On This Day in History May 4

May 4 – Events:

  • 1256 – Augustinian monastic order constituted at Lecceto Monastery when Pope Alexander IV issues a papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae
  • 1415 – Religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance.
  • 1471 – Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury – Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and kills Edward, Prince of Wales.
  • 1493 – Pope Alexander VI divides the New World between Spain and Portugal along the Demarcation Line.
  • 1494 – Christopher Columbus lands in Jamaica.
  • 1626 – Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrives in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.
  • 1675 – King Charles II of England orders the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
  • 1686 – Municipality of Ilagan was founded in the Philippines.
  • 1799 – Fourth Anglo-Mysore War: The Battle of Seringapatam – The siege of Seringapatam ends when the city is assaulted and the Tipu Sultan killed by the besieging British army, under the command of General George Harris.
  • 1814 – Emperor Napoleon I of France arrives at Portoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile.
  • 1814 – King Ferdinand VII of Spain signs the Decrete of the 4th of May, returning Spain to absolutism.
  • 1855 – American adventurer William Walker departs from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua.
  • 1859 – Cornwall Railway opened across the Royal Albert Bridge linking the counties of Devon and Cornwall in England.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Chancellorsville – The battle ends with a Union retreat.
  • 1865 – Abraham Lincoln buried in Springfield, Illinois, three weeks after his assassination.
  • 1869 – The Naval Battle of Hakodate takes place in Japan.
  • 1871 – The National Association, the first professional baseball league, opens its first season in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • 1886 – Haymarket Square Riot: A bomb is thrown at policemen trying to break up a labor rally in Chicago, Illinois, United States, killing eight and wounding 60. The police fire into the crowd.
  • 1904 – Construction begins by the United States on the Panama Canal.
  • 1904 – German football club FC Schalke 04 was founded
  • 1904 – Charles Stewart Rolls met Frederick Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel in Manchester England.
  • 1910 – The Royal Canadian Navy is created.
  • 1912 – Italy occupies the Greek island of Rhodes.
  • 1919 – May Fourth Movement: Student demonstrations take place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, protesting the Treaty of Versailles, which transferred Chinese territory to Japan.
  • 1924 – The 1924 Summer Olympics open in Paris, France.
  • 1930 – British police arrest Mahatma Gandhi and place him in Yeravda Central Prison.
  • 1932 – In Atlanta, Georgia, mobster Al Capone begins serving an eleven year prison sentence for tax evasion.
  • 1942 – World War II: Battle of the Coral Sea – The battle begins with an attack by aircraft from the United States aircraft carrier Yorktown on Japanese naval forces at Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands. The Japanese forces had invaded Tulagi the day before.
  • 1945 – World War II: Liberation of the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg by the British Army.
  • 1945 – World War II: Surrender of the North Germany Army to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.
  • 1946 – In San Francisco Bay, US Marines from the Treasure Island Marine Barracks stop a two-day riot at Alcatraz federal prison. Five people are killed in the riot.
  • 1949 – The entire Torino football (soccer) team (except for one player who did not take the trip due to an injury) is killed in a plane crash at the Superga hill at the edge of Turin, Italy.
  • 1953 – Ernest Hemingway is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.
  • 1961 – American civil rights movement: The “Freedom Riders” begin a bus trip through the South.
  • 1964 – The long-running soap opera Another World, which would run until 1999, debuts on NBC.
  • 1970 – Vietnam War: Kent State shootings – The Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after the ROTC building was burnt down, opens fire killing four students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the United States’ invasion of Cambodia.
  • 1972 – The Don’t Make A Wave Committee, a fledgling environmental organization founded in Canada in 1971, officially changes its name to “Greenpeace Foundation.”
  • 1974 – An all-female Japanese team reaches the summit of Manaslu, becoming the first women to climb an 8,000-meter peak.
  • 1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • 1980 – President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia dies in Ljubljana at the age of 87.
  • 1981 – Donald Eugene Webb is placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.
  • 1982 – 20 sailors are killed when the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield (D80) is hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War.
  • 1988 – The PEPCON disaster rocked Henderson, Nevada, as tons of space shuttle fuel detonated during a fire.
  • 1989 – Iran-Contra Affair: Former White House aide Oliver North is convicted of three crimes and was acquitted of nine other charges. The convictions, however, are later overturned on appeal.
  • 1990 – Latvia proclaims renewal of its independence after the Soviet occupation.
  • 1994 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign a peace accord regarding Palestinian autonomy granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
  • 1996 – José María Aznar is appointed Prime Minister of Spain, thus ending 13 years of Socialist rule.
  • 1998 – A federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepted a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.
  • 2000 – Ken Livingstone becomes the first Mayor of London.
  • 2001 – Pope John Paul II follows Saint Paul’s footsteps across the Mediterranean, from Greece to Syria to Malta.
  • 2001 – The Milwaukee Art Museum addition, the first Santiago Calatrava designed structure in the United States, opens to the public.
  • 2002 – An EAS Airlines BAC 1-11-500 crashes in a suburb of Kano, Nigeria shortly after takeoff killing more than 148 people.
  • 2003 – The Outbreak of 2003 begins. Ninety-four tornadoes begin the weeklong outbreak.
  • 2007 – A series of tornadoes rip through Western Kansas, including the first EF-5 tornado that destroyed the town of Greensburg.

