Thursday July 04, 2002

Today’s Highlight in History: 

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. 

On this date: 

In 1802, 200 years ago, the U.S. Military Academy officially opened at West Point, N.Y. 

In 1845, Henry David Thoreau began his two-year experiment in simpler living at Walden Pond, near Concord, Mass. 

In 1862, English mathematician Charles L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) began inventing the story of “Alice in Wonderland” for his young friend Alice Pleasance Liddell during a boating trip. 

In 1939, baseball’s “Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig, said farewell to his fans at New York’s Yankee Stadium. 

In 1942, Irving Berlin’s musical review “This Is the Army” opened at the Broadway Theater in New York. 

In 1976, Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing almost all of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by pro-Palestinian hijackers. 

Ten years ago: Steffi Graf won her fourth Wimbledon title, defeating Monica Seles in a 5 1/2-hour match interrupted three times by rain. 

Five years ago: NASA’s Pathfinder spacecraft landed on Mars, inaugurating a new era in the search for life on the Red Planet. CBS newsman Charles Kuralt died in New York at age 62. 

One year ago: A Russian airliner crashed in Siberia, killing all 145 people aboard. 

Today’s Birthdays: Advice columnist Pauline Phillips (“Abigail Van Buren”) is 84. Baseball team owner George Steinbrenner is 72. Country singer Ray Pillow is 65. Singer Bill Withers is 64. Journalist Geraldo Rivera is 59. Rock musician Domingo Ortiz (Widespread Panic) is 50. Tennis Hall of Fame electee Pam Shriver is 40.