Around America, the first week in July is usually for fireworks, fun, and family time. This is because many years ago the Declaration of Independence was approved. There are also many other things to be celebrated such as the Battle of Gettysburg ending. Just a year short of a century later a famous actor named Tom Cruise was born. However, there are many bad things that have happened on the same date. The President James Garfiend was shot. A woman aviator named Amelia Earhart disappeared on an attempt to fly around the world.
The famous singer, Jim Morrison, died. All of this occurred just in the first week of July, which is a very important week in history.
The first event that most people are familiar with is the 4th of July. On the 4th of July, many Americans celebrate Independence Day. This celebration with fireworks, hotdogs, family, and friends has been going on since 1870. This is the day that Americans consider the birth of the United States of America.
Americans all over the Unites States of America celebrate becoming an independent nation. (“The Story of the Fourth of July”) .
Many years ago, the American colonies did not want to be ruled by Great Britain anymore, they wanted to be free. The colonists wanted to have it on paper to explain why they wanted it to be free. The British had formed 13 colonies in North America. The people in these colonies did not like the way the British government treated them.
They wanted to change the laws, so the people rebelled. These events led to the Revolutionary War beginning in 1775. On July 4, 1776, the colonies had a group called the Continental Congress to make the Declaration of Independence. It was written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 13 colonies (Taulman). Many people believe that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. However, the first draft was written in June of 1776, and the final date that it was signed was August 2, 1776. People remember July 4th because it is the day that is printed on the original copy. It wasn’t until almost 100 years later that Americans wanted to celebrate the 4th. Congress made it a national holiday in 1870 (“The Story of the Fourth of July”).
Another well known event that we celebrate is the ending of the Battle of Gettysburg. In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the bloodiest battle in the Civil War occurred. The battle was called the Battle of Gettysburg. Gettysburg was also the turning point in the Civil War. The battle ending meant the end of slavery in the country (Bilous). This horrid battle lasted over 3 days, July 1 to July 3, 1863. It is considered the bloodiest battle in the Civil War because there were over 51,00 deaths and injuries in this battle (Khomina).
The civil war had begun two years earlier in 1861. The war was fought over the idea of slavery. Abraham LincoIn was the president and was against slavery. The Northern states agreed with Lincoln and also wanted to end it. The southern states wanted to keep slavery. The southern states were known as the Confederate Army and were led by General Robert E. Lee. The northern states were known as the Union Army and were led by General George Meade. The turning point in the war was when General Lee instructed General George Pickett and his men to attack the Union army with 12,500 soldiers. Over half were injured or killed, so they retreated. The Confederates won the battle (Bilous).
One of the more recent events that can be celebrated, is the birth of a very famous actor who has starred in many iconic films. On July 3 in 1962, the famous actor known as Tom Cruise was born in Syracuse, New York (“Tom Cruise” Biography). However, he was born as Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, but is better known as Tom Cruise. He has acted in many films, which have made him famous. However, he is also a writer, director, and a film producer. He is most known for his lead roles in Risky Business, A Few Good Men, Jerry Maguire and the Mission Impossible series. He moved to New York City to become an actor. He had his first role in 1981 in the movie called Endless Love. His first big break as an actor was in Risky Business in 1983. Since then, he has starred in many other movies that have been very successful (“Tom Cruise” Encyclopedia Britannica) .
Not only is he known for being a great actor and staring in many movies, he is also known for his hair and his good looks (“Tom Cruise” Biography). He is also known for things that are a part of his personal life. Tom Cruise is a scientologist. He has also made it very public that he struggled with dyslexia. He has also been married to three famous actresses; Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes (“Tom Cruise” Encyclopedia Britannica).
There are also events around July 3 that are remembered but not celebrated. One of these events is a president getting shot. James Garfield was shot while he was president of the United States. He was in Washington DC and was strolling through a railroad waiting room. While he was walking, he was shot by a man in his arm and in his back. President Garfield was taken care of in Washington (“President James A. Garfield Shot”). After being shot, President Garfield was in the White House trying to recover for almost three months. The bullet in his back could not be taken out by doctors. Alexander Graham Bell even used a metal detector that he made to try and locate the bullet to help the doctors (James A Garfield). Later, they moved President Garfield to New Jersey so he could be reunited with some of his family members (“President James A. Garfield Shot”). He eventually died from internal bleeding and infection (James A Garfield).
Chester A. Arthur had to be the acting president until Garfield returned to office. When Garfield passed away from blood poisoning on September 19, 1881, Arthur became the acting president. Garfield had 3 funerals. He was buried in Cleveland, Ohio. Garfield’s killer, Charles Guiteau, had a trial in November. In January, Guiteau was found guilty of his murder. He was hanged in June of 1882 at a Washington Jail (“President James A. Garfield Shot”).
Just over a half century later, another tragedy occurred. The famous, female, aviator known Amelia Earhart disappeared. On July 2, 1927, Amelia Earhart flew a plane around the world and disappeared forever. Besides her disappearance, Amelia Earhart is most known for being the first woman aviator to fly by herself across the Atlantic Ocean. Amelia Earhart had the idea to fly around the world. When she took off to fly her plane, people had no idea it would be her last flight (“Amelia Earhart Disappears”).
Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fredrick Noonan, crashed somewhere around Howland Island (“Amelia Earhart”). They were flying over Howland Island when the plane’s bearings fell off (“Amelia Earhart Disappears”). The crash site was over 2,000 miles away from where they took off. Amelia Earhart informed the Coast Guard by radio that their plane’s fuel was low and implied that they were lost. Some thought that she tried to land the plane in the water. Their bodies or any remains were never found (“Amelia Earhart”).
Yet another tragic loss occurred on July 3, the death of the iconic rockstar Jim Morrison. In Melbourne Florida on December 8, 1943, a popular rock singer was born named Jim Morrison. He is most known for being the lead singer of the famous band The Doors. The Doors was a rock and roll band that became famous in the 60’s. Jim Morrison wrote many songs using his own lyrics, but wrote without an instrument. The Doors most famous hit songs are “Light My Fire”, “Love Me Two Times”, “Hello, I Love You”, “Touch Me”, and “Love Her Madly”. Finally, Morrison left The Doors in 1971. He moved to write poetry in Paris.
Perhaps Jim Morrison is most known for his alcohol and drug addiction, as well as his inappropriate behavior from being intoxicated (“Oak Tree”). He suffered from depression and continued his spiraling drug habit (“Jim Morrison”). His girlfriend found him unconscious in his bathtub. There was no autopsy, so he supposedly died of heart failure (“Oak Tree”). Morrison died at the young age of 27 on July 3, 1971 (“Jim Morrison”).
As many can see, the first week in July is a very important week in history. From the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to the end of the Battle of Gettysburg. Many important events of our nation’s history occurred in the first week of July, including a President being shot and a well-known female pilot’s disappearance. One of the most well-known actors, Tom Cruise, was born and the iconic singer Jim Morrison died. Our country would not be the same without these major events that happened all around July 3.