Today is Friday, July 4, the 186th day of 2008. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day.

Today's Highlight in History:

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

On this date:

In 1802, the United States Military Academy officially opened at West Point, N.Y.

In 1807, soldier-statesman Giuseppe Garibaldi, who played a key role in Italy's unification during the 19th century, was born in Nice.

In 1826, 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, former presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died.

In 1831, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York City.

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

In 1872, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was born in Plymouth, Vt.

In 1917, during a ceremony in Paris honoring the French hero of the American Revolution, U.S. Lt. Col. Charles E. Stanton declared, "Lafayette, we are here!"

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

In 1966, President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, which went into effect the following year.

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: Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic won the women's title at Wimbledon, defeating France's Nathalie Tauziat 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). Japan launched its Nozomi probe to Mars. (However, the mission was abandoned in December 2003 after space officials failed to put the off-target probe back on course).

Five years ago: A speaker claiming to be Saddam Hussein called on Iraqis in a taped message to rally behind anti-U.S. resistance. President Bush visited Dayton, Ohio, to praise the work of U.S. troops and celebrate the 100th anniversary of flight in the hometown of the Wright brothers. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault after a woman accused him of sexual misconduct at a hotel near Vail, Colo. (Prosecutors later dropped a criminal charge against Bryant because the woman did not want to go ahead with a trial.) Rhythm-and-blues singer Barry White died in Los Angeles at age 58.

One year ago: BBC reporter Alan Johnston, seized by the Army of Islam in the Gaza Strip the previous March, was released. The head of the radical-held Red Mosque (Maulana Abdul Aziz) in Islamabad, Pakistan, was caught by security forces. The Black Sea resort of Sochi was elected the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics, taking the Winter Games to Russia for the first time. Bill Pinkney, the last survivor of the original members of the musical group The Drifters, died in Daytona Beach, Fla., at age 81.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Gloria Stuart is 98. Conductor Mitch Miller is 97. Advice columnist Pauline Phillips (the original "Dear Abby") is 90. Actress Eva Marie Saint is 84. Actress Gina Lollobrigida is 81. Playwright Neil Simon is 81. Baseball team owner George Steinbrenner is 78. Country singer Ray Pillow is 71. Singer Bill Withers is 70. Actor Ed Bernard is 69. Actress Karolyn Grimes is 68. Broadcast journalist Geraldo Rivera is 65. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ralph Johnson (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 57. Rock musician Domingo Ortiz (Widespread Panic) is 56. Singer John Waite is 53. Rock musician Kirk Pengilly (INXS) is 50. Country musician Teddy Carr is 48. Rock DJ Zonka (Big Audio Dynamite) is 46. Tennis Hall of Famer Pam Shriver is 46. Rock musician Matt Malley (Counting Crows) is 45. Christian rock singer Michael Sweet (Stryper) is 45. Actress Jenica Bergere is 34. Singer Stephen "Ste" McNally (BBMak) is 30.

Thought for Today: "America is American: that is incontestable." _ Henry James, American author (1843-1916).