• On July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the independence of a new United States of America from Great Britain. The declaration came 442 days after the first shots of the American Revolution.
• On July 3, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Rivers and Harbors Flood Control Bill, which allocates funds to improve flood-control and water-storage systems. The bill was introduced in the wake of disastrous hurricanes that hit the U.S. in 1955.
• On June 30, 1974, Soviet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defects from U.S.S.R. after four years of planning. While touring in Canada, Baryshnikov evaded his KGB handlers at the end of a performance, disappearing into the crowd outside. He hid until he was granted political asylum.
• On July 1, 1984, the Motion Picture Association of America introduces a new movie rating, PG-13. The action film “Red Dawn” became the first-ever PG-13 movie.
• On June 29, 1995, the American space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station Mir to form the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth. It marked the 100th human space mission in American history.
• On July 5, 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) announces that all person-to-person transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has ceased. In the previous eight months, the disease had killed 775 people in 29 countries. The first cases of SARS, caused by the SARS coronavirus, appeared in China in November 2002, and soon spread around the world via air travel.
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