COUNTRY July 3, 2015

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DATEBOOK: JULY 3, 2015

This is day 184 of 2015. There are 181 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Writer Dave Barry is 68

• Betty Buckley is 68

• Jan Smithers (WKRP in Cincinnati) is 66

• Montel Williams is 59

• Tom Cruise is 53

• Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds) is 53

• Hunter Tylo is 53

• Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons) is 51

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1819: The first savings bank in the United States (The Bank of Savings in New York City) opened.

• 1852: Congress established the United States’ second mint, in San Francisco, California.

• 1884: Dow Jones published its first stock average.

• 1890: Idaho was is admitted as the 43rd U.S. state.

• 1922: Fruit Garden and Home magazine published its first issue. Two years later, the publication became Better Homes and Gardens.

• 1970: Some 200,000 heard Jimi Hendrix play “The Star Spangled Banner” as the 3-day Atlanta Pop Festival opened in Byron, Georgia. Two days later Governor Lester Maddox said he would seek legislation to ban rock festivals in Georgia.

• 1986: U.S. President Ronald Reagan presided over the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty.

• 2004: Maria Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title by beating Serena Williams 6-1, 6-4 at Wimbledon.

• 2006: The asteroid labeled as 2004 XP14 flew 268,624 miles by Earth.

• 2008: Because of a banking error a 16-year-old boy in England went to an ATM and found he had $4 million in his account. He withdrew $600 to spend but after the error was corrected he found he was $600 overdrawn.

• 2009: Sarah Palin announced she would resign as Alaska governor with 16 months left in her term.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• International Chicken Wing Day

• International Plastic Bag Free Day

• Stay Out Of The Sun Day

• Superman Day

• Compliment Your Mirror Day

UPCOMING

• July 4: Independence Day

• July 14: MLB All-Star Game

• September 7: Labor Day

• September 10: NFL season begins (Steelers at Patriots)

More holidays

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DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, JULY 4

• Eva Marie Saint is 91. Bill Withers is 77. Geraldo Rivera is 72. John Waite is 60. Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (Jersey Shore) is 33.

• Independence Day; Independence From Meat Day; International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship; Build A Scarecrow Day; National Country Music Day; Caesar Salad Day; Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition.

SUNDAY, JULY 5

• Katherine Helmond (Mona on Who’s the Boss) is 86. Huey Lewis is 65. Dorien Wilson (The Parkers) is 53. Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) is 52. Kathryn Erbe (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) is 50. Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars, 2 Broke Girls) is 34. Dave Haywood (Lady Antebellum) is 33.

• Bikini Day; Work-a-holics Day; Apple Turnover Day; Shark Week Starts on Discovery.

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NUMBER FOR THE DAY

1.8 billion: Coke drinks sold each day around the world. This includes bottles, cans, fountain drinks, etc.

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NEWS ATTACK!

The Sesame Street actress who plays Maria announced her retirement. [This message was brought to you by the number 65.]

A former Iowa State University scientist was sentenced to over 4½ years in prison for faking his research. [That’s a pretty stiff penalty for copying someone else’s homework.]

New security measures have been put in place at that upstate New York prison where those two inmates escaped. [Now only prisoners with absolutely spotless records will be allowed to use jackhammers and blowtorches.]

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag TV Land has removed reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard. [Especially troubling were the early episodes where Boss Hogg was played by Donald Trump.]

In Southern California a dolphin mysteriously leaped into a moving boat. [With all these shark attacks in the news even dolphins are afraid of the water.]

The Justice Department believes that the airlines are secretly conspiring with each other to make us pay more. [I knew the airlines couldn’t be that incompetent by chance.]

Saturday is July 4th. [The anniversary of the day Americans broke away from England for the right to choose their own destiny, set their own course, and fawn over each new royal baby.]

Saturday is July 4th. [It’s the time of the year when hardware stores sell out of gas grills, charcoal grills… [and first aid kits].

Saturday is July 4th. [It’s when America broke with England, and began seeing other countries.]

