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This Week in Boomer History: Remember the Bicentennial?

Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin from San Francisco Mural
Notable events from our shared experience

On  July 3, 1971, Jim Morrison of the Doors joins Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix as rock icons who die at age 27.

Sam Walton and his brother, Bud, open the first Walmart store (called Wal-Mart Discount City) in Rogers, Ark., on  July 2, 1962. Today, t he company is the world's largest public corporation and, with over 2 million employees, the world's largest private employer .

Ernest Hemingway, 61, shoots himself to death July 2, 1961, at his home in Ketchum, Idaho. His wife claims he "accidentally killed himself while cleaning a gun," but the shooting is later ruled a suicide.

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The National Organization for Women (NOW) forms at the Third National Conference of State Commissions on the Status of Women on June 30, 1966, in Washington, D.C. The goal: "To take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, assuming all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men."

Perhaps the most famous female opera singer of the 20th century, Maria Callas gives her last operatic performance, in Tosca, in London on July 5, 1965. Here she is as Tosca the previous year:

Hot town, summer in the city. The Lovin' Spoonful releases "Summer in the City" on July 4, 1966. It tops the charts for three weeks in August.

The national celebration of the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence - fireworks, museum exhibitions and television specials - culminates July 4, 1976. Even Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and her husband, Prince Philip, join the festivities and two days later present a replica of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Bicentennial Fireworks - New York City - Statue of Liberty - World Trade Center

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Let us read This Week in Boomer History to you:

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Images - Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin mural, San Francisco, Franco Folini/Flickr; July 4, 1976: AP

Music - Test Drive: Zapac via ccMixter; Maria Callas as Tosca , from 1964 video, see above; Lovin' Spoonful, 'Summer in the City'; Marine Band: 'Stars and Stripes Forever'


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