July 4th Trivia

I love doing these Friday afternoon emails for you all. They’re fun to do. I find them really interesting. And they give a whole lot of people much needed relief from the week’s stresses. This week’s email is no different. While you’re enjoying the July 4th weekend with friends, family and a hot dog or three, think about all of the other things that have happened on the Fourth of July. And take a listen to this rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”!!!  Be safe!


For most of us, July 4th is synonymous with Independence Day – The day this glorious country was officially was born. For me of course, this means yummy cookouts all day long and an indulgence on all my favorites – potato salad, fruit salad, Jackie’s amazing bean salad, grilled chicken, cheeseburgers, watermelon, chips, my favorite beverages – you get the idea. However, the adoption of the Declaration of Independence wasn’t the only important historical event to take place on this date.  I did some digging and found cool trivia I thought you’d enjoy.  On behalf of all my incredible PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! gang at KHT, I hope you have a wonderful weekend with family and friends.  Enjoy the info, and be sure to share over the grill. Special thanks to bestlifeonline.com, Wikipedia, You Tube and mentioned publications.

1802: The U.S. Military Academy at West Point officially opens – First announced by newly-minted president Thomas Jefferson a year earlier, the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, New York, officially opened on July 4, 1802. In its early days, there was no strict curriculum or length of study, and the students ranged in age from 10 to 37 years old.

1803: Thomas Jefferson announces the Louisiana Purchase – For $15 million, the United States acquired approximately 827,000 square miles of land to the west of the Mississippi River.  The “purchase” treaty was actually signed on April 30, 1803, but it wasn’t announced to the American people until more than a month later on July 4th.

1817: Construction begins on the Erie Canal – On July 4, 1817, workers broke ground on the Erie Canal in Rome, New York, led by chief engineer James Geddes. The waterway, which would extend 363 miles from the Great Lakes to the Hudson River by the time it was completed in 1825, would go on to transform the nation’s economy. According to the History Channel, by 1853, it carried 62 percent of all U.S. trade,

1826, 1831: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe pass – Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe—the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th presidents of the United States, respectively—all died on the Fourth of July. In fact, Jefferson and Adams, who were legendarily political adversaries, both died on the same day: July 4, 1826.

1826: “Oh! Susanna” composer Stephen Foster is born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania – Later nicknamed “the father of American music,” Stephen Foster was one of the great composers of parlor and minstrel music. Foster wrote hundreds of songs, but “Oh! Susanna” and “Beautiful Dreamer” are among his best known.

1828: Construction begins on the first U.S. passenger railroad – The first fare-paying, passenger railway service in the world was the Swansea and Mumbles Railway in Swansea, Wales in 1807. The U.S. was just a couple of decades behind, and on July 4, 1828, workers broke ground on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (also called the B&O) at Baltimore Harbor in Maryland. Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, laid the first stone at the site, according to America’s Library. The first section opened in 1830; it charged 9 cents for a one-way, 1.5-mile journey.

1831: “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” is performed for the first time – Theology student Samuel Francis Smith wrote the lyrics to “America” (as the song was first named) in 1831 at the request of his friend, church-music composer Lowell Mason, according to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Impressively, the lyrics took Smith just 30 minutes to write, and were put to the melody of the national anthem in the United Kingdom, “God Save the Queen.” The song was first performed by a children’s choir at an Independence Day celebration that year at Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts.

1845: Henry David Thoreau moves into a small cabin that sparks his career – On July 4, 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into a small cabin near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, according to Smithsonian. It was here that Thoreau wrote his first published works. Walden, one of the more famous pieces, was a documentation of his newfound simplistic lifestyle, and later played a key role in the environmental movement.

1855: Walt Whitman publishes the first edition of his poetry collection Leaves of Grass – Throughout his career, American poet Walt Whitman released various iterations of his famed poetry collection Leaves of Grass, but the first edition was published out of a small Brooklyn print shop on July 4, 1855. That initial collection included just 12 poems, whereas the final edition from 1892 included more than 300.

1862: The idea for Alice in Wonderland is conceived – On July 4, 1862, an obscure mathematics lecturer named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson set out on a rowboat excursion on the River Isis to the town of Godstow in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. Dodgson, who went by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was joined by the three young daughters of Dean Henry Liddell. The girls begged for him to tell them a story as they floated down the river. Dodgson obliged, spinning the youngest, Alice Liddell, into the story. Thus, Alice in Wonderland was born. The book was published on November 26, 1865.

1870: Independence Day is celebrated as a federal holiday – For decades, American citizens had celebrated their independence on July 4th. However, it wasn’t until June 28, 1870, that the U.S. government made Independence Day a federal holiday. That made that year’s Fourth of July the first one that was celebrated as a federal holiday.