May 4 – Birthdays:

  • 1008 – Khajeh Abdollah Ansari The Persian Sufi (d. 1088)
  • 1008 – King Henry I of France (d. 1060)
  • 1654 – Kangxi Emperor of China (d. 1722)
  • 1655 – Bartolomeo Cristofori, Italian maker of musical instruments (d. 1731)
  • 1715 – Richard Graves, English writer (d. 1804)
  • 1733 – Jean-Charles de Borda, French mathematician, physicist, political scientist, and sailor (d. 1799)
  • 1752 – John Brooks, 11 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1825)
  • 1767 – Tyagaraja, Composer of Indian classical Carnatic music (d. 1847)
  • 1772 – Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus, German publisher (d. 1823)
  • 1781 – Karl Christian Friedrich Krause, German philosopher (d. 1832)
  • 1796 – Horace Mann, American educator (d. 1859)
  • 1796 – William H. Prescott, American historian (d. 1859)
  • 1820 – Julia Tyler, First Lady of the United States (d. 1889)
  • 1822 – Charles Boucher de Boucherville, Quebec politician (d. 1915)
  • 1825 – Thomas Henry Huxley, English scientist (d. 1895)
  • 1825 – Augustus Le Plongeon, French antiquitarian (d. 1908)
  • 1826 – Frederic Edwin Church, American painter (d. 1900)
  • 1827 – John Hanning Speke, British explorer (d. 1864)
  • 1852 – Alice Pleasance Liddell, English schoolgirl model for Alice in Wonderland (d. 1934)
  • 1864 – Marie Booth, the third daughter of William and Catherine Booth (d. 1937)
  • 1870 – Alexandre Benois, Russian artist (d. 1960)
  • 1873 – Joe De Grasse, Canadian film director (d. 1940)
  • 1889 – Francis Cardinal Spellman, American religious leader (d. 1967)
  • 1903 – Luther Adler, American stage actor (d. 1984)
  • 1904 – Umm Kulthum, Egyptian singer (official Date of Birth)(d. 1975)
  • 1908 – Giovannino Guareschi, Italian journalist (d. 1968)
  • 1913 – Lady Katherine Brandram, née Princess of Greece and Denmark
  • 1916 – Jane Jacobs, Canadian author and activist (d. 2006)
  • 1918 – Tanaka Kakuei, Japanese political leader (d. 1993)
  • 1918 – Thomas Mead, Australian politician and journalist (d. 2004)
  • 1919 – Dory Funk, Professional wrestler (d. 1973)
  • 1921 – Edo Murtic, Croatian painter (d. 2005)
  • 1923 – Ed Cassidy, American musician (Spirit)
  • 1923 – Eric Sykes, British actor and comedian
  • 1923 – Godfrey Quigley, British actor (d. 1994)
  • 1923 – Assi Rahbani, Lebanese composer and author
  • 1925 – Maurice R. Greenberg, American businessman
  • 1928 – Maynard Ferguson, Canadian musician (d. 2006)
  • 1928 – Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt
  • 1928 – Wolfgang von Trips, German racing driver (d. 1961)
  • 1929 – Audrey Hepburn, Anglo-Dutch actress (d. 1993)
  • 1929 – Sidney Lamb, American linguist
  • 1930 – Roberta Peters, American soprano
  • 1931 – Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Russian conductor
  • 1931 – Thomas Stuttaford, British doctor and writer
  • 1933 – J. Fred Duckett, Texan sports announcer and teacher
  • 1936 – El Cordobés, Spanish matador
  • 1937 – Ron Carter, American jazz bassist
  • 1937 – Dick Dale, American guitarist
  • 1937 – Mr. Fuji, Former professional wrestler
  • 1938 – Tyrone Davis, American soul singer (d. 2005)
  • 1938 – Carlos Monsiváis, Mexican writer
  • 1939 – Paul Gleason, American actor (d. 2006)
  • 1939 – Amos Oz, Israeli writer, novelist, and journalist
  • 1940 – Robin Cook, American novelist
  • 1941 – George Will, American writer
  • 1942 – Nickolas Ashford, American record producer, songwriter, and musician (Ashford and Simpson)
  • 1943 – Mikhail Chemiakin, Russian painter
  • 1944 – Roger Rees, British-born actor
