On this day: July 4

Published On: Jun 27 2012 04:29:44 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 04 2014 01:00:00 AM CDT

The United States declares its independence, an "Iron Horse" retires, the Beach Boys hit No. 1 for the first time, and we lose three presidents, all on this day.

July 4 OTD - Lou Gehrig
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Library of Congress

1939: Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, tells a crowd at Yankee Stadium on Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day that he considers himself "the luckiest man on the face of the Earth." Gehrig, who hadn't played in a game since April 30, 1939, had announced his retirement on June 21.

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