On This Day

Historical Events on December 4

  • 1110 Syrian harbor city Saida (Sidon) surrenders to Crusaders
  • 1154 Adrian IV elected Pope. The only Englishman to become pontiff, Nicholas Breakspear was a member of the family which until recent years brewed beer in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
  • 1197 Crusaders wound Rabbi Elezar ben Judah
  • 1259 Treaty of Paris: English King Henry III and French King Louis IX end 100 years of conflict between the Capetian and Plantagenet dynasties
  • 1489 Battle of Baza - Spanish army captures Baza from Moors

Historic Event

1534 Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent occupies Baghdad

  • 1563 Council of Trent holds its last session, after 18 years. Last ecumenical council for more than 300 years.
  • 1619 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish, England disembark in Virginia and give thanks to God. Considered by many the first Thanksgiving in the Americas.
  • 1644 First European peace congress opens in Munster
  • 1655 Middelburg, Netherlands forbids building of synagogue

Historic Event

1665 Jean Racine's "Alexandre le Grand" premieres in Paris

  • 1674 Father Marquette builds first dwelling in what is now Chicago
  • 1676 Battle of Lund: A Danish army under the command of King Christian V of Denmark engages the Swedish army commanded by Field Marshal Simon Grundel-Helmfelt
  • 1680 Hen in Rome lays a uniquely patterned egg, later believed to have predicted the arrival of the Kirch/Newton "Great Comet of 1680"
  • 1682 First General Assembly in Pennsylvania (Chester)

Historic Event

1688 General John Churchill (later 1st Duke of Marlborough) changes allegiance from James II to William of Orange

  • 1691 Emperor Leopold I takes control of Transsylvania
  • 1691 Spanish king Carlos II names Maximilian II viceroy of Southern Netherlands
  • 1745 Bonnie Prince Charles reaches Derby
  • 1783 General Washington bids officers farewell at Fraunce's Tavern, NYC
  • 1791 Britain's Observer, oldest Sunday newspaper in the world, first published
  • 1798 Rebellious Flemish farmers occupy Hasselt
  • 1812 Peter Gaillard of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, patents a horse-drawn mower

Election of Interest

1816 James Monroe is elected to become the 5th President of the United States, defeating Rufus King of the Federalist Party

  • 1829 Britain outlaws "suttee" in India (widow burning herself to death on her husband's funeral pyre)
  • 1832 French army begins bombing citadel of Antwerp
  • 1833 American Anti-Slavery Society formed by Arthur Tappan in Philadelphia
  • 1836 Whig party holds its first national convention, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • 1843 Manila paper (made from sails, canvas and rope) patented in Massachusetts

Music History

1843 Robert Schumann's "Das Paradies und die Peri" premieres in Leipzig

Election of Interest

1844 James Knox Polk elected 11th US President

  • 1851 President Louis Napoleon Boaparte's forces crush an attempted coup d'etat in France
  • 1864 Battle of Waynesborough (Brier Creek), Georgia
  • 1864 Romanian Jews are forbidden to practise law
  • 1867 Former Minnesota farmer Oliver Hudson Kelley founds the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry (better known today as the Grange)

Historic Event

1875 William Magear Tweed "Boss Tweed" (Tammany Hall, NYC) escapes from jail

  • 1881 The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published
  • 1889 Explorer Henery Morton Stanley's expedition reaches Bagamoyo in Indian Ocean
  • 1899 56th Congress (1899-1901) convenes
  • 1899 Webb Hayes, son of US President Rutherford Hayes, receives medal of honor
  • 1901 Anne Russell's play "'Girl and the judge" premieres in New York

