July 3, 1754 – During the French and Indian War, George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity to French forces.
July 3, 1767 – Pitcairn Island was discovered by Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on an expeditionary voyage commanded by Philip Carteret.
July 3, 1767 – Norway's oldest newspaper still in print, Adresseavisen, was founded and the first edition was published.
July 3, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, U.S. Gen. George Washington rode out in front of the American troops gathered at Cambridge common in Massachusetts and drew his sword, formally taking command of the Continental Army. Washington, a prominent Virginia planter and veteran of the French and Indian War, had been appointed commander in chief by the Continental Congress two weeks before. In agreeing to serve the American colonies in their war for independence, he declined to accept payment for his services beyond reimbursement of future expenses.
July 3, 1778 – During the American Revolutionary War, British forces killed 360 people in the Wyoming Valley massacre.
July 3, 1795 - Alabama author and theatrical manager Noah Ludlow was born in New York, N.Y.
July 3, 1848 – Slaves were freed in the Danish West Indies (now U.S. Virgin Islands) by Peter von Scholten in the culmination of a year-long plot by enslaved Africans.
July 3, 1849 – The dispensation (organizational) meeting for Dean Lodge No. 112 at Brooklyn was held, and the lodge’s charter was officially issued on Dec. 8, 1850.
July 3, 1861 – During the Civil War, Federal forces abandoned Fort McLane in the New Mexico Territory, and Martinsburg, West Virginia was occupied by Federal forces.
July 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, a cavalry skirmish was fought near Russellville, Ala.
July 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Locust Grove in the Indian Territory.
July 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal mortar boats bombarded Vicksburg, Mississippi.
July 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, two days of skirmishing began along Herring Creek, Virginia.
July 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminated with Pickett's Charge as troops under Confederate General George Pickett began a massive attack against the center of the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge. The majority of the force consisted of Pickett’s division, but there were other units represented among the 15,000 attackers. After a long Confederate artillery bombardment, the Rebel force moved through the open field and up the slight rise of Cemetery Ridge, but by the time they reached the Union line, the attack had been broken into many small units, and they were unable to penetrate the Yankee center. Union General Alexander Stewart Webb commanded troops defending the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, and Confederate General Lewis Armistead was mortally wounded while leading a brigade in Pickett's division during the charge at Gettysburg.
July 3, 1863 – A number of the members of the Conecuh Guards were killed or wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. Capt. William Lee died from wounds he received at Gettysburg. Third Sergeant Robert Richey, William Coleman and William B. Long were killed at Gettysburg. First Lt. Archibald D. McInnis, who was promoted to captain on this day, was also wounded that same day at Gettysburg. William Quinley, who’d been wounded earlier at Gaines’s Farm and deserted to the enemy in 1865, was wounded at Gettysburg. Mich. B. Salter, who was wounded earlier at Gaines’ Farm, was wounded at Gettysburg and had his right arm amputated. He was honorably discharged and returned to Conecuh County. Evans Sheffield, who had been wounded earlier at Gaines’ Farm, was wounded at Gettysburg. He returned to Conecuh County after war and was killed by a falling tree. Fourth Cpl. Joseph A. Thomas and the Rev. George A. Wood, who moved to Georgia after the war, were wounded at Gettysburg. Fourth Sgt. James Cotton was taken prisoner at Gettysburg, remained in prison until the end of the war and died in Texas after war.
July 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought on Ossabaw Island and McDonald’s Place in Georgia; at Columbia, Kentucky; at Salem, Missouri; at Fairfield, Pennsylvania; and at Boiling Fork, which is in the vicinity of Winchester, Tennessee.
July 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, in New Orleans, Louisiana, public gatherings, except church services were forbidden. No more than three persons were allowed to congregate at one place on the streets. A 9 p.m. curfew was imposed by occupying Federal forces.
July 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, a Federal expedition that started at Beaver Creek, Kentucky and ended in Southwestern Virginia, began with skirmishes at Pond Creek, West Virginia and Gladesville, Virginia,
July 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, a Federal raid was conducted on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad in North Carolina.
