On This Day in History February 4th

February 4 – Events:

  • 211 – Roman Emperor Septimius Severus dies, leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta.
  • 960 – The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song Dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries.
  • 1454 – In the Thirteen Years’ War, the Secret Council of the Prussian Confederation sends a formal act of disobedience to the Grand Master.
  • 1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-Seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
  • 1783 – Worst quake in 8 years kills 50,000 in Calabria, Italy.
  • 1787 – First Anglican bishops of NY & Pennsylvania consecrated in London.
  • 1787 – Shays’ Rebellion fails.
  • 1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected to be the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
  • 1792 – George Washington is unanimously elected to a second term as President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
  • 1794 – The French legislature abolishes slavery throughout all territories of the FrenchRepublic.
  • 1797 – Earthquake in Quito, Ecuador kills 40,000.
  • 1801 – John Marshall is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.
  • 1810 – British Navy seizes Guadeloupe.
  • 1825 – The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.
  • 1847 – First US telegraph company established in Maryland.
  • 1849 – University of Wisconsin begins in 1 room with 20 students.
  • 1859 – The Codex Sinaiticus is discovered in Egypt.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: In Montgomery, Alabama, Delegates from six break-away U.S. states meet and form The Confederate States of America.
  • 1865 – Hawaiian Board of Education formed.
  • 1887 – Interstate Commerce Act authorizes federal regulation of railroads.
  • 1895 – First rolling lift bridge opens, Chicago.
  • 1899 – The Philippine-American War begins.
  • 1913 – National Institute of Arts & Letters founded.
  • 1930 – First tieless, soundless, shockless streetcar tracks, New Orleans.
  • 1932 – 3rd Winter Olympic games open in Lake Placid, NY.
  • 1932 – World War II: Japan occupies Harbin, China.
  • 1936 – Radium E becomes the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.
  • 1941 – World War II: The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
  • 1943 – World War II: Battle of Stalingrad ends.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Yalta Conference begins.
  • 1948 – Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) becomes independent within the British Commonwealth.
  • 1957 – The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), logs its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne’s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
  • 1957 – First electric portable typewriter placed on sale (SyracuseNY).
  • 1964 – FAA begins 6 month test of reactions to sonic booms over Oklahoma City.
  • 1966 – All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 jet plunges into TokyoBay, killing 133.
  • 1968 – Bowie Kuhn replaces William Eckert as 5th commissioner of baseball.
  • 1969 – John Madden is named head coach of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.
  • 1969 – Yasser Arafat takes over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
  • 1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.
  • 1976 – In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake kills more than 22,000.
  • 1976 – 12th Winter Olympic games opens in Innsbruck, Austria.
  • 1980 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini names Abolhassan Banisadr as president of Iran.
  • 1982 Indoor distance record for a paper airplane (47 meters) Tacoma, Washinton.
  • 1984 – Frank Aquilera sets world frisbee distance record (168 meters) in Las Vegas.
  • 1987 – Sacramento Kings score only 4 points in the first quarter against the Lakers.
  • 1987 – Stars & Stripes beats Australia’s Kookaburra 3, sweeps America’s Cup.
  • 1988 – Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega indicted on drug charges.
  • 1991 – US postage rate raised from 25 cents to 29 cents.
  • 1992 – A Coup d’état is led by Hugo Chávez Frías, against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
  • 1996 – Major snowstorm paralyzes Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin ties all-time record low temperature at -26°F (-32.2°C)
  • 1997 – En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.
  • 1997 – After at first contesting the results, Serbian President Slobodan Miloševic recognizes opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.
  • 1998 – An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan kills more than 5,000.
  • 2000 – German extortionist Klaus-Peter Sabotta is jailed for life for attempted murder and extortion in connection with the sabotage of German railway lines.
  • 2003 – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is officially renamed to Serbia and Montenegro and adopts a new constitution.
  • 2006 – A stampede occurs in the ULTRA Stadium near Manila killing 71.