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NEWS & NUGGETS

4th OF JULY 2015 POST OFFICE HOURS _ Wondering if the post office is open on July 4, and if the letter carrier will deliver the mail on Saturday? Although most retail stores and restaurants will be open on Independence Day, the U.S. Postal Service will close down for the day. The federal holiday is actually observed today (July 3), but it’s business as usual for the USPS — employees will have Saturday off instead. Normal mail delivery will resume on Monday, July 6.

… In addition to the USPS, both UPS and FedEx will be closed on the Fourth of July.

COMING: PAY FOR STUFF BY TAKING A SELFIE _ MasterCard is taking mobile payments one step further. Instead of using your fingerprint to authorize a transaction like Apple Pay, MasterCard is going to let you take a selfie. Buy a drink with your MasterCard, and the app sends a notification to snap a picture of your face to confirm your identity. MasterCard is targeting Snapchat-obsessed millennials with this payment system, but anyone would be able to use it. As an added security measure, you have to blink when taking a selfie. That way someone wouldn’t be able to just hold up a photo of you to trick the app. The feature is in the early stages of development, and MasterCard plans to let 500 cardholders test it before everyone else.

#WOMENONQUARTERS PETITION WANTS 50 FACES ON CURRENCY _ While Alexander Hamilton is set to get ousted from the $10 bill in favor of a lady-centric makeover, there’s a new petition calling for 50 important women to be embossed on some shiny quarters. In 1999, the U.S. Mint rolled out the 50 States Quarter Program, which saw each of the states in the union immortalized in silver. The goal of #WomenOnQuarters is to create a similar set, instead featuring 50 different important women.

… The campaign was started by Kelly Irwin of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, who was inspired by her boyfriend’s 11-year-old daughter. She says, “I thought it might be fun for her to collect the coins and learn about all of these great women who can serve as role models for her and show her that she can be and do whatever she wants in life.”

The petition has already picked up 15,00+ signature.

MAILMAN ACCUSED OF STEALING MORE THAN $1M IN TAX REFUNDS _ For the second time in two months a postal employee has been charged by federal prosecutors with taking part in a scheme to pad their own pockets. The most recent case involves a mail carrier who allegedly stole more than $1 million in tax refunds. The Associated Press reports that a 36-year-old Brooklyn, New York, man was charged with conspiracy and theft of government funds for his part in “delivering” bogus tax refunds to himself. According to investigators, the mail carrier and his accomplices would file false tax returns using Social Security numbers for Puerto Rico residents they believed were unlikely to file on their own. These returns used addresses along the postal employee’s delivery route in the Bronx, allowing him to easily intercept the refund checks.

ANOTHER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE _ Jim Webb, the former Virginia senator and Reagan-era secretary of the Navy, announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday.

… So who is running for president? On the Republican side we have Bush, Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Carson, Fiorina, Huckabee, Santorum, Pataki, Graham, Perry, Trump, Jindal, Christie. Probables include Walker and Kasich.

… On the Democrat side Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley, Chafee and Webb. • SOURCE

10 CITIES WITH THE MOST ADULTERY _ Based on data provided by the casual hookup website Ashley Madison, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the number of site members in 22 cities as a percentage of the metropolitan areas’ populations. Austin, Texas, and Pittsburgh led the nation with 5.6% of their populations Ashley Madison members. An estimated .7% of people living in the San Francisco were members, the smallest percentage reviewed.

… There are roughly 70,000 Ashley Madison users in Austin, or an estimated 5.6% of the area’s population. No other city for which data was available had a higher percentage of its population using the dating website. • LINK

NASCAR ASKS FANS TO BE LESS RED-NECKY _ NASCAR effectively revised its prior stance on the Confederate flag Thursday, where the series wouldn’t allow the stars and bars to fly in any official capacity, but would permit fans to fly it as they please. Now NASCAR tracks have banded together in asking fans not to fly it at all.

… A statement released Thursday emphasized the need to ensure NASCAR is a welcoming environment for all, including those who associate the flag with racism: “To do that, we are asking our fans and partners to join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events. This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events.”

