Today in History: February 4 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: February 4

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


February 4

786 Harun al-Rashid succeeds his older brother the Abbasid Caliph al-Hadi as Caliph of Baghdad.
1194 Richard I, King of England, is freed from captivity in Germany.
1508 The Proclamation of Trent is made.
1787 Shay’s Rebellion, an uprising of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers against the new U.S. government, fails.
1789

George Washington is unanimously elected the first president of the United States by the Electoral College. He will be unanimously elected again in 1792 and will remain the only U.S. president in history to receive the totality of electoral votes. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]

1795 France abolishes slavery in her territories and confers citizenship on the slaves.
1889 Harry Longabaugh is released from Sundance Prison in Wyoming, thereby acquiring the famous nickname, “the Sundance Kid.”
1899 After an exchange of gunfire, fighting breaks out between American troops and Filipinos near Manila, sparking the Philippine-American War
1906 The New York Police Department begins fingerprint identification.
1909 California law segregates Caucasian and Japanese schoolchildren.
1915 Germany decrees British waters as part of the war zone; all ships to be sunk without warning.
1923 French troops take the territories of Offenburg, Appenweier and Buhl in the Ruhr as a part of the agreement ending World War I.
1932 Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt inaugurates the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, N.Y.
1941 The United Service Organizations (U.S.O.) is formed to entertain armed forces members and their families.
1944 The Japanese attack the Indian Seventh Army in Burma.
1945 The Big Three, American, British and Soviet leaders, meet in Yalta to discuss the war aims.
1966 The Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins televised hearings on the Vietnam War.
1974 Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst is kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, beginning one of the most bizarre cases in FBI history.
1980 Syria withdraws its peacekeeping force in Beirut.
1986 The U.S. Post Office issues a commemorative stamp featuring Sojourner Truth.
Born on February 4
1881 Fernand Leger, French painter.
1900 Jacques Prevert, French poet, screenwriter (The Visitors of the Evening, The Children of Paradise).
1902 Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic.
1906 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Protestant theologian.
1906 Clyde Tombaugh, astronomer, discovered Pluto.
1913 Rosa Lee Parks, civil rights activist.
1921 Betty Friedan, writer, feminist; founded the National Organization of Women in 1966.
1925 Russell Hoban, artist and writer (Bedtime for Frances, The Mouse and His Child).
1932 Robert Coover, novelist & short story writer.
1947 Dan Quayle, vice president under President George H.W. Bush.