What's so special about the 4th of July?
Many things have happened on the 4th of July
The 4th of July has been an important date for many centuries. Nowadays, it's associated with the United States of America and for some strange reason, they feel that everybody should celebrate that day as well. This is the same country that had a WORLD Series where only American teams took part! Being a non-American, I decided to see what else we can remember on the 4th of July.
If you're a Catholic, then you might want to commemorate the 4th July, as on this day in 371, Martin of Tours was consecrated into the church against his will. He went on to found the first ever monastery in France. He apparently performed many miracles and there are countless legends about him. The cape he gave to a poor person became the origin of the word "chaplain," referring to a military pastor.
Another one for the Catholics, the guy who was responsible for improving the quality of church music died on this day in 683. His name was Pope Saint Leo 11.
All these earlier dates are all for the Catholics. In 965, Pope BenedictV died in a prison after the emperor had him incarcerated as he fancied another Pope who would kowtow to his wishes and demands.
On this day in 1187, Saladin, leader of the United Muslim forces, completely annihilated the knights of the Third Crusade in Tiberius, Syria.
In 1546, the Pope declared war on the Lutherans.
In 1648, Antoine Daniel, a Jesuit priest who taught the Hurons many hymns in their own language, was martyred by the Iroquois. I wonder if that's where the idea for my all-time favourite movie, The Mission, came from.
On this day in 1885, Louis B. Mayer, the famous movie executive was born in Minsk, Russia. I'm sure most people have heard of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Some of his successes were Ben hur and Grand Hotel. Apparently, he was a bit of a bastard but he had the ability to make a star.
380 People died of a blistering heat wave in the north eastern USA in 1911.
1918 and on this day Pauline Esther Friedman and her twin sister were born. Both became famous columnists in their day, but Pauline was definitely the more famous of the two. Her pen name was Ann Landers, but she was best known for her advice column called Dear Abby.
In 1927, the famous playwright, Neil Simon was born in The Bronx in New York. The Odd Couple and The Goodbye Girl were two of my favourites from him.
Especially for Cris A, in 1946 the Philippines became a self-governing nation after 48 years of US rule.
1954 And the 14 years of ration books and rationing meat and bacon for the duration of the second world war and for some years after, ended on this day in Great Britain.
In 1968, a brave Alec Rose received a hero's welcome in Portsmouth, as he completed a 354 day solo round the world yacht trip without any corporate sponsorship. He was knighted for his effort on the next day -5th July. The Queen didn't waste much time!
In 1976, on the 4th July, Israeli commandos secretly flew thousands of kilometres to Uganda and heroically raided its airport at Entebbe, rescuing the almost 200 Israeli and Jewish passengers of Air France's infamous flight hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists. Unfortunately the only Israeli Defence Force casualty, was the operation's commander who was shot and killed at they entered the airport's terminal.
This sounds unbelievable but it's true. In 1985 on this day, Ruth Lawrence became the youngest Brit at only age 13, to earn
a first-class degree and the youngest known graduate of Oxford
University. Now my youngest should be that smart. I can retire!
In 2003 we were shocked to hear that Barry White, famous singer who sang amongst others, You're the first, the last, my everything, died.
Oh yeah, and then we better not forget, it's also American Independence Day.