February 4 – Birthdays:

  • 1524 – Luis de Camões, Portugal’s greatest poet. (d. 1580)
  • 1575 – Pierre de Bérulle, French cardinal and statesman (d. 1629)
  • 1620 – Gustaf Bonde, Swedish statesman (d. 1667)
  • 1646 – Hans Erasmus Aßmann, Freiherr von Abschatz, German statesman and poet (d. 1699)
  • 1677 – Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer (d. 1731)
  • 1688 – Pierre de Marivaux, French writer (d. 1763)
  • 1725 – Dru Drury, English entomologist (d. 1804)
  • 1746 – Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Polish, Belarusian and Lithuanian national hero (d. 1817)
  • 1778 – A. P. de Candolle, Swiss botanist (d. 1841)
  • 1799 – Almeida Garrett, Portuguese writer (d. 1854)
  • 1808 – Josef Kajetán Tyl, Czech playwright, author of the Czech national anthem(d. 1856)
  • 1831 – Oliver Ames, 35 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1895)
  • 1841 – Clément Ader, French aviation pioneer (d. 1926)
  • 1846 – Nikolay Umov, Russian physicist (d. 1915)
  • 1848 – Jean Aicard, French poet (d. 1921)
  • 1849 – Jean Richepin, French poet (d. 1926)
  • 1859 – Timofei Mikhailov, Russian revolutionary, member of Narodnaya Volya (d. 1881)
  • 1871 – Friedrich Ebert, German politician, 1st Reichspräsident of the WeimarRepublic (d. 1925)
  • 1872 – Gotse Delchev, a great Macedonian revolutionary, (d. 1903)
  • 1873 – Étienne Desmarteau, Canadian athlete (d. 1905)
  • 1875 – Ludwig Prandtl, German physicist (d. 1953)
  • 1881 – Fernand Léger, French painter (d. 1955)
  • 1892 – Andreu Nin, Catalan politician (d. 1937)
  • 1892 – E. J. Pratt, Canadian poet (d. 1964)
  • 1895 – Nigel Bruce, English actor (d. 1953)
  • 1896 – Friedrich Glauser, German-language Swiss writer (d. 1938)
  • 1896 – Friedrich Hund, German physicist (d. 1997)
  • 1897 – Ludwig Erhard, 2nd Bundeskanzler of Germany (d. 1977)
  • 1900 – Jacques Prévert, French poet and lyricist (d. 1977)
  • 1901 – Jascha Heifetz, Lithuanian violinist (d. 1987)
  • 1902 – Charles Lindbergh, American pilot (d. 1974)
  • 1902 – Hartley Shawcross, British lawyer and politician (d. 2003)
  • 1904 – MacKinlay Kantor, American writer (d. 1977)
  • 1905 – Hylda Baker, English comedy actress (d. 1986)
  • 1906 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian (d. 1945)
  • 1906 – Clyde Tombaugh, American astronomer (d. 1997)
  • 1908 – Julian Bell, British poet (d. 1937)
  • 1912 – Ola Skjåk Bræk, Norwegian politician (d. 1999)
  • 1912 – Erich Leinsdorf, Austrian conductor (d. 1993)
  • 1912 – Byron Nelson, American golfer (d. 2006)
  • 1912 – Louis-Albert Cardinal Vachon, archbishop of Quebec (d. 2006)
  • 1913 – Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist (d. 2005)
  • 1914 – Alfred Andersch, German writer (d. 1980)
  • 1915 – Ray Evans, American songwriter with Jay Livingston (d. 2007)
  • 1915 – William Talman, American actor (d. 1968)
  • 1915 – Norman Wisdom, English actor and comedian
  • 1916 – Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha, 41st master of the Oveyssi-Shahmaghsoudi Sufi Order (d. 1980)
  • 1917 – Yahya Khan, President of Pakistan (d. 1980)
  • 1918 – Ida Lupino, English film actress and director (d. 1995)
  • 1918 – Luigi Pareyson, Italian philosopher (d. 1991)
  • 1918 – Janet Waldo, American actress
  • 1921 – Betty Friedan, American feminist (d. 2006)
  • 1921 – K. R. Narayanan, President of India (d. 2005)
  • 1923 – Conrad Bain, Canadian-born actor
  • 1925 – Russell Hoban, American writer
  • 1929 – Jerry Adler, American actor
  • 1931 – Isabel Martínez de Perón, third wife of Argentine president Juan Perón
  • 1935 – Martti Talvela, Finnish bass (d. 1989)
  • 1936 – David Brenner, American comedian
