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Fourth of July: A Timeline
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1776 -- The Declaration of Independence, unanimously declared by the 13 brand-new United States of America, was adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. But what if there had been a full slate of baseball that day? Would they really have gotten anything done?

1882, 1883, 1884 -- Buffalo's Pud Galvin, New York's Tim Keefe, and Louisville's Guy Hecker each pitched two complete games in one day in these respective seasons. Um ... Pud?

1886 -- The first rodeo competition was held in Prescott, Arizona.

1905 -- The Philadelphia Athletics scored two runs in the 20th inning, giving Rube Waddell a 4-2 victory over Cy Young of the Boston Red Sox. Both pitchers went the distance. Young didn't even allow a walk. (Sportswriters make a note: We should name an award after this guy.)

1908 -- New York Giants pitcher George Wiltse threw a 10-inning no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies.

1912 -- Ty Cobb stole second, third, and home in one inning against the St. Louis Browns. (No, Mike Piazza was not catching.)

1914 -- Dodge City, Kansas, was the site of the first-ever motorcycle race. It was a 300-mile competition.

1919 -- Jack Dempsey defeated Jess Willard after three rounds in Toledo, Ohio, to take the heavyweight boxing championship. Dempsey broke Willard's jaw in the first round, and Willard also suffererd two broken ribs, a closed eye, and a partial loss of hearing. Dempsey did not, however, bite his ear off.

1939 -- The New York Yankees retired their first uniform, Lou Gehrig's No. 4; this also was the first Old-Timers' Day, where Gehrig delivered his "luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech, and accepted an endorsement contract from Alcatel.

1939 -- Boston's Jim Tabor hit three homers, including a pair of grand slams, in an 18-12 victory over the Philadelphia Athletics in the second game of a doubleheader.

1954 -- Two-year-old Ribot won his first race, the Premio Tramuschio. He concluded his career in 1956, with 16 wins in as many starts.

1970 -- Casey Kasem hosted radio's American Top 40 for the first time. "And that's your special request and dedication." (No, it's not sports, but we love the guy.)

1972 -- Two-year-old Secretariat ran fourth to winner Herbull in his racing debut at Aqueduct. It was the worst finish of Secretariat's career.

1976 -- Philadelphia's Tim McCarver hit an apparent grand slam against Pittsburgh. But Garry Maddox, who was on first base at the time, hesitated because he thought the ball might be caught. Unusually self-absorbed, McCarver blew by Maddox on the basepaths, and the home run was taken away. But the Phillies still won, 10-5.

1983 -- At Yankee Stadium, Dave Righetti threw a 4-0 no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox. It was the first Yankee no-hitter since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

1984 -- Knuckleballer Phil Niekro of the New York Yankees fanned Larry Parrish for his 3,000th strikeout. Niekro joined an elite club that presently has only 12 members.

1985 -- In a six hour, 10-minute game delayed twice by rain, the New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves 16-13 in 19 innings. Relief pitcher Rick Camp, an .060 career hitter, homered in the 18th inning to tie the game and Keith Hernandez hit for the cycle in a contest that ended at 3:55 a.m. on July 5, the latest finish in major league history. The post-game fireworks still went on as scheduled. Irate neighbors thought the city was under attack.

1987 -- Martina Navratilova established a new record by winning her sixth straight Wimbledon singles title over Steffi Graf, 7-5, 6-3. It was her eighth Wimbledon championship overall, tying another record, which she broke with her ninth win in 1990.

1994 -- In the World Cup, eventual champion Brazil narrowly defeated the massive underdog United States, 1-0, in San Francisco.

1999 -- Tampa Bay's Jose Canseco became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 homers or more for four different teams (Oakland, Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay). His stint with the Newark Bears was not quite as successful.

1999 -- Pete Sampras defeated Andre Agassi for his sixth Wimbledon title, and tied Roy Emerson's record of 12 Grand Slam tournament titles.

And every July 4, the Canadian Football League's regular season begins. Which begs the question: If a ball is kicked in another country on a day when the U.S. is busy celebrating its independence, does anyone hear it over the hiss of all the gas grills?

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