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On July 5 of 1900
Shortly after midnight, a fire started by a lightning strike on a tavern and boarding house in Bayonne spreads to the nearby refinery complex of the Standard Oil Co., causing extensive damage to the refinery and the city. On the next day, Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller comes to Bayonne to view the fire, which continues for 70 hours. The film below shot by Thomas A. Edison, Inc., shows scenes of the fire and the efforts to control it.
On July 4 of 1776
Declaration of Independence is approved by the Continental Congress. The five signers from New Jersey are John Witherspoon, president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), Richard Stockton, a Princeton lawyer, John Hart, a wealthy Hunterdon County farmer and mill owner, Francis Hopkinson, a Bordentown lawyer, and Abraham Clark, an Elizabethtown surveyor.
On July 3 of 1863
After three days of fighting, the Battle of Gettysburg ends following Confederate failure to breach Union lines in Pickett's Charge. Lee's army then retreats south from Pennsylvania. Over 4,000 soldiers from New Jersey fight in the Battle, suffering 600 casualties.
On July 2 of 1776
New Jersey becomes the fourth American colony to adopt a constitution declaring independence from Great Britain. It was composed in five days and although the delegates considered it a temporary charter, it remained New Jersey's state constitution for sixty-eight years.
On July 1 of 1916
A series of shark attacks begIn at the Jersey Shore with a swimmer attacked and killed at Beach Haven on Long Beach Island. Three more people were killed and one injured in attacks at Spring Lake on July 6 and at Matawan on July 12. The attacks were loosely adapted as the plot for the book Jaws written by Peter Benchley, a Princeton resident, and movie of the same name directed by Steven Spielberg.
On June 30 of 1900
A fire on the Hoboken docks kills at least 326 persons in and around piers of Germany's Norddeutscher Lloyd shipping company. The fire began when cotton bales stored on NDL’s southernmost wharf caught fire, and winds carried the flames to nearby barrels of volatile liquids, such as turpentine and oil, which exploded in rapid succession, gutting nearby warehouses and three of NDL’s major transatlantic liners.
World War I era post card
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Four horse-drawn fire engines gallop on snow-covered street to fire in Newark in 1896 film shot by Thomas Edison Inc.
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