015 – William Conrad Gibbons, American historian, author, and academic (b. 1926)
2014 – C. J. Henderson, American author and critic (b. 1951)
2014 – Earl Robinson, American baseball player (b. 1936)
2014 – Richard Mellon Scaife, American businessman (b. 1932)
2013 – Charles A. Hines, American general (b. 1935)
2013 – James Fulton, American dermatologist and academic (b. 1940)
2012 – Jimmy Bivins, American boxer (b. 1919)
2010 – Robert Neil Butler, American physician and author (b. 1927)
2009 – Allen Klein, American businessman and talent agent, founded ABKCO Records (b. 1931)
2009 – Brenda Joyce, American actress (b. 1917)
2009 – Drake Levin, American guitarist (b. 1946)
2009 – Steve McNair, American football player (b. 1973)
2008 – Evelyn Keyes, American actress (b. 1916)
2008 – Jesse Helms, American politician (b. 1921)
2008 – Terrence Kiel, American football player (b. 1980)
2008 – Thomas M. Disch, American author and poet (b. 1940)
2007 – Bill Pinkney, American singer (b. 1925)
2005 – Hank Stram, American football player and coach (b. 1923)
2003 – Barry White, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer (b. 1944)
2003 – Larry Burkett, American author and radio host (b. 1939)
1999 – Leo Garel, American illustrator and educator (b. 1917)
1997 – Charles Kuralt, American journalist (b. 1934)
1995 – Bob Ross, American painter and television host (b. 1942)
1995 – Eva Gabor, Hungarian-American actress and singer (b. 1919)
1994 – Joey Marella, American wrestling referee (b. 1964)
1991 – Art Sansom, American cartoonist (b. 1920)
1990 – Olive Ann Burns, American journalist and author (b. 1924)
1988 – Adrian Adonis, American wrestler (b. 1954)
1986 – Oscar Zariski, Belarusian-American mathematician and academic (b. 1899)
1984 – Jimmie Spheeris, American singer-songwriter (b. 1949)
1971 – August Derleth, American anthologist and author (b. 1909)
1971 – Thomas C. Hart, American admiral and politician (b. 1877)
1970 – Barnett Newman, American painter and illustrator (b. 1905)
1970 – Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, American sailor and businessman (b. 1884)
1963 – Clyde Kennard, American activist and martyr (b. 1927)
1963 – Pingali Venkayya, Indian activist, designed the Flag of India (b. 1876)
1916 – Alan Seeger, American soldier and poet (b. 1888)
1910 – Melville Fuller, American lawyer and jurist, 8th Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1833)
1891 – Hannibal Hamlin, American lawyer and politician, 15th Vice President of the United States (b. 1809)
1882 – Joseph Brackett, American composer and author (b. 1797)
1857 – William L. Marcy, American lawyer, judge, and politician, 21st United States Secretary of State (b. 1786)
1831 – James Monroe, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 5th President of the United States (b. 1758)
1826 – John Adams, American lawyer and politician, 2nd President of the United States (b. 1735)
1826 – Thomas Jefferson, American architect, lawyer, and politician, 3rd President of the United States (b. 1743)