HAWAII IS THE FIRST STATE TO BAN PLASTIC BAGS AT GROCERY CHECKOUTS _ As of this week, grocery stores across the entire state of Hawaii are banned from distributing plastic bags. The City and County of Honolulu — which covers the entirety of Oahu, Hawaii’s most populated island — is now enforcing a ban that prohibits stores from handing plastic bags to customers at checkout, making Oahu the last populated island in the state to give the bags the boot.

… Hawaii is the first state to fully ban plastic bags at grocery stores. California recently passed a law that requires stores to charge for reusable bags, but the measure has been put on hold until a referendum is held in November.

BUBBLE WRAP NO LONGER POPS _ So long, original bubble wrap. Sealed Air Corporation, the original creator of bubble wrap — and modern joy — is introducing a new packing material design called iBubble Wrap. And the bubbles don’t pop. iBubble Wrap isn’t inflated until it reaches its destination, so it saves a lot of space in transit. When buyers receive the rolls, they will use a special pump to inflate the bubbles, but even then they won’t be poppable.

… Though Sealed Air’s founders invented Bubble Wrap in 1957.

POLICE PROTESTERS BURN FLAG, GET ATTACKED, NEED POLICE _ A group of flag-burning anti-NYPD protesters needed New York’s Finest to save their skin from a gang of angry bikers who tried to pummel them in a Brooklyn park for setting Old Glory ablaze Wednesday. The fiery stunt by a few dozen members of the group Disarm the Police led to a chaotic scene Wednesday night when the activists enraged 40 members of the Hallowed Sons Motorcycle Club by roasting the flag on a tiny barbecue grill.

… The anarchists had announced on social media that they had planned to burn the flag in protest of NYPD policies, drawing a large group of flag-waving counterprotesters, including the bikers. While it’s illegal to openly burn anything in Fort Greene Park, the flag-burners managed to find a loophole in the law that allows cooking in closed barbecue grills.

… They started to roast the flag, but they didn’t burn it for long. One of the bikers rushed forward in a fit of rage and kicked over the grill, sending embers flying. He then doused it as members of the pro-flag crowd chanted “USA! USA!” The bikers then started trying to rough up the protesters — who were quickly saved by members of the same police force that they criticize.

WOMAN OPENS SENIOR PET SANCTUARY _ Sher Polvinale started a special animal shelter in 2006 after retiring from an over 30 year career with animal rescue. Polvinale’s Gaithersburg, Maryland, shelter is called House with a Heart and it’s homes to thirty elderly dogs and four cats. House with a Heart has a large two acre fenced in property with various enclosures for the animals. Doggie doors at all major entrances allow the animals freedom that many family pets do not have. Unlike other shelters, Polvinale does not attempt to adopt out the dogs she has taken in. To insure the dogs retain a safe and loving environment she allows them to live out their lives in her care. • LINK

MAN IN JAPAN HAS DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO PREVENTING SUICIDES _ Japan has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world — but one man has devoted his life to help bring the unfortunate figure down and has saved over 500 lives to date. Yukio Shige is a 70-year-old retired police officer who patrols the cliffs on the Sea of Japan along with three volunteers, keeping a look out and talking to people contemplating ending their life. The popular tourist site is a notorious place for suicides. Shige himself knows the pain of dealing with suicide: a few years ago he got a call from the police concerning a friend.

THE HEIMLICH GUY AT NATHAN’S FAMOUS HOT DOG EATING CONTEST _ If any competitors choke on their food at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Saturday, Eddie Latson will make his move. Latson, of Brooklyn, New York, is the EMT on hand to apply the Heimlich maneuver if entrants bite off more than they can chew. In three years of working the Coney Island event, he has never had to administer the life-saving technique, but he has sprung into action when eaters vomit. He says, “I hold the bag.” Latson chalks up the contestants’ choke-free digestion to “professionalism”: “They have a technique of eating and swallowing and they know how to let it go at a certain time.”

