On this day: July 4

POSTED: 02:29 PM PDT Jun 27, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT Jul 03, 2014 

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.

July 4 OTD - 49-star US flag
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1959: The short-lived 49-star U.S. flag debuts, six months and one day after the admission of Alaska in January 1959. The U.S. Flag Act calls for new flag designs to become official on the July 4 following admission of one or more new states. The flag lasted one year before it was replaced by the current 50-star flag due to the admission of Hawaii as the 50th state.


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