July 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Memphis, Tennessee on the Hernando and Horn Lake roads, with skirmishing just across the Mississippi-Tennessee state line. On the 47th day of the siege at Vicksburg, Mississippi, white flags of truce flew on the Confederate works as Pemberton and Grant discussed surrender terms of the Vicksburg garrison. The formal surrender would take place on the 4th of July.
July 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, Suffolk, Virginia was evacuated by Union forces.
July 3, 1864 – During the Civil War, Sherman’s armies moved forward, past Joe Johnston’s Kennesaw Mountain and on through Marietta, toward the new Confederate position along Nickajack Creek, Georgia. There was skirmishing Kingston, Ruff’s Mills, Big Shanty, and the Sweetwater Bridge in Georgia.
July 3, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought along the Amite River at Benton’s Ferry, near Baton Rouge, Louisiana; near St Joseph, Missouri; near La Grange, Tennessee; at Buckton, Virginia; and at North River Mills, North Mountain, Martinsburg, Darkesville, and Leetown, West Virginia.
July 3, 1864 – During the Civil War, Union assaults on Fort Johnson and Battery Simkins in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina were repulsed. Skirmishes were also fought at King’s Creek, and near White Point, South Carolina.
July 3, 1871 – Poet William Henry Davies was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.
July 3, 1881 – Charles J. Waldrop was hanged for murdering Lobina Knight Mitchell on June 30, 1881 in Cragford, Ala.
July 3, 1883 – Czech writer Franz Kafka was born in Prague. He was the author of such influential works as “The Metamorphosis” (1915), which began: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."
July 3, 1886 – The New-York Tribune became the first newspaper to use a linotype machine, eliminating typesetting by hand.
July 3, 1890 – Idaho was admitted as the 43rd U.S. state.
July 3, 1895 – Escambia County, Ala. Sheriff E.S. McMillan formed a posse to capture Railroad Bill and later that night at Bluff Springs an immense gun battle ensued and McMillan was shot in the chest and died while Bill escaped once again.
July 3, 1901 - The Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy, committed its last American robbery near Wagner, Montana. They took $65,000 from a Great Northern train.
July 3, 1908 – Food author M.F.K. Fisher, born Mary Frances Kennedy, was born in Albion, Mich.
July 3, 1911 – W.H. Grant, a freight conductor on the L&N Railroad committed suicide in Flomaton, Ala. “Temporary insanity” was supposed to have been the cause.
July 3, 1912 - Rube Marquard of the New York Giants set a baseball pitching record when earned his 19th consecutive win.
July 3, 1913 – Confederate veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913 reenacted Pickett's Charge. Upon reaching the high-water mark of the Confederacy they were met by the outstretched hands of friendship from Union survivors.
July 3, 1915 – A picnic was scheduled to be held at the Varner Bridge on the Sepulga River with a baseball game to be played that afternoon.
July 3, 1915 – Claude Lazenby, the son of G.S. Lazenby of Forest Home, was killed in a railway accident in Los Angeles, Calif. Lazenby had bought a ticket for Riverside, placed his luggage on the train about 10 minutes before departure and walked to the other side of the train, where the vestibule doors were not open. When the train was called, he ran and in trying to get aboard was crushed by the train car’s wheels.
July 3, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Jesse V. Emmons of Andalusia, Ala. “died from wounds.” He is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in Lorraine, France. His tombstone gives his middle initial as “B” rather than “V.”
July 3, 1920 - William Crawford Gorgas, U.S. Surgeon General, 1915-1918, and world-renowned expert on tropical diseases, died in London while en route to South Africa. Gorgas was born in Mobile, Ala. in 1854 and served as the Chief Sanitation Officer in Havana, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War and during the building of the Panama Canal, 1904-1914. In those tropical climates Gorgas saved hundreds of lives by successfully eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and thereby controlling the spread of yellow fever.
July 3, 1927 - Grover C. Hall Sr., editor of the Montgomery Advertiser, published the cornerstone editorial in a series of pieces that won him the 1928 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. The editorials, directed against the Ku Klux Klan, called for Alabama politicians and citizens to take a stand against Klan violence. Hall especially reprimanded Gov. Bibb Graves, a Klan member, urging him to take measures to end the countless floggings of white and black men and women across the state.
July 3, 1928 – In Lovecraftian fiction, noted occultist and horror fiction author Halpin Chalmers was found dead in his apartment in Patridgeville, N.Y. and his apparent murder has never been solved. The Chalmers character first appeared in “The Hounds of Tindalos” (1931) by Frank B. Long.