  • 1936 – Gary Conway, American actor
  • 1937 – David Newman, American filmmaker (d. 2003)
  • 1940 – George Romero, American director, screenwriter and producer
  • 1940 – John Schuck, American actor
  • 1941 – John Steel, British musician (The Animals)
  • 1943 – Alberto João Jardim, Portuguese president of the regional government of Madeira
  • 1943 – Ken Thompson, American computer scientist
  • 1944 – Florence LaRue, American singer (The Fifth Dimension)
  • 1947 – Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States
  • 1948 – Alice Cooper, American musician
  • 1949 – Michael Beck, American actor
  • 1950 – Pamela Franklin, British actress
  • 1951 – Patrick Bergin, Irish actor
  • 1951 – Phil Ehart, American musician (Kansas)
  • 1951 – Dariush Eghbali, Iranian singer and musician
  • 1951 – Stan Papi, American baseball player
  • 1952 – Lisa Eichhorn, American actress
  • 1952 – Jerry Shirley, drummer of rock band Humble Pie.
  • 1952 – Li Yinhe, Chinese sexologist
  • 1953 – Kitaro, Japanese composer
  • 1955 – Mikuláš Dzurinda, Slovak Prime minister
  • 1957 – Don Davis, American composer
  • 1957 – Evan Wolfson, American attorney and activist
  • 1958 – Tomasz Pacynski, Polish writer
  • 1959 – Pamelyn Ferdin, American actress
  • 1959 – Lawrence Taylor, American football player.
  • 1960 – Tim Booth, British singer (James)
  • 1960 – Siobhan Dowd, British/Irish author (d. 2007)
  • 1960 – Jenette Goldstein, American actress
  • 1960 – Jonathan Larson, American composer (d. 1996)
  • 1961 – Stewart O’Nan, American author
  • 1961 – Denis Savard, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1962 – Clint Black, American musician
  • 1962 – Michael Riley, Canadian actor
  • 1962 – Alfred Twardecki, Polish historian
  • 1963 – Pirmin Zurbriggen, Swiss skier
  • 1964 – Noodles, American guitarist (The Offspring)
  • 1965 – Jerome Brown, American football player (d. 1992)
  • 1966 – Viatcheslav Ekimov, Russian cyclist
  • 1966 – Kyoko Koizumi, Japanese actress and singer
  • 1967 – Sergei Grinkov, Russian figure skater (d. 1995)
  • 1968 – Marko Matvere, Estonian actor
  • 1969 – Duncan Coutts, Canadian bassist (Our Lady Peace)
  • 1969 – Dallas Drake, ice hockey player
  • 1969 – Brandy Ledford, American actress and model
  • 1970 – Gabrielle Anwar, English actress
  • 1971 – Rob Corddry, American actor and comedian
  • 1971 – Michael A. Goorjian, American actor
  • 1972 – Giovanni Silva De Oliveira, Brazilian footballer
  • 1973 – Oscar de la Hoya, Mexican-born boxer
  • 1974 – Eric Townsend, American musician and record producer
  • 1974 – Mijntje Donners, Dutch hockey international
  • 1975 – Natalie Imbruglia, Australian musician and actress
  • 1975 – Konstantinos Nebegleras, Greek footballer
  • 1976 – Cam’ron, American rapper
  • 1977 – Gavin DeGraw, American musician
  • 1978 – Danna Garcia, Colombian actress
  • 1979 – Andrei Arlovski, Russian mixed martial artist
  • 1979 – Giorgio Pantano, Italian racing car driver
  • 1981 – Ben Hendrickson, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Jason Kapono, America professional basketball player
  • 1981 – Tom Mastny, Indonesian baseball player
  • 1982 – Chris Sabin, American professional wrestler
  • 1982 – Tomas Vaitkus, Lithuanian professional road racing cyclist
  • 1982 – Kimberly Wyatt, American singer and dancer (Pussycat Dolls)
  • 1984 – Mauricio Pinilla, Chilean footballer
  • 1985 – Bug Hall, American actor
  • 1986 – Mohammad Mahmudullah, Bangladeshi cricketer
  • 1987 – Lucie Šafárová, Czech tennis player
  • 1988 – Eoin McDowell, Irish rugby player
  • 1988 – Alexandros Pagalis, Greek footballer
  • 1988 – Carly Patterson, American gymnast

