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This Day in History - February 4

February 4

211 – Roman Emperor Septimius Severus dies

786 – Harun al-Rashid becomes Caliph of Baghdad

960 – The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of the Song takes place

1194 – Richard I, King of England, is freed from captivity in Germany

1508 – The Proclamation of Trent is made when, Maximilian I, with the assent of Pope Julius II, took the title of Roman Emperor Elect, thus ending the centuries-old custom that the Holy Roman Emperor had to be crowned by the pope

1746 – Polish-American general Tadeusz Kosciuszko is born

1783 – England proclaims the formal end to hostilities with the US

1787 – An uprising of Massachusetts’ farmers against the new US government known as Shay’s Rebellion, fails

1789 – George Washington becomes the first and only President to be unanimously elected by the Electoral College

1795 – France abolishes slavery

1826 – James Fennimore Coopers’ The Last of the Mohicans is published

1859 – German archaeologist Constantin von Tischendorf discovers the Codex Sinaiticus, the “Sinai Bible,” in Egypt, which is a handwritten copy of the Greek Bible

1861 – The Provisional Confederate Congress convenes to form the Confederate States of America

1881 – French painter Fernand Leger is born

1889 – Harry Longabaugh is released from Sundance Prison in Wyoming, prompting the nickname, “the Sundance Kid”

1894 – Belgian musician who invented the saxophone, Adolphe Sax dies

1899 – Fighting breaks out between American troops and Filipinos near Manila, sparking the Philippine-American War

1900 – French poet and screenwriter Jacques Prevert is born

1902 – The first man to fly solo across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh, is born

1906 – German Protestant theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is born

1906 – The astronomer who discovered Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh, is born

1906 – The New York Police Department begins finger print identification

1909 – White and Japanese schoolchildren are segregated with a California law

1913 – Civil rights activist Rosa Lee Parks is born

1915 – Germany decrees British waters as part of the war zone and orders all ships to be sunk without warning

1921 – Writer, feminist and founder of the National Organization of Women, Betty Friedan, is born

1922 – The Ford Motor Company buys out Lincoln Motor Company

1923 – French troops take the territories of Offenburg, Appenweier and Buhl in the Ruhr as part of the agreement ending World War I

1925 – Artist and writer Russell Hoban is born

1932 – Novelist and short story writer Robert Coover is born

1932 – Governor Franklin Roosevelt inaugurates the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, NY

1938 – Disney releases Snow White and the seven Dwarfs

1941 – The United Service Organization is formed to cater to armed forces and defense industries

1944 – The Japanese attack the Indian Seventh Army in Burma

1945 – American, British and Soviet leaders meet in Yalta to discuss the war aims

1947 – Vice President Dan Quayle is born

1948 – Ceylon, what is now Sri Lanka, gains independence from the United Kingdom

1948 – American actor, singer and songwriter Alice Cooper is born

1959 – Outside linebacker of the New York Giants, Lawrence Julius Taylor, is born

1961 – United Artists releases The Misfits

1962 – The first US helicopter is shot down in Vietnam

1965 – Due to leaders of the US and the Soviet Union arriving in Saigon at the same time, rumors begin that they are trying to pressure the Allies into negotiations

1966 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins televised hearings on the Vietnam War

1969 – The Palestine Liberation Organization is founded

1972 – The last of Thailand’s troops serving in South Vietnam depart

1974 – Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst is kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army-an organization that she will later join. She was convicted of armed robbery, for her participation in a bank, and sentenced to seven years in prison, despite her claims that she had been brainwashed.  She served 21 months before her sentence was commuted by President Carter, and will later be pardoned by President Bill Clinton

1976 – British composer Benjamin Britten dies

1976 – A 7.5-magnitude earthquake destroys most of Guatemala City killing 23,000 and leaving over a million homeless

1980 – Syria withdraws its peacekeeping force in Beirut

1983 – Singer Karen Carpenter dies of anorexia

1986 – Sojourner Truth is honored on a commemorative stamp issued by the US Post Office

1987 – Afghan activist who founded the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanista, Meena Keshwar Kamal dies

1987 – American singer, actor and pianist Liberace dies

2001 – Greek and French composer, engineer and theorist Iannis Xenakis dies

2003 – The country of Yugoslavia is replaced by the federation of Serbia and Montenegro

2004 – The Massachusetts Supreme Court declares gays have a right to marry

2004 – Social media giant Facebook is founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes

2006 – American activist and author Betty Friedan dies on her birthday


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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