NEW GADGET CLAIMS TO ZAP YOU ‘TIL YOU’RE ZEN _ Thync, a wireless device that zaps your brain, promises to make you calmer or more energetic. All you have to do is stick the gadget to your head and let it beam you with low-levels of electric current until you get there — typically about five minutes. Thync was developed by a team of neuroscience and biomedical engineering experts. Thync is actually a system of four products. The main component is a slightly curved, white, triangular device. It sits on your forehead above the tail of the right eyebrow. A dedicated app controls the setup, including the intensity and duration of the mood-altering pulsations, through Bluetooth. The set costs $299. • LINK

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WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: CAT RESCUED FROM ENGINE OF PICKUP TRUCK AFTER 28-MILE RIDE _ A cat was rescued from the engine of a pickup truck after a 28-mile ride from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Unbeknownst to the driver, the orange and white feline had crawled into the engine compartment before the truck’s owner got in and started it up. It was only after the driver arrived at his destination that others heard the cat’s meows. The cat was freed from the fan blades and ran off but was soon caught by police and turned over to an animal control officer. It wasn’t injured.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: DRUNK BEAR OUTSMARTS FARMER’S HONEY TRAP _ A Chinese villager was disappointed to find the bear that had been terrorizing his chickens could also hold its liquor. The poultry farmer had plotted to trap the black bear by baiting it with honey mixed with two liters of strong alcohol. The next morning he found the spiked honey gone and two dead chickens. The chicken farmer said, “The bear was mad with drink.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ARKANSAS TEEN FINDS 4-INCH CENTIPEDE IN EAR _ An Arkansas (Saline County) teenager woke up the other morning with excruciating pain in one of his ears. Fourteen-year-old Grant Botti says he felt something strange in his ear and decided to grab hold of it.  What he pulled out was a 4-inch long centipede. Grant’s mom put the still-alive centipede in a plastic bag and took Grant to the emergency room because he was still in pain. A doctor found some small abrasions in Grant’s ear drum. He was treated and released.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: YOGA IS NOW BANNED IN CENTRAL RUSSIA _ Officials in the Russian city of Nizhnevartovsk (no matter how you say it, own it) have banned yoga, fearing that it could “spread new religious cults and movements.” The owners of at least two of the city’s yoga studios have gotten letters from city officials telling them to stop their classes immediately. One of the letters refers to yoga as “inextricably linked to religious practices” and as having “an occult character.” Please tell me this Russian city hasn’t banned yoga pants.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: POLICE CONFISCATE WW2 TANK HIDDEN IN CELLAR _ Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel, Germany, this week and found a World War II tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. On Thursday they were still working on removing the tank. The villa’s owner is in trouble with German authorities because it’s illegal to possess instruments of war.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: EXCITED LAMB PEES ON TV REPORTER _ Button the lamb was abandoned by her mother, but Lyndon and Audrey Hull, sheep farmers in Northern Ireland, have provided her with the extra care she needs. This includes feeding her, keeping her safe from other animals, and fighting off an inspector from the Department of Agriculture. The Department received a complaint from someone who saw Button being walked on a leash and mistook her for a fully grown sheep. After the investigation proved that Button was being treated this way to ensure her safety, she was approved to stay on the farm.

… The story was heartwarming enough that a TV reporter met up with the Hulls to share their story. During filming alongside Button, the lamb was apparently so excited to be on TV she peed on the reporter’s leg. • VIDEO

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ON TELEVISION

UNDERCOVER BOSS (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT (8p ET, NBC) — Repeat

SHARK TANK (8p ET, ABC) — Repeat

MASTERCHEF (8p ET, FOX) — Repeat

WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (8p ET, CW) — Two repeats air back to back.

HAWAII FIVE-O (9p ET, CBS) — Repeat

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? (9p ET, ABC) — New

GOTHAM (9p ET, FOX) — Repeat

BLUE BLOODS (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat

20/20 (10p ET, ABC) — Repeat

DATELINE (10p ET, NBC) — New

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ENTERTAINMENT

AMERICA FERRERA’S RESPONSE TO DONALD TRUMP _ Actress America Ferrera reached out to presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday to thank him for empowering Hispanic voters. In an open letter posted online she wrote: “You see, what you just did with your straight talk was send more Latino voters to the polls than several registration rallies combined! Thank you for that. Here we are pounding the pavement to get American Latinos to the polls, while your tactic proves most effective.” Trump has been under fire since his campaign announcement in mid-June, when he called some Mexican immigrants to the U.S. “killers” and “rapists.”

