The first of July is the anniversary for several significant events throughout history. It was on this day in 1863 that the bloody Battle of Gettysburg began. It would ultimately prove to be the decisive battle of the American War Between the States. Up to that time, the South had consistently maintained a strategic upper hand. But at Gettysburg, the Confederate Army under General Robert E. Lee was defeated by General George Meade and his Union troops. More than 37,000 men were killed or wounded in the three days of fighting.
Four years later on this day, in 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain as the British North America Act took effect. And then, it was on this day in 1980 that O Canada was proclaimed the national anthem of Canada.
It was also on this day, in 1898, that Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders volunteer cavalry regiment secured an American victory in the Battle of Santiago by storming San Juan Hill in Cuba. To avoid capture, Spanish Admiral Pascual Cervera retreated from Santiago harbor on July 3. The Spanish ships were attacked by the American fleet, burned and sunk. Two weeks later, Spain surrendered.
But with the start of the Tour de France and the last two games of the World Cup quarter-finals, I confess my attention is not exactly focused on Canada, TR, or General Lee. I’m just hoping someone can beat the brutal Portugal side and that the Americans can maintain Lance Armstrong’s legacy--each day I'll be following the results of the Tour on my Run Blog.