  • 1945 – Narasimhan Ram, Indian journalist
  • 1946 – John Watson, Northern Irish racecar driver
  • 1948 – Hurley Haywood, American race car driver, and three-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • 1949 – John Force, American race car driver
  • 1949 – Stella Parton, American country music singer
  • 1949 – Graham Swift, British author
  • 1950 – Darryl Hunt, English musician (The Pogues)
  • 1951 – Colin Bass, British bassist (Camel)
  • 1951 – Jackie Jackson, American singer and musician (The Jackson 5)
  • 1951 – Gérard Jugnot, French actor, film director, screenwriter and producer
  • 1951 – Mick Mars, American guitarist (Mötley Crüe)
  • 1952 – Michael Barrymore, English comedian, actor, quiz master and entertainer
  • 1954 – Pia Zadora, American actress
  • 1955 – Robert Ellis Orrall, American singer
  • 1956 – David Guterson, American author
  • 1956 – Ulrike Meyfarth, German athlete
  • 1956 – Ken Oberkfell, American baseball player
  • 1958 – Delbert Fowler, American and Canadian professional football player
  • 1958 – Keith Haring, American graphical artist (d. 1990)
  • 1959 – Scott Armstrong, American professional wrestling referee
  • 1959 – Randy Travis, American musician
  • 1961 – Luis Herrera, Colombian cyclist
  • 1962 – Oleta Adams, American singer
  • 1964 – Mónica Bardem, Spanish actress
  • 1964 – Zsuzsa Mathe, Hungarian painter and visual artist, founder of transrealism
  • 1964 – Rocco Siffredi, Italian porn actor
  • 1967 – Ana Gasteyer, American actress
  • 1968 – Julian Barratt, English comedian and musician, one half of The Mighty Boosh
  • 1968 – Kate Garraway, English GMTV Presenter
  • 1969 – Micah Aivazoff, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1969 – Ryan Shamrock, American wrestling valet
  • 1970 – Gregg Alexander, American musician (New Radicals)
  • 1971 – Joe Borowski, American baseball player
  • 1971 – Luiz Garcia, Jr., Brazilian racing driver
  • 1972 – Manny Aybar, Dominican baseball player
  • 1972 – Mike Dirnt, American musician (Green Day)
  • 1973 – Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Argentine footballer
  • 1973 – John Madden, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1974 – Miguel Cairo, Venezuelan baseball player
  • 1975 – Laci Peterson, American murder victim (d. 2002)
  • 1976 – Ben Grieve, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Jason Michaels, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Emily Perkins, Canadian actress
  • 1977 – Mariano Pernía, Argentine-Spanish footballer
  • 1979 – Lance Bass, American singer (*NSYNC)
  • 1979 – Wes Butters, British broadcaster
  • 1979 – Lesley Vainikolo, Tongan born rugby union and rugby league player
  • 1980 – Andrew Raycroft, NHL Goalie
  • 1981 – Eric Djemba-Djemba, Cameroon footballer
  • 1982 – Kleopas Giannou, Greek footballer
  • 1982 – Hector King, Mexican singer-songwriter
  • 1982 – Markus Rogan, Austrian swimmer
  • 1982 – Rasheeda,American hiphop singer
  • 1983 – Trisha Krishnan, Indian actress
  • 1983 – Derek Roy, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1984 – Manjural Islam, Bangladeshi test cricket player (d. 2007)
  • 1984 – Kevin Slowey, American baseball player
  • 1984 – Montell Owens, American football player
  • 1985 – Anthony Fedorov, American singer
  • 1985 – Ravinder Bopara, English cricketer
  • 1987 – Cesc Fàbregas, Spanish footballer
  • 1987 – Jorge Lorenzo, Spanish motorcycle racer
  • 1987 – Anjeza Shahini, Albanian singer
  • 1994 – Pauline Ducruet, daughter of HSH Princess Stéphanie of Monaco
  • 1994 – Alexander Gould, American actor