… Ferrera’s open letter also said: “While your comments are incredibly ignorant and racist, I don’t want to spend my time chastising you. I’ll leave that to your business partners like Univision and NBC, who have the power to scold you where it hurts. Instead, I’m writing to say thank you!”

TRUMP NO LONGER IN BED WITH MATTRESS SPONSOR _ Another Trump business partner has bailed. Serta Mattresses is ending their business arrangement with Donald Trump after his derogatory remarks regarding Mexican immigrants.

A NEW NETWORK GETS MISS USA _ Since NBC has dumped the pageant due to severing its relationship with Donald Trump, a new network has been found to broadcast the event. The Reelz Network is now on board. Their president, Stan Hubbard says, “The decision on the part of Reelz to acquire the rights to the Miss USA Pageant was based on our belief that this special event, and the women who compete in it, are an integral part of American tradition. For us, this decision is about the dreams of the contestants who come from all walks of life across the United States.

THE VIEW PREPARED TO GET RID OF ROSIE PEREZ AND NICOLLE WALLACE? _ According to Variety, The View might be planning to axe co-panelists Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, at least not when Rosie Perez is considered — she has been on and off The View because she’s been on Larry David’s Broadway play, Fish in the Dark. During the time where she was doing rehearsals, it was leaked that ABC was looking to axe Rosie.

… Although it’s not official that Rosie and Nicolle Wallace are on their way out, it looks like it’s going to happen. A source says, “One or both women could be dropped because network execs are underwhelmed with their contributions to the show’s signature Hot Topics segment, which is expected to shift focus permanently toward more lighthearted celebrity fluff.” It’s said that Whoopi Goldberg will remain as moderator. Raven Symone, who recently got a permanent job on the panel, will remain on the show.

CHRISTOPHER REEVE’S DAUGHTER GIVES BIRTH TO A SON _ The late Christopher Reeve’s daughter has given birth. Alexandra Reeve Givens and Garren Givens have welcomed their first child in Washington D.C. His name is Christopher Russel Reeve Givens. He was named after his grandfathers on each side.

BEN AFFLECK AND JENNIFER GARNER HEAD TO THE BAHAMAS _ As promised, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are remaining united in spirit for the kids. The whole family is at their home in the Bahamas together. The parents of three probably had planned this getaway all along, wanting to find a private spot to be with their daughters Violet and Seraphina and son Samuel while news of their divorce continued to make headlines. Affleck and Garner announced on Tuesday that they were ending their 10-year marriage.

BEN AFFLECK’S NEW HOME WITHIN A HOME _ The rumors are true: Ben Affleck is moving out of the home he shares with Jennifer Garner and into a “private area within the family’s home”. Affleck’s “wing” is actually composed of two smaller homes, which are connected by an open-air wooden bridge.

LEONARD NIMOY DOCUMENTARY RAISES $660,000 ON KICKSTARTER _ About a month ago, Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for a documentary about his father called For the Love of Spock. And fans showed the love: With less than a day to spare, the project met and surpassed its $600,000 goal by more than $60,000. The film will be released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek, which aired on September 8, 1966.

SEAN “DIDDY” COMBS WON’T FACE FELONY CHARGES _ Sources say that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has decided not to press charges against Sean “Diddy” Combs in connection with his arrest June 22 for allegedly wielding a kettlebell during an altercation with a UCLA football coach while visiting his son Justin on campus. He was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and released on bail. With the D.A. opting to pass, Combs is in the clear with regard to being charged with a felony, but the L.A. City Attorney’s Office can now decide whether to file misdemeanor charges against him.

… Combs has maintained that he was acting in self-defense during his altercation with strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi.

MEGHAN TRAINOR CANCELS CONCERTS, ON ‘COMPLETE VOCAL REST’ _ Meghan Trainor has postponed two concerts on her tour this weekend due to a vocal cord hemorrhage. Megan revealed the news in an Instagram post on Thursday, telling fans that her July 3 concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and July 4 performance in Connecticut were canceled.

