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.
2008: Jesse Helms, a five-term Republican U.S. senator representing North Carolina from 1973 to 2003 and one of the most stridently conservative politicians of the post-1960 era, dies of vascular dementia at age 86 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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