May 4 – Deaths:

  • 1436 – Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson, Swedish statesman (b. 1390s)
  • 1471 – Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales (killed in battle) (b. 1453)
  • 1471 – Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset, English military
  • commander (executed)
  • 1506 – Husayn Bayqarah, ruler of Herat (b. 1438)
  • 1519 – Lorenzo II de’ Medici, Duke of Urbino (b. 1492)
  • 1566 – Luca Ghini, Italian physician and botanist (b. 1490)
  • 1615 – Adriaan van Roomen, Flemish mathematician (b. 1561)
  • 1626 – Arthur Lake, Bishop of Bath and Wells, English bishop and Bible translator (b. 1569)
  • 1677 – Isaac Barrow, English mathematician (b. 1630)
  • 1684 – John Nevison, English highwayman (b. 1639)
  • 1729 – Louis-Antoine, Cardinal de Noailles, French cardinal (b. 1651)
  • 1734 – James Thornhill, English painter
  • 1737 – Eustace Budgell, English writer (b. 1686)
  • 1774 – Anthony Ulrich II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (b. 1714)
  • 1776 – Jacques Saly, French sculptor (b. 1717)
  • 1790 – Matthew Tilghman, American delegate to the Continental Congress (b. 1718)
  • 1799 – Tipu Sultan, Indian military leader (b. 1750)
  • 1811 – Nikolay Kamensky, Russian general (b. 1776)
  • 1824 – Joseph Joubert, French essayist and moralist (b. 1754)
  • 1849 – Hokusai, Japanese artist (b. 1760)
  • 1858 – Aimé Bonpland, French explorer and botanist (b. 1773)
  • 1859 – Joseph Diaz Gergonne, French mathematician (b. 1771)
  • 1880 – Edward Clark, Governor of Texas (b. 1815)
  • 1901 – John Jones Ross, Canadian politician (b. 1831)
  • 1903 – Goce Delchev, a revolutionary from the Balkans – leader of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (b. 1872)
  • 1916 – Joseph Mary Plunkett, Irish revolutionary (b. 1887)
  • 1919 – Milan Rastislav Štefánik, Slovak politician, French general and astronomer (b. 1880)
  • 1922 – Viktor Kingissepp, Estonian Bolshevik politician (b. 1888)
  • 1937 – Noel Rosa, Brazilian songwriter (b. 1910)
  • 1938 – Carl von Ossietzky, German pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1889)
  • 1945 – Fedor von Bock, German field marshal (b. 1880)
  • 1955 – George Enescu, Romanian composer (b. 1881)
  • 1961 – Anita Stewart, American film actress (b. 1895)
  • 1969 – Osbert Sitwell, English writer (b. 1892)
  • 1970 – Kent State victims:
    • Allison Krause (b. 1951)
    • Jeffrey Miller (b. 1950)
    • Sandra Scheuer (b. 1949)
    • William Schroeder (b. 1950)
  • 1971 – Seamus Elliott, Irish cyclist (b. 1934)
  • 1972 – Edward Calvin Kendall, American chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1886)
  • 1973 – Jane Bowles, American writer and playwright (b. 1917)
  • 1975 – Moe Howard, American actor and comedian (b. 1897)
  • 1980 – Josip Broz Tito, President of Yugoslavia (b. 1892)
  • 1984 – Bob Clampett, American cartoonist (b. 1913)
  • 1984 – Diana Dors, British actress (b. 1931)
  • 1985 – Clarence Wiseman, the 10th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1907)
  • 1987 – Paul Butterfield, American blues harmonica player (b. 1942)
  • 1992 – Gregor Mackenzie, Labour Party (UK) politician (b. 1927)
  • 2001 – Bonnie Lee Bakley, American murder victim (b. 1956)
  • 2005 – David Hackworth, U.S. Army officer and military journalist (b. 1930)

May 4 – Holidays:

  • International Firefighters’ Day.
  • The Netherlands – Remembrance of the Dead.
  • In the Roman Catholic Church:
    • Saint Judas Cyriacus
    • Saint Florian
    • Saint Godehard
    • Saint Ethelred
    • Saint Sacerdos of Limoges
    • Saint Venerius
    • Saint John Houghton, Saint Robert Lawrence, Saint Augustine Webster, Saint Richard Reynolds; all put to death in 1535.
    • Saint Monica of Hippo (d. 387)
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