LIFETIME MOVIE CLUB LAUNCHES _ Lifetime Movie Club has launched. It’s Lifetime network’s first direct-to-consumer subscription service which gives subscribers access to a library of Lifetime Movies without commercial interruptions for $3.99 a month. The subscription video service was created in time for the 25-year anniversary of Lifetime Movies and is available on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch at launch. The app will feature over 30 movies with new titles refreshed weekly. • LINK

TIFFANI THIESSEN WELCOMES BABY BOY _ Tiffani Thiessen had her second child, a boy, Wednesday. Tiffani and husband Brady Smith have named him Holt Fisher Smith.

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BITS & BREAKS

NEW IN THEATERS

TERMINATOR: GENISYS (PG-13) – OPENED WEDNESDAY

John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be.

• Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, Jason Clarke
• Links: websitetrailerreviews

MAGIC MIKE XXL (R) – OPENED WEDNESDAY

Three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, he and the remaining Kings of Tampa hit the road to Myrtle Beach to put on one last blow-out performance.

• Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello
• Links: websitetrailerreviews

NEW ON DVD THIS WEEKEND

OPENING NEXT WEEK

• Friday: Minions

• Friday: Self/Less

• Friday: The Gallows

MARATHON TRAINING TIPS

Running is a huge participating sport, so of course The Onion had to offer some training tips.

• Quit your job

• Hire a personal trainer to make sure you’re training as expensively as possible

• Make sure you have a pair of new, comfortable running clogs

• Familiarize yourself with the course ahead of time so you’ll know how to direct ambulances to your location

• Carbo-load with plenty of pasta the night before you consider entering a marathon

• Try to run at least once before race day

• Staying hydrated is important, so be sure to drink plenty of bodily fluids

• Bear in mind that cramps are a signal you are about to die

• Visualize your success and how good it will feel to accomplish something hundreds of other people will accomplish before you that day

• Driving 26.2 miles is also an accomplishment of sorts

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FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: Among all colleges in the U.S., Alaska Bible College in Palmer, Alaska is unique for what reason? (It’s the smallest accredited college in the U.S. — less than 40 students.)

FOURTH OF JULY QUIZ

What do you really know about the Fourth of July and our independence?

The 4th of July commemorates:

  • the start of the American Revolution.
  • adoption of the Declaration of Independence.*
  • the end of the American Revolution.

Not included among the original 13 colonies was:

  • Vermont*
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island

The Boston Tea Party of 1773 was:

  • a colonist fund-raiser organized by Boston society ladies.
  • a publicity stunt set up by coffee importers.
  • a protest against the British tea tax.*

When angry colonists boarded 3 tea ships & dumped the tea into Boston harbor, they were disguised as:

  • pirates
  • Indians*
  • gypsies

The foreign power that came most decisively to the colonists’ aid was:

  • Poland
  • Spain
  • France*

The Declaration of Independence was largely the work of:

  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • Thomas Jefferson*

The number of delegates to sign the Declaration was:

  • 56*
  • 77
  • 65

The opening line of the Declaration is:

  • “That these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states…”
  • “We, the People of the Unites States…”
  • “When in the course of human events…”*

The first capital of the United States was:

  • Boston
  • New York
  • Philadelphia*

The legend that seamstress Betsy Ross designed & made the first American national flag is:

  • an invention of George Washington biographer Parson Weems
  • unquestionably true
  • generally discredited*

The Continental Congress adopted the Stars & Stripes as the national flag in:

  • 1776
  • 1778
  • 1777*

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JOKE OF THE DAY

How do you find Will Smith in the snow?

You look for fresh prince.

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VIDEO OF THE DAY

Lego arcade.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

One day I will own you!

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LAST MINUTE ITEMS

• Google Sheep View

Most Exclusive Website. One visitor at a time, every sixty seconds.

• Create your own link board — accessible from any computer.

• 20 first photos from the history of photography.

• Man does manly thing: builds primitive wattle and daub hut from scratch.

• Hidden wine cellars.

• If you favorite tweets for the show and find it a hassle to go back and unfavorite them, try Unfavinator.

• 21 social media marketing experts to follow on twitter.

• One of our favorite weather apps for iOS, Dark Sky, has just updated with a whole new set of notifications, crowd sourced weather, and more.