July 3, 1937 – Playwright Tom Stoppard was born Tomas Straussler in Zlin, Czechoslovakia.
July 3, 1938 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and lighted the eternal flame at Gettysburg Battlefield.
July 3, 1944 – During World War II, Minsk was liberated from Nazi control by Soviet troops during Operation Bagration.
July 3, 1947 - The Cleveland Indians purchased the contract of Larry Doby from the Neward Eagles of the Negro National League. Doby became the first black player to play in the American League.
July 3, 1947 – Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry was born in Armonk, N.K.
July 3, 1948 - The annual Monroe Mills picnic was to be held on this Saturday afternoon at Little River State Park near Uriah. The approximately 600 employees of the mill were to be guests of the management for the occasion, which had been observed each year since 1937, when the local plant of Vanity Fair Mills was established. As plans for the celebration at the state park progressed, work was continuing on the recreation area being constructed near Monroeville’s golf course by the Vanity Fair Mills Foundation. Mill officials had previously revealed that, once the recreation area was completed, the annual picnics were to be held there.
July 3, 1958 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the “new” Evergreen Swimming Pool was now open four nights a week from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Coach Jeff Moorer was the Recreation Director.
July 3, 1962 - Jackie Robinson became the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
July 3, 1966 - Tony Cloninger of the Atlanta Braves became the first National League pitcher to hit two grand slams in one game.
July 3, 1967 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Roland Franklyn, the leader of a cult in Brichester, England in the mid-1960s, died and was buried in Brichester’s Mercy Hill cemetery. He first appeared in 1969’s “Cold Print” by Ramsey Campbell.
July 3, 1967 - The Doors released the song "Light My Fire" in the U.S.
July 3, 1968 - The U.S. command in Saigon released figures showing that more Americans were killed during the first six months of 1968 than in all of 1967. These casualty figures were a direct result of the heavy fighting that had occurred during, and immediately after, the communist Tet Offensive.
July 3, 1971 – Doors singer Jim Morrison, 27, died of heart failure in Paris, France.
July 3, 1972 – Ellis Wayne Golson of Lyeffion, Ala. was scheduled to report to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
July 3, 1974 - Los Angeles Dodger Mike Marshall set a major league record for most games pitched in consecutively when he relieved starting pitcher Tommy John to pitch in his 13th consecutive game. Marshall was remarkable for his ability to pitch every day without experiencing the soreness and injury that plagued other pitchers, like Tommy John.
July 3, 1976 – Mixed martial artist Wanderlei Silva was born in Curitiba, Brazil.
July 3, 1978 – Evergreen, Ala. received 1.07 inches of rain.
July 3, 1991 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush formally inaugurated the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.
July 3, 1993 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale died of a heart attack at the age of 56 in Room 2518 of Le Centre Sheraton in Montreal, Quebec. He played his entire professional career (1956-1969) for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.
July 3, 1996 – The Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland.
July 3, 1997 – The Old Washington County Courthouse at St. Stephens, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
July 3, 1999 – Charles Thaddeus “C.T.” Ivey of Evergreen passed away at the age of 93 in an Evergreen hospital. Ivey, who was born on Sept. 29, 1905, was an automobile dealer and tree farmer in Evergreen for most of his life.
July 3, 2001 - American Brigadier General William Lee Davidson's wallet was brought back the United States from England where it had been held in the Public Records Office in London since the Revolutionary War. Davidson died in combat while attempting to prevent General Charles Cornwallis’ army from crossing the Catawba River in Mecklenburg County, NC.
July 3, 2006 – Mark Childress’ sixth novel, “One Mississippi,” released by Little, Brown & Co.
July 3, 2009 – John Keel, the author of “The Mothman Prophecies,” passed away at the age of 79 in New York City.
July 3, 2014 – A Piper PA-24 Comanche plane crash occurred on Gardner Road in Excel at 11:15 a.m. that left two Daniel Reid and Vance Alexander, both of Birmingham, with injuries. Reid and Alexander were transported to Monroe County Hospital after the accident, but were released a short time later. They departed Shelby County Airport at 10:02 a.m.