Independence Day

Thank you to all the pupils, students and staff for their efforts this week. It was a little sultry for a while but the warmer weather was welcome. It wasn’t too difficult to handle – was it?

As we look into next week Thursday hones into view – the 4th July. A momentous day this year, in the UK, with the parliamentary elections. I thought it best to stay away from reflecting too much on the election. But, as 4th July is a historic day, at least since 1776, I thought I’d have a look at some of the other events that have taken place on this day, throughout history. Like all days of the year there are some momentous, some obscure and some strange events.

The 4th July is the 185th day of the year (186th in a leap year). 180 days remain until the end of the year. (173 days until Christmas – better get shopping!)

2012: Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN announced that they had detected an interesting signal that was likely from a Higgs boson.

1976: British punk band the Clash gave their first public performance, opening for the Sex Pistols in a pub in Sheffield.

1954: Food rationing in Britain ends, with the lifting of restrictions on sale and purchase of meat, 14 years after it began early in World War 2, and nearly a decade after the war’s end.

1946: The republic of Philippines was proclaimed an independent country, with Manuel Roxas as its first president.

1910: In what was billed as the “Fight of the Century,” African American boxer Jack Johnson defeated James Jackson Jeffries, who was considered the ‘Great White Hope’; his victory led to nationwide celebrations by African Americans that were occasionally met by violence from whites, resulting in more than 20 deaths across the country.

1892: Western Samoa changes the International Date Line, causing Monday (4th July) to occur twice, resulting in a leap year with 367 days

1884: The Statue of Liberty was presented to the US by the French in Paris.

1865: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published, though the first print run was soon recalled because of quality issues; a new first edition was released in November.

1832: Durham University was established by an act of parliament; the first recognized university to be founded in England since Cambridge over 600 years earlier.

1826: Two major figures of the American Revolution who became U.S. presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died—50 years to the day after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

1776: The Declaration of Independence adopted by the Second Continental Congress, called for the American colonies to secede from Britain, a proclamation now commemorated by a US national holiday.

I hope that the coming week is not too stressful – I know that national and global events can impact upon us all – and that’s not mentioning the football or the cricket!