• A super-simple app for emailing yourself.

• All six Star Wars film at once.

• Real-time cyber-attack threat map.

• Play classic Atari games in your web browser.

• Mac users: get the fantastic Forecast Bar.

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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: JULY 3, 2015

• 1954: JOHNNY CASH was discharged from the U.S. Air Force.

• 1991: GARTH BROOKS’ album No Fences was certified quadruple platinum. Hits included Friends In Low Places, The Thunder Rolls and Unanswered Prayers.

• 1993: ALISON KRAUSS became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

• 2001: Grand Ole Opry star JOHNNY RUSSELL died at age 61 after a long bout with diabetes.

• 2001: TRISHA YEARWOOD’s album Songbook: A Collection of Hits was certified quadruple platinum.

• 2003: MICKEY GILLEY’s appendix burst as he boarded a plane in Branson, Missouri. He was hospitalized for four days.

• 2005: WILLIE NELSON opened a biodiesel station in Carl’s Corner, Texas, between Dallas and Waco.

• 2010: DOLLY PARTON and Miley Cyrus performed a duet on Jolene a when Dolly Parton Celebrates 25 Years Of Dollywood debuted on the Hallmark Channel.

• 2011: CRAIG CAMPBELL’s Family Man was used in an episode of HBO’s True Blood.

• 2013: ALISON KRAUSS celebrated her 20th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

JOHNNY LEE is 69. He’s best known for the hits Lookin’ For Love and The Yellow Rose of Texas.

AARON TIPPIN is 57. The South Carolina native was inspired to write songs by HANK WILLIAMS, whose music he grew up listening to. His hits include There Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With The Radio, You’ve Got To Stand For Something and Kiss This.

TRENT TOMLINSON is 40. He’s best known for the tune One Wing In The Fire, a tribute to his grandfather.

SARAH BUXTON is 35. She co-wrote KEITH URBAN’s Stupid Boy and can be heard on DAVID NAIL’s Let It Rain.

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COUNTRY AUDIO

Visit the country audio archive for over 2,000 audio cuts.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD on what it means to be an American. » download page

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COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

Editor: We first shared this story early Thursday morning in our private Facebook Group. FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE’s Tyler Hubbard married Hayley Stommell Wednesday night (July 1) at Trail Creek Cabin in Sun Valley, Idaho. Bandmate Brian Kelly served as best man for the ceremony while Hayley’s golden retriever, Harley, wore a bow tie and served as ring bearer. SARAH BUXTON (who’s 35 today) sang John Legend’s All Of Me while Hayley walked down the aisle. The reception included a steak and salmon dinner with about 150 guests.

KACEY MUSGRAVES’ Pageant Material is the third best-selling album in the U.S. and the top seller on the Country Albums chart. Pageant Material outsold Kacey’s debut, Same Trailer, Different Park, by 17,000 copies in its first week.

DIERKS BENTLEY and BRAD PAISLEY will perform as part of Macy’s 4th of July Extravaganza tomorrow night (Saturday), airing on NBC.

ALABAMA and HUNTER HAYES will perform as part of PBS’ A Capitol Fourth airing tomorrow night (Saturday) from Washington, D.C.

MARTINA MCBRIDE headlines Nashville’s 4th of July event, Let Freedom Sing, tomorrow night (Saturday) at Riverfront Park.

WILLIE NELSON’s Fourth of July Picnic takes place tomorrow (Saturday) in Austin, Texas. Performers include MERLE HAGGARD, ERIC CHURCH, ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL, AMBER DIGBY and BILLY JOE SHAVER.

BLAKE SHELTON’s Bringing Back the Sunshine will be heard as part of the NASCAR on NBC open starting Sunday (July 5). The tune is the title track of his latest album.

DARYLE SINGLETARY’s (Too Much Fun) album There’s Still A Little Country Left will be released July 28 in the U.S. The album had previously been released overseas back in April. This will be his first album of new material in nearly six years.

BUCKY COVINGTON will release a six song EP called Happy Man, July 14. This will be his first independent release and first new material in three years.