Historic Event

1905 British government of Arthur Balfour resigns

  • 1906 Alpha Phi Alpha, first Black Greek Letter Fraternity, forms
  • 1908 Haiti's president General Alexis Nord flees from military coup
  • 1908 The world's ten leading maritime nations attend a Naval Conference in London; they agree on rules for blockade, convoys, and seizure of contraband
  • 1909 1st CFL Grey Cup, Rosedale Field, Toronto: University of Toronto Blues beat Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club, 26-6; Blues undefeated
  • 1909 Oldest still-operating NHL franchise is officially established as J. Ambrose O’Brien and Jack Laviolette create the “Club de Hockey Canadien,” known today as the Montreal Canadiens

Sports History

1914 Walter Johnson accepts money from Federal League Chicago Whales; Clark Griffith threatens to take Johnson to court

  • 1915 Frank Friday Fletcher is first US admiral to receive Congressional Medal of Honor
  • 1915 Ku Klux Klan receives charter from Fulton County, Georgia
  • 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition closes in San Francisco

Historic Event

1915 Henry Ford's peace ship, Oscar II, sails for Europe 'to get the boys out of the trenches by Christmas'

Conference of Interest

1918 US President Woodrow Wilson sails for Versailles Peace Conference in France

  • 1920 1st Pro football playoff game Buffalo-7, Canton-3 at Polo Grounds, NYC
  • 1920 CFL Grey Cup, Varsity Stadium, Toronto: U of Toronto Blues win 4th title; beat Toronto Argonauts, 16-3
  • 1921 The Virginia Rappe manslaughter trial against Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle ends in a hung jury
  • 1921 American Professional Football Association Championship, Cubs Park, Chicago: Chicago Staleys beat Buffalo All-Americans, 10-7 in de facto championship game after teams tied in standings
  • 1922 Lucille Atcherson, becomes first woman legation sect-US foreign service
  • 1923 WEAF radio begins broadcasting Eveready Hour (variety show)
  • 1926 CFL Grey Cup: Ottawa Senators retain Championship with 10-7 win over U of Toronto Blues

Music Premiere

1927 Dmitri Shostakovich's 2nd Symphony premieres in Moscow

Music History

1927 Duke Ellington opens at the Cotton Club in Harlem

  • 1927 Pittsburgh Pirates future Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Paul Waner wins NL MVP
  • 1928 Walter Donaldson & Gus Kahn's musical "Whoopee!", starring Eddie Cantor, premieres on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, NYC; runs for 407 performances
  • 1930 Vatican approves rhythm method for birth control

Historic Event

1932 Kurt von Schleicher succeeds Franz von Papen as Reich Chancellor of Germany

Historic Event

1933 FDR creates Federal Alcohol Control Administration

  • 1933 Jack Kirkland's play "Tobacco Road" premieres in NYC, became the longest-running play of its time
  • 1935 1,200 at St Joseph's College (Philadelphia) enroll in anticommunism class
  • 1941 Nazi ordinance places Jews of Poland outside protection of courts
  • 1942 First US citizenship granted to an alien on foreign soil (James Hoey)
  • 1942 FDR orders dismantling of Works Progress Administration
  • 1942 US bombers strike Italian mainland for first time in WW II
  • 1942 Holocaust: In Warsaw, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Filipowicz set up the Żegota organization
  • 1943 -Dec 6] 2nd conference of Cairo: FDR, Winston Churchill and Turkish President İsmet İnönü
  • 1943 Commissioner Landis announces any baseball club may sign Negroes
  • 1943 Yugoslavian resistance forms provisionary government under Dr Ribar
  • 1944 Germans destroy Rhine dikes, Betuwe flooded
  • 1945 11th Heisman Trophy Award: Doc Blanchard, Army (FB)
  • 1945 Senate approves US participation in United Nations
  • 1947 USSR joins International Amateur Athletic Union
  • 1947 In the first cricket Test match between the 2 nations, India is dismissed for 98 by Australia in Brisbane to lose by an innings & 226 runs; fast bowler Ernie Toshack takes 6 for 29 for match figures of 11 for 31
  • 1948 "Magdalena" closes at Ziegfeld Theater, NYC, after 48 performances
  • 1948 SS Kiangya hits mine in Whangpoo River, China, sinks killing 2,750
  • 1949 Bob Gage ties NFL record of a 97 yard touchdown run
  • 1949 Duncan Stewart, 2nd British Governor of Sarawak is fatally stabbed in the streets of Sibu by Malay student Rosli Dhoby with help from Morshidi Sidek with the goal of helping neighbouring Indonesia to take over British Sarawak

Music History

1951 Aaron Copland's and Jerome Robbins' ballet "The Pied Piper" premieres in New York City

  • 1951 Superheated gasses roll down Mount Catarman, Philippines, killing 500 people
  • 1951 Mir Waiz Maulvi Muhammad Yusouf is appointed President of Azad Kashmir Government
  • 1952 Killer fogs begin in London, England; the term "Smog" is coined
  • 1952 Walter P. Reuther chosen chairman of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the US
  • 1954 Musical "Hit the Trail" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater, NYC, after 4 performances
  • 1954 "On Your Toes" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 64 performances
  • 1954 The first Burger King is opened in Miami, Florida, USA
  • 1955 Bernardus Johannes Alfrink installed as Archbishop of Utrecht
  • 1956 22nd Heisman Trophy Award: Paul Hornung, Notre Dame (QB)
  • 1956 Australian swimmer Murray Rose sets world record 4:27.3 to claim the 400m gold medal at the Melbourne Olympics; Rose later also wins 1,500m gold
  • 1956 American diver Pat McCormick wins the 3m springboard gold medal at the Melbourne Olympics with 142.46 points; later wraps up the women's double when she takes the 10m platform gold
  • 1957 First edition of "Chase's Annual Events" published
  • 1957 2 commuter trains collide in heavy fog killing 92 (St John's, England)
  • 1958 Dahomey (Benin), Ivory Coast become autonomous within French Community
  • 1958 Finnish government of Fagerholm resigns

Boxing Title Fight

1961 Floyd Patterson KOs Tom McNeeley in 4 for heavyweight boxing title

Historic Event

1961 Museum of Modern Art hangs Matisse's Le Bateau upside down for 47 days

  • 1961 Smallest NY Knick, 49th St Madison Square Garden crowd-1,300 (snowstorm)
  • 1961 Tanganyika becomes 104th member of UN
  • 1961 WXGA TV channel 8 in Waycross, GA (PBS) begins broadcasting

Historic Event

1961 The female contraceptive 'pill' becomes available on the National Health Service in Britain

  • 1961 1962 NFL Draft: Ernie Davis from University of Syracuse first pick by Washington Redskins
  • 1962 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Historic Event

1963 Aldo Moro forms Italian government (1963-1968)

Historic Event

1963 Pope Paul VI closes 2nd session of 2nd Vatican Council

  • 1963 Boston Bruins' right wing Andy Hebenton sets a new NHL record by playing in his 581st consecutive game in 2-2 tie with Chicago Black Hawks; reaches 630 straight games
  • 1964 Baseball approves a free-agent draft
  • 1964 The Beatles release "Beatles For Sale", their fourth studio album
  • 1964 Commissioner's office given full powers in baseball disputes
  • 1964 Test Cricket debut of Ian Chappell, v Pakistan MCG, 11, 0-49, 0-31
  • 1965 "Roar of the Greasepaint" closes at Shubert NYC after 232 performances
  • 1965 2 passenger planes collide above Danbury, Connecticut, 4 die
  • 1965 2nd NY Knicks game postponed (due to death of opponent 76ers' owner)

Historic Event

1965 Gemini 7 launched with Frank Borman and Jim Lovell

  • 1965 San Francisco Giant Masanori Murakami, 4-1 this year, does not renew his contract signing instead with the Nankai Hawks of Osaka for $40,000
  • 1966 KETS TV channel 2 in Little Rock, AR (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1966 Military Working Dog "Nemo" saves the life of his handler Airman Robert A. Throneburg during the Vietnam War, surviving a gunshot wound to the nose
  • 1968 Following a civil rights march in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, there is a violent clash between Loyalists and those who are taking part in the march
  • 1970 Unemployment in US increases to 5.8%
  • 1971 The UN Security Council calls an emergency session to consider the deteriorating situation between India and Pakistan
  • 1971 The Indian Navy attacks the Pakistan Navy and Karachi
  • 1971 McGurk's Bar bombing: the UVF explode a bomb at a Catholic-owned pub in Belfast, killing fifteen Catholic civilians and wounding seventeen others; this was the highest death toll from a single incident in Belfast during 'the Troubles'
  • 1974 Dutch DC-8 charter crashes in Sri Lanka killing 191 Muslim pilgrims
  • 1975 6 South Molukkans occupy Indonesian consulate in The Hague, 1 dead

Dictator Bokassa I

1977 Jean-Bédel Bokassa crowns himself Emperor of the Central African Empire in a lavish ceremony costing US$20 million - one third of the nation's budget

  • 1977 NFL's 5,000th game, Cincinnati beats KC 27-7

Film & TV History

1977 Neil Simon's "Chapter Two" premieres in NYC

  • 1977 West Indies win 1st World Series Cricket 'Test' against Australia at VFL Park in Melbourne by 3 wickets; chasing 235 for victory, Viv Richards with 56 and Clive Lloyd 44 guide WI to 237/7 with 2 days to spare
  • 1977 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Sydney: John Alexander beats Adriano Panatta of Italy 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 8-6, 11-9 in a 3 hour, 54 minute classic to give Australia a 3-1 victory
  • 1978 Dianne Feinstein is named as San Francisco's 1st female and Jewish mayor

Historic Event

1978 Dutch war criminal Pieter Menten freed

  • 1978 Pioneer Venus 1 goes into orbit around Venus
  • 1979 Cleveland Cavaliers retire jersey # 7, Bingo Smith

Music History

1980 Two months after death of drummer John Bonham, Led Zeppelin announces they will disband

  • 1980 Islanders end 15 game undefeated streak (13-0-2) (Col Rockies)
  • 1981 "Falcon Crest" premieres on CBS-TV

Historic Event

1981 Reagan Executive Order on Intelligence (No 12333) that allows CIA to engage in domestic counter-intelligence

  • 1981 According to South Africa, Ciskei gains independence. Not recognized as an independent country outside South Africa.
  • 1982 48th Heisman Trophy Award: Herschel Walker, Georgia (RB)
  • 1982 China adopts its constitution
  • 1982 Police and racist demonstrators clash in Antwerp
  • 1983 "Amen Corner" closes at Nederlander Theater NYC after 83 performances
  • 1983 David Shire & Richard Maltby, Jr.'s musical "Baby" opens at Barrymore Theater, NYC; runs for 241 performances
  • 1983 NJ Devils 1st shut-out, beating Minnesota North Stars 6-0
  • 1983 US jet fighters strike Syrian anti-aircraft positions in Lebanon
  • 1984 Hezbollah militants hijack a Kuwait Airlines plane, killing four passengers.

Music History

1984 6th ACE Cable Awards: David Bowie: Serious Moonlight by Anthony Eaton and HBO

  • 1985 "Les Miserables" opens at Palace Theatre, London

Historic Event

1985 French President François Mitterrand receives Polish leader Wojciech Jaruzelski

Sports History

1985 Slobodan Živojinović of Yugoslavia upsets No. 2 seed John McEnroe 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 in the Australian Open quarter finals; leaves McEnroe without a major singles title for the first time since 1978

  • 1986 US launches its Fleet Satellite Communications System (Fltsatcom-7)
  • 1986 Neil Simon's "Broadway Bound" premieres in NYC
  • 1987 Karlstad skates world record 10 km (13:48.51)

Sports History

1987 Defending champion Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia wins 3rd straight season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title by defeating Mats Wilander of Sweden 6–2, 6–2, 6–3 in the final at Madison Square Garden, NYC

  • 1988 Actor Gary Busey critically injured in motorcycle crash

Sports History

1988 Orioles trade veteran 1B Eddie Murray to the Dodgers

  • 1988 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1988 Edmonton center Jimmy Carson becomes just the third player to score 6 NHL hat tricks before the age of 21 in the Oilers 10-6 win over the New York Rangers
  • 1989 NBC's premiere of "Howard Beach: Making A Case for Murder", based on December 1986 murders of black youths by white youths in New York City
  • 1990 Due to Persian Gulf crisis gas hits $1.60 per gallon price in NYC
  • 1990 Iraq announces it will release all 3,300 Soviet hostages
  • 1990 An Iraqi official reports that Iraq will withdraw if it can retain control of the Rumailah field and keep Bubiyan and Werbah islands; also says that demands that the Palestinian issue be treated separately would not be surmountable
  • 1991 Country music mother and daughter act The Judds "farewell" concert at Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; later re-unions and "farewells" in 2000, 2010, 2015, and 2021
  • 1991 Muslim Shi'ites release last US hostage Terry Anderson (held 6½ years)
  • 1991 Pan American World Airways ceased operations
  • 1991 Patricia Bowman testifies that William Kennedy Smith raped her

Historic Event

1992 Somali Civil War: President George H. W. Bush orders 28,000 US troops to Somalia

World Record

1993 Dan Jansen skates world record 500m (35.92 sec)

  • 1993 Johann Koss skates world record 5K (6:35.53)
  • 1993 A truce is concluded between the government of Angola and UNITA rebels.
  • 1994 Tony Kushner's drama "Angels in America: Perestroika" closes at Walter Kerr Theater, NYC, after 216 performances, and 3 Tony Awards
  • 1994 Tony Kushner's drama "Angels in America: Millennium Approach" closes at Walter Kerr Theater, NYC, after 367 performances, and 4 Tony Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize
  • 1994 83rd Davis Cup: Sweden beats Russia in Moscow (4-1)
  • 1995 Atherton (185*) bats for 643 minutes to save Johannesburg Test

Music Awards

1996 7th Billboard Music Awards: Alanis Morissette wins

  • 1996 NASA's 1st Mars rover launched from Cape Canaveral
  • 1996 Orlando Magic tie NBA record of fewest points scored since inception of 24 second clock losing to Cleveland Cavalier, 84-57
  • 1997 "Diary of Anne Frank" opens at Music Box Theater NYC
  • 1997 NBA suspends former Golden State Warriors guard Latrell Sprewell for 1 year for attacking coach P.J. Carlesimo
  • 1997 Nizar Hamdoon warns that Iraq will not allow oil to flow during a third six-month phase of the UN's oil-for-food sale until the UN approves an aid distribution plan
  • 1998 The Unity Module, the second module of the International Space Station, is launched

Murder of Interest

2001 Marike de Klerk, ex-wife of former President F.W. de Klerk is murdered at her home in Cape Town

  • 2005 Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong protest for democracy and call on the Government to allow universal and equal suffrage
  • 2005 94th Davis Cup: Croatia beats Slovak Republic in Bratislava (3-2)

Television Debut

2005 U.S. debut of the first part of two-part TV biopic miniseries "Pope John Paul II" on CBS

  • 2006 An adult giant squid is caught on video by Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands, 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo
  • 2007 Ballon d'Or: Milan's Brazilian midfielder Kaká is named best football player in the world; first year in which players from clubs outside the UEFA federation eligible for nomination
  • 2011 100th Davis Cup: Spain beats Argentina in Seville (3-1)
  • 2012 29 people are killed by a mortar attack in Bteeha, Syria
  • 2012 Typhoon Bopha makes landfall in the Philippines, killing at least 81 people
  • 2013 Xavier Bettel becomes Luxenberg's first openly gay Prime Minister