Independence Day, Medals of Freedom, and America's Best Fried Chicken 1440 Weekend Edition

No images? Click here


Good morning! It's Saturday, July 2, and in this weekend edition, we're covering America's 246th birthday, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and much more. Have feedback? We'd love to hear it. Let us know at [email protected]

First time reading? Sign up here.



Happy Birthday (Eve Eve), America

Congratulations, America—Monday marks the 246th commemoration of the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. The Congress actually voted to separate from Great Britain two days earlier, and possibly didn't sign the document until August. Some argue the US didn't really become a country until we began operating under the Constitution in 1789. 


Still, since then, the country has grown from 13 colonies with about 2.5 million people to 50 states and 14 territories with a population of more than 330 million. The economy has swelled to roughly $24T. Advances in public health—public sanitation, the germ theory of disease, and more—have cut the child mortality rate from more than 45% to under 1%, and our citizens live 35 years longer on average. 


We've built almost 4 million miles of paved roads and more than 5,000 public airports. More than 2.7 million miles of power lines electrify the country, with about 85% of households having access to broadband internet and 92% having at least one computer. In 1800, 95% of the population lived in rural areas, and now about 83% live in urban areas. The US has also been responsible for more than 800 human visits to space—the most of any other country with a space agency.


While there will always be challenges to face and improvements to make, we've come a long way since the beginning. So grab a hot dog and your drink of choice—here's to the next 246 years. 


PS—Looks like drone shows are in this holiday weekend.



Russian missiles strike Ukraine's Odesa region.

At least 21 people are dead and 30 injured after Russia shelled southern Ukraine's Odesa region Friday. The strike comes a day after Russian troops withdrew from Snake Island—seen as a symbol of Ukrainian resistance—in the Black Sea near Odesa.


Trial for WNBA star Brittney Griner begins in Russia.

Griner, who was detained in Moscow in February, is being accused of intentionally importing drugs into Russia, after security officials claimed to have found vape pens with cannabis oil in her luggage. Griner's next hearing is scheduled for July 7.


White House announces Medal of Freedom recipients.

Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in American history, and Megan Rapinoe of the National Women's Soccer League are among the recipients who will be recognized in next week's ceremony. People awarded posthumously include Steve Jobs and John McCain. See the full list here.


Eurozone inflation hits record high in June.

Annual inflation among the European Union members reached 8.6% last month, as the European Central Bank prepares for its first rate hike in 11 years. Notably, Spain surpassed 10% inflation for the first time since 1985.


SpaceX's Starlink internet coming to boats, planes, and trucks.

The Federal Communications Commission authorized Elon Musk's company, SpaceX, to provide its internet service to vehicles in motion. Starlink is SpaceX's network of satellites orbiting Earth, providing high-speed internet across the world. 


FBI adds missing "Cryptoqueen" on top 10 most wanted list.

Fugitive Ruja Ignatova, known as the "Cryptoqueen," is wanted for her alleged role in running a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme and defrauding investors out of more than $4B. The FBI is offering a $100K reward for any information leading to her arrest.

In partnership with MeUndies



It's Saturday, and your time is precious. So let's cut to the chase. The entire MeUndies team is on vacation, and they decided to go big while they're out of the office. Take 30% off everything while they're gone for the Out of Office Sale.

That's 30% off buttery-soft Joggers, 30% off the Undies that made them famous, 30% off Bralettes, and 30% off everything in between. All you have to do is pick out what strikes your fancy, then use code 1440JULY30 at checkout. The MeUndies selection is full of good stuff, available in sizes XS to 4XL, so you can enjoy some of the softest fabrics around, sustainably made and ethically sourced, in endless expressive styles from classic colors to adventurous prints. It doesn't get much better than that.

MeUndies believes comfort is about both what's touching your skin and how you feel in your own skin. Find your perfect pair today to make the most of their Out of Office Sale. You've heard it before—take 30% off with code 1440JULY30.

Please support our sponsors!



Ohio couple celebrates their 100th birthdays and 79 years of marriage. (More)


New York state trooper crawls 15 feet into a pipe to save a golden retriever. (More


A 20-year-old Chicagoan rescues man who fell onto electrified train tracks. (More)


Graduating high school seniors surprise their former kindergarten teacher. (More


Toddler tells baby sister how much he loves her in heartwarming speech. (More)


Musician pays for neighborhood's ice cream on a summer day. (More, via Twitter) 

From our partners: Unbox your next favorite thing. Bespoke Post is a free-to-join monthly men's membership club delivering awesome boxes of top-shelf goods from under-the-radar brands. Every month, you'll discover cool new products—outdoor gear, barware, home, and kitchen goods, clothing, you name it—based on your unique preferences. Each box is worth over $70 but only costs $49 for members, and you'll receive a preview every month to decide if you'd like to keep it, switch it out, or skip it altogether. Enjoy ultimate flexibility with Bespoke Post. See your first box and receive a free mystery gift with your purchase with code 1440GIFT!



Today, we're sharing a story from reader Ann W. in Charlottesville, Virginia.


"My daughter was on a flight with her 14-month-old daughter, who was overtired, refusing to nap, and crying. Another passenger, a young woman named Jill, offered to hold the baby for a bit. The baby settled down and fell asleep in Jill’s arms, and Jill held her until the plane was about to land. Anyone who has had an out-of-control baby on a plane can understand what a blessing this was."


Read another story of kindness here.

What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us.




> About 47.9 million people are expected to travel this holiday weekend.

> The cost of a Fourth of July cookout for 10 people is ~17% higher than a year ago.



> Where to find the best fried chicken in America.

> The world's most expensive cities for ex-pats.

An interactive dive into how music artists get paid from streaming

> Photos capture Earth's majestic landscapes



> How McDonald's catchy "I'm Lovin' It" jingle came to be.


> How people live off a garbage mountain that keeps catching on fire.

> Why roller coaster loops are no longer a perfect circle

> A vintage Burger King is found behind a wall at a Delaware mall

An entertaining 13 minutes of beaver facts


Long Read 

> The man who invented water skiing.

> How viruses can make us smell tasty to mosquitoes.


Best of the Week: Italian town cracks down on shampooing hairdressers.

Historybook: Thurgood Marshall, first Black US Supreme Court justice, born (1908); Amelia Earhart disappears on round-the-world flight (1937); RIP Ernest Hemingway (1961); Businessman Sam Walton opens first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas (1962); Civil Rights Act is signed into law (1964).


"The measure of a country's greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis."

-  Thurgood Marshall

Why 1440? The printing press was invented in the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. Guess what else? There are 1,440 minutes in a day and every one is precious. That’s why we scour hundreds of sources every day to provide a concise, comprehensive, and objective view of what's happening in the world. Reader feedback is a gift—shoot us a note at [email protected].

Interested in advertising to smart readers like you? Apply here!

Join a community of over 3.6 million intellectually curious individuals.

100% free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Don't miss out on the daily email read by over 3.7 million intellectually curious readers.