February 4 – Deaths:

  • 211 – Septimius Severus, Emperor of Rome (b. 146)
  • 708 – Pope Sisinnius
  • 856 – Rabanus Maurus, Bishop of Mainz (b. circa 780)
  • 869 – Saint Cyril, Greek missionary to the Slavs (b. 827)
  • 1508 – Conrad Celtes, German humanist scholar (b. 1459)
  • 1590 – Gioseffo Zarlino, Italian composer (b. 1517)
  • 1615 – Dom Justo Takayama, Japanese warlord (b. 1552)
  • 1615 – Giovanni Battista della Porta, Italian physicist (b. 1535)
  • 1617 – Louis Elsevier, Dutch publisher (b. 1546)
  • 1694 – Nataliya Kyrillovna Naryshkina, Tsaritsa of Russia (b. 1651)
  • 1713 – Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, English politician and philosopher (b. 1671)
  • 1774 – Charles Marie de La Condamine, French mathematician and geographer (b. 1701)
  • 1799 – Étienne-Louis Boullée, French architect (b. 1728)
  • 1781 – Josef Myslivecek, Czech composer (b. 1737)
  • 1894 – Adolphe Sax, Belgian instrument maker (b. 1814)
  • 1905 – Louis-Ernest Barrias, French sculptor (b. 1841)
  • 1928 – Hendrik Lorentz, Dutch physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1853)
  • 1933 – Archibald Sayce, English educator (b. 1846)
  • 1936 – Wilhelm Gustloff, German leader of the Swiss Nazi party (b. 1895)
  • 1940 – Nikolai Yezhov, Head of Soviet NKVD (b. 1895)
  • 1943 – Frank Calder, the first NHL President (b. 1877)
  • 1944 – Yvette Guilbert, French singer and actress (b. 1867)
  • 1944 – Arsen Kotsoyev, Russian writer (b. 1872)
  • 1958 – Henry Kuttner, American author (b. 1915)
  • 1959 – Una O’Connor, Irish actress (b. 1880)
  • 1966 – Gilbert H. Grosvenor, American president of the National Geographic Society (b. 1875)
  • 1967 – Albert Orsborn, 6th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1886)
  • 1968 – Neal Cassady, American writer (b. 1926)
  • 1974 – Satyendra Nath Bose, Indian physicist (b. 1894)
  • 1975 – Louis Jordan, American musician (b. 1908)
  • 1975 – Howard Hill, American archer (b. 1899)
  • 1977 – Brett Halliday, American writer (b. 1904)
  • 1982 – Alex Harvey, Scottish musician (b. 1935)
  • 1982 – Georg Konrad Morgen, German judge (b. 1909)
  • 1983 – Karen Carpenter, American singer and drummer (The Carpenters) (b. 1950)
  • 1987 – Liberace, American musician (b. 1919)
  • 1987 – Carl Rogers, American psychologist (b. 1902)
  • 1990 – Whipper Billy Watson, Canadian professional wrestler (b. 1917)
  • 1992 – Lisa Fonssagrives, Swedish model (b. 1911)
  • 1994 – Fred De Bruyne, Belgian cyclist (b. 1930)
  • 1995 – Godfrey Brown, British athlete and teacher (b. 1915)
  • 1995 – Patricia Highsmith, American author (b. 1921)
  • 2000 – Carl Albert, American politician, 54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1908)
  • 2000 – Doris Coley, American singer (Shirelles) (b. 1941)
  • 2000 – Phil Tonken, American radio and television announcer (b. 1919)
  • 2001 – J. J. Johnson, American jazz trombonist and composer (b. 1924)
  • 2001 – Iannis Xenakis, Greek composer and architect (b. 1922)
  • 2002 – George Nader, American film and television actor (b. 1921)
  • 2003 – Charlie Biddle, Canadian jazz bassist (b. 1926)
  • 2003 – Benyoucef Ben Khedda, Algerian politician (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Ossie Davis, American actor (b. 1917)
  • 2006 – Betty Friedan, American feminist (b. 1921)
  • 2006 – Myron Waldman, American animator (b. 1908)
  • 2007 – Steve Barber, American baseball pitcher (b. 1938)
  • 2007 – José Carlos Bauer, Brazilian World Cup footballer (b. 1925)
  • 2007 – Ilya Kormiltsev, Russian poet and translator (b. 1959)
  • 2007 – Barbara McNair, American singer and actress (b. 1934)
  • 2007 – Jules Olitski, Ukrainian-born American abstract painter and sculptor (b. 1922)

February 4 – Holidays:

  • Ancient Latvia – Biezputras Diena observed.
  • Independence Day in Sri Lanka (1948).
  • Angolan Anniversary of the Outbreak of Armed Struggle against Portuguese Colonialism.
  • World Cancer Day
  • In the Roman Catholic Church:
    • Andrew Corsini
    • Saint Gilbert (d. 1189)
    • Saint John de Britto
    • Saint Rembert of Torhout
    • Saint Veronica
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