Remembering famous births, deaths on July 4

July Fourth — commonly known as America’s birthday — is just around the corner. Of course, that’s when we Americans celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and breaking ties with Great Britain.

Question: Do they have a July 4th in England?

Answer: Yes they do; it’s on their calendar, too! They just don’t celebrate the significance of the day as we do.)

“I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the Fourth of July” are the lyrics from a popular George M. Cohan song. What’s more patriotic than to have come into this world on July 4?

Not much, I’d say.

In 1872, America’s 30th president, “Silent” Calvin Coolidge was born.

Then, in the year 1902, an actor-turned-politician (no, not Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarznegger) was delivered. In this case, it was George Murphy, a film song-and-dance man who also served the people of California in the U.S. Senate from 1965-1971.

Political activist and Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic joined the world’s population on that date in 1946. (Remember the movie, “Born on the Fourth of July”?)

Actresses Eva Saint Marie and Gina Lollobrigida share the same birthday, July 4, but in different years.

Through the years, many people learned how to handle life’s problems by reading advice columnists Abigail Van Buren (“Dear Abby”) and Ann Landers. They were also born on July 4 in the same year (1918). But sharing the same birthday and birth year is not that surprising when you consider the fact that they were twin sisters.

Who remembers singing along with Mitch Miller on television during the early 1960s. Yep, Mitch came in on the Fourth of July in 1911.

Even President and Mrs. Obama’s older daughter, Malia, is a member of the I-was-born-on-the-Fourth-of-July Club (in 1998).

Interestingly enough, some noted people left this world on July Fourth, some with more than just a touch of irony.

For example, America’s third and fourth presidents — John Adams and Thomas Jefferson — died on July 4. But the “wow” factor doesn’t stop there. They both died within a few hours of each other in the same year! That was in 1826, which also happened to be the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence!

While these two chief executives shared the same belief in founding the United States of America, they differed in their political views. However, in later years, they developed a friendship that lasted until their dying breaths.

Five years later, James Monroe, America’s fifth president, went to that giant Electoral College in the sky on that fateful day.

But the irony of the day doesn’t end there.

Hannibal Hamlin, who served as U.S. vice president during Abraham Lincoln’s first administration, was another governmental official who died on July Fourth. He also served as a congressman, senator and governor of Maine.

Another U.S. Senator, Jesse Helms from North Carolina, walked through the Pearly Gates on July 4, 2008.

It seems that the Fourth of July is full of surprises when it comes to births and deaths of famous people.

Now that we have even more things to celebrate July Fourth, be sure your festivities are safe and full of fun, family and friendship.

Happy birthday, America!

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