What happened on this day in history: The Declaration of Independence is adopted, The Joy of Painting host Bob Ross dies, and more momentous events from July 4th.
1776: The Declaration Of Independence Is Adopted
Delegates at the Continental Congress formally adopt the Declaration of Independence. The delegates had voted to approve the motion of independence from Great Britain two days earlier, on July 2, and most would not actually sign the document until August 2. Nevertheless, July 4 is celebrated as “Independence Day” in the United States.
1826: Thomas Jefferson And John Adams Die
Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die within hours of each other. Adams, the United States’ second president, and Jefferson, the nation’s third, had each played a crucial role in the country’s path to independence. Though they’d had a political falling out, the two men reconciled after their respective presidencies, and Adams’ last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives!” though, unbeknownst to him, Jefferson had already passed away.
1857: The Dead Rabbits And Bowery Boys Riot In Lower Manhattan
The infamous gangs known as the Dead Rabbits and the Bowery Boys fight in New York City. As depicted in Gangs of New York, the Dead Rabbits were an Irish immigrant gang, whereas the Bowery Boys consisted of anti-immigrant Americans. They came to blows over a plot of land called Paradise Square, and the subsequent riot had to be quelled by the New York State Militia.
1884: France Gifts The Statue Of Liberty To The United States
France gifts the Statue of Liberty to the United States to commemorate the American-French alliance during the American Revolution. In 1865, Edouard de Laboulaye proposed the creation of the statue to honor ideas of freedom and liberty. Sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi drafted an idea for the statue in 1870.
Fourteen years later, the statue was complete and presented to the American ambassador in Paris. The statue was disassembled and sent to New York City where it stands in the New York Harbor today.
1995: Bob Ross Dies
Bob Ross dies of lymphoma in Florida at the age of 52. A painter, Ross became famous for his television show The Joy of Painting, which premiered in 1983 and ran for 11 years.