Songwriter RED LANE has died at the age of 76. He passed away Wednesday night (July 1) after a lengthy illness. His credits include TAMMY WYNETTE’s Till I Get It Right, MERLE HAGGARD’s My Own Kind Of Hat, JOHN CONLEE’s Miss Emily’s Picture and GEORGE STRAIT’s Tell Me Something Bad About Tulsa. He played in both Merle and DOTTIE WEST’s backing bands and also served as a producer for the JOHNNY CASH Show on ABC.

THE WEEK’S TOP SINGLES – RADIO AIRPLAY

  1. BLAKE SHELTON – Sangria
  2. CARRIE UNDERWOOD – Little Toy Guns
  3. TIM MCGRAW with CATHERINE DUNN – Diamond Rings And Old Bar Stools
  4. JASON ALDEAN – Tonight Looks Good On You
  5. EASTON CORBIN – Baby Be My Love Song
  6. KELSEA BALLERINI – Love Me Like You Mean It
  7. CANAAN SMITH – Love You Like That
  8. LITTLE BIG TOWN – Girl Crush
  9. BRANTLEY GILBERT – One Hell Of An Amen
  10. MICHAEL RAY – Kiss You In The Morning

THE WEEK’S TOP SINGLES – RADIO AIRPLAY, DOWNLOADS & STREAMING

  1. LITTLE BIG TOWN – Girl Crush
  2. SAM HUNT – Take Your Time
  3. LUKE BRYAN – Kick The Dust Up
  4. BLAKE SHELTON – Sangria
  5. SAM HUNT – House Party
  6. KELSEA BALLERINI – Love Me Like You Mean It
  7. CARRIE UNDERWOOD – Little Toy Guns
  8. CANAAN SMITH – Love You Like That
  9. JASON ALDEAN – Tonight Looks Good On You
  10. ERIC CHURCH – Like A Wrecking Ball

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DATEBOOK: JULY 6, 2015

This is day 187 of 2015. There are 178 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Former First Lady Nancy Reagan is 94

Ned Beatty (Rudy, Homicide: Life on the Street, Deliverance) is 78

• Burt Ward (old Batman & Robin TV show) is 70

• Sylvester Stallone is 69

• Former U.S. President George W. Bush is 69

• Former NFL player turned actor Fred Dryer (Hunter) is 69

• Shelley Hack is 68

• Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean movies) is 64

• Allyce Beasley (Agnes DiPesto on Moonlighting) is 64

• Grant Goodeve (Eight is Enough) is 63

• Brian Van Holt is 46

• TV host Josh Elliott is 44

• 50 Cent is 40

• Kevin Hart is 36

• Eva Green (Penny Dreadful) is 35

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1785: The dollar was unanimously chosen as the monetary unit for the United States.

• 1854: The first official meeting of the Republican Party took place in Jackson, Michigan.

• 1928: The first all-talking movie feature, The Lights of New York, was shown in New York.

• 1933: Baseball’s first All-Star game was held at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The American League beat the National League 4-2.

• 1942: Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

• 1944: Fire broke out in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut, killing 169 people.

• 1947: The AK-47 went into production in the Soviet Union.

• 1955: America’s first seat belt law was signed, in Illinois.

• 1957: Teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time at a church in Liverpool, England, following a performance by Lennon’s band, the Quarrymen.

• 1957: Althea Gibson won the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first black athlete to do so.

• 1997: The rover Sojourner rolled down a ramp from the Mars Pathfinder lander onto the Martian landscape to begin inspecting soil and rocks.

• 1998: Singing cowboy star Roy Rogers died at age 86.

• 2004: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry chose former rival John Edwards, a North Carolina senator, to be his running mate.

• 2005: New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed after refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of an undercover CIA operative’s name. She was jailed for 85 days before agreeing to testify.

• 2010: Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days in a residential substance-abuse program for violating her probation stemming from two separate 2007 cases of driving under the influence of cocaine and alcohol. (She served 14 days behind bars.)

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Nude Recreation Week

• International Kissing Day

• Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day: 6

• Fried Chicken Day

UPCOMING

• July 14: MLB All-Star Game

• September 7: Labor Day

• September 10: NFL season begins (Steelers at Patriots)

More holidays

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