1883: Cartoonist Rube Goldberg is born – Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg was the first president and one of the founders of the National Cartoonists Society. He is best known for his eccentric cartoons of unnecessarily complicated machines meant to complete simple tasks—for example, a 40-step series of levers and pulleys that ultimately lead to something as simple as, say, turning on the faucet. These are now known as Rube Goldberg machines.  Here’s an insane backyard machine (can’t stop watching it)

1884: The Statue of Liberty is presented to the United States in Paris – The significance of the Fourth of July to the statue goes back even further. It was on July 4, 1884, that the Statue of Liberty was presented by the Franco-American Union to the U.S. ambassador to France, Levi Morton, according to the National Constitution Center. Lady Liberty was then taken apart and shipped to the U.S. aboard the French Navy ship, the Isère.  Since its arrival in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty has stood as a welcoming symbol for immigrants who come to America seeking a new life.

1892: July 4th happens twice – The year 1892 was a leap year, and so it had 366 days instead of the typical 365. However, Western Samoa made a change to its time zone that year, thus shifting where the country fell with regard to the International Date Line. As a result, in 1892, Western Samoa had two July 4ths back-to-back, for a total of 367 calendar days that year.

1927: The Lockheed Vega takes its maiden voyage – In 1927, the Lockheed Corporation of California built the Lockheed Vega, a six-passenger monoplane designed for long distances. Its first flight on Independence Day of that year began an important chapter in air travel. It was in this type of aircraft that Amelia Earhart made her famous flight across the Atlantic, and that Wiley Post proved the existence of the jet stream.

1934: Leó Szilárd patents the nuclear chain reaction – According to a passage in Richard Rhodes’ landmark The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Leó Szilárd, an influential nuclear age physicist, first developed the idea of nuclear chain reaction in 1933.  Then, in 1934, inspired by research conducted by Enrico Fermi—yes, the very same one behind the Fermi Paradox—Szilárd took things a step further and patented the idea for a nuclear reactor on July 4th. (Fermi and Szilárd famously worked together on the Manhattan Project, putting this exact science into action.)

1939: Lou Gehrig announces his retirement – Lou Gehrig, or “the Iron Horse,” is one of the most exalted Baseball Hall of Famers of all time. Gehrig played for 17 seasons and was the first player to have his uniform number (No. 4) retired by a team, the New York Yankees—an honor well-deserved, given his six World Series Championships.  On July 4, 1939, shortly after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (which is more colloquially called Lou Gehrig’s Disease today), Gehrig announced his retirement to a sold-out crowd at Yankee Stadium, famously calling himself, “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

1960: The American flag receives its 50th star – Though Hawaii was officially named a state in August of the previous year, the 50th star did not appear on the American flag until it was ceremoniously added on July 4th, 1960.

1966: The Freedom of Information Act is signed into law – The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 4, 1966, delighting journalists, researchers, and statisticians alike. FOIA mandates the disclosure of certain information held by the United States government, and today allows the general public to request crime data, trial and court history transcripts, investigative reports, and more.

1995: Bob Ross passes – Bob Ross, best known for his fluffy clouds, happy trees, and poofy hair, had his final episode of The Joy of Painting air on May 17, 1994. A little more than a year later, he died of lymphoma on July 4, 1995.  Remember, you cannot have “dark without light”.

1996: Hotmail goes live – One of the first electronic mail providers, Hotmail, launched the revolutionary idea of accessing your messages from anywhere in the world. The e-mail service, whose name stems from the letters HTML, was sold to Microsoft in December 1997 for a reported $400 million. The company was famous for offering 2MB of free storage. Today, Gmail offers 15-20GB.

1997: The Pathfinder lands on Mars – NASA’s Mars Pathfinder was the first rover to go beyond the moon. It fittingly landed on Mars and began its mission on Independence Day of 1997. The 23-pound rover included scientific instruments meant to analyze the big red planet’s atmosphere, climate, and geology, according to NASA.

2012: The Higgs boson discovery is announced – The existence of the particle known as the Higgs boson was theorized in the ’60s, but on July 4, 2012, the discovery of a new particle with a mass between 125 and 127 GeV/c2 was announced. This particle is of critical importance to the field of particle physics, and can conceivably help scientists determine the fundamental properties of how mass works, how matter decays, and how the sun creates such limitless caches of energy, according to Scientific American.

2019: US publication Mad Magazine announces it will stop publishing new material after 67 years – An American humor magazine founded in 1952 by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines, launched as a comic book before it became a magazine. It was widely imitated and influential, affecting satirical media, as well as the cultural landscape of the 20th century, with editor Al Feldstein increasing readership to more than two million during its 1974 circulation peak.  Can you remember Spy vs. Spy and folding the back cover?

God Bless America!


And check out this video:



Me, too.
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I. Love. My. Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me
a quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good. :-))))
Have fun!!







0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you aren't a robot: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.