On This Day

Historical Events on February 4

Roman Empire

211 Roman Emperor Septimius Severus dies, leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta

  • 960 Coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of the Song, initiating three centuries of Song Dynasty dominance in southern China

Historic Event

1194 100,000 ransom is paid for Richard I, King of England

  • 1454 In the Thirteen Years' War, the Secret Council of the Prussian Confederation sends a formal act of disobedience to the Grand Master
  • 1508 Maximilian I assumes imperial title without being crowned
  • 1586 Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, becomes governor-general of the States General of the United Provinces (Netherlands)

Historic Event

1600 Astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler meet for the first time near Prague

Historic Event

1620 Prince Bethlen Gabor of Hungary signs peace with Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II

Historic Event

1657 Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, grants residency to Luis Caravajal

  • 1670 Battle of Sinhagad, Shivaji commander Tanaji Malusare recaptures fort of Sinhagad from the Mugals, scaling the walls with help of pet monitor lizard
  • 1697 Three Dutch East India Company ships anchor at Dirk-Hartogeiland, Australia
  • 1699 350 rebellious Streltsi executed in Moscow
  • 1783 Worst quake in 8 years kills some 50,000 in Calabria, Italy
  • 1784 1st unmanned balloon flight in Ireland
  • 1787 1st Anglican bishops of NY & Pennsylvania consecrated in London
  • 1787 Shays' Rebellion (of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers) fails

Election of Interest

1789 1st US electoral college chooses George Washington as President and John Adams as Vice-President

Historic Event

1794 French National Convention proclaims abolition of slavery

  • 1797 Earthquake in Quito, Ecuador kills 41,000
  • 1803 William Dunlap adapts French melodrama "Voice of Nature"
  • 1810 Royal Navy seizes Guadeloupe.
  • 1822 Free American Blacks settle Liberia, West Africa
  • 1824 J W Goodrich introduces rubber galoshes to public
  • 1846 Mormons leave Nauvoo, Illinois, for settlement in the west
  • 1847 1st US telegraph company established in Maryland
  • 1849 University of Wisconsin begins in 1 room with 20 students
  • 1854 Alvan Bovay proposes name "Republican Party" in Ripon, Wisconsin
  • 1855 Soldiers shoot Jewish families in Coro, Venezuela

Historic Event

1861 Confederate constitutional convention meets for 1st time; Jefferson Davis elected President of Confederacy (US Civil War)

  • 1864 Skirmish at Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi
  • 1865 Hawaiian Board of Education formed

Historic Event

1865 Robert E. Lee is named general-in-chief of Confederate forces

Historic Event

1866 Mary Baker Eddy reportedly cures her injuries by opening a bible

  • 1880 Steele MacKay's play "Hazel Kirke" premieres in New York City

Murder of Interest

1880 Black donnelly massacre in Biddulph, Ontario. Irish immigrants James (63), Johannah (56), John (32), Thomas (25) and Bridget (21) Donnelly murdered at home by members of the Vigilance Committee

  • 1887 Interstate Commerce Act authorizes federal regulation of railroads
  • 1895 1st rolling lift bridge opens in Chicago
  • 1899 The Philippine–American War begins with fighting between American and Philippine revolutionary forces

Historic Event

1901 Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Joseph I, gives a speech condemning the demands of national groups and calls for economic and social reform

  • 1902 Stanley Cup, Winnipeg Auditorium, Winnipeg, Manitoba: Montreal HC beats Winnipeg Victorias, 2-1 for a 2-1 challenge series victory
  • 1903 Stanley Cup: Montreal HC beats Winnipeg Victorias, 4-1 for a 2-1 challenge series win
  • 1904 John Millington Synge's play "Well of Saints" premieres in Dublin
  • 1908 Star #46 was added to US flag for Oklahoma with the addition to the Union of Oklahoma on November 16, 1907
  • 1913 Louis Perlman patents demountable auto tire-carrying wheel rim
  • 1913 National Institute of Arts & Letters founded
  • 1914 US Congress approves Burnett-anti-immigration law
  • 1915 Experiments to find cause of pellagra begin at Mississippi State Penitentiary
  • 1917 Belgian Council of Flanders established
  • 1919 City of Bremen's Soviet Republic overthrown
  • 1920 1st flight from London to South Africa departs (takes 1½ months)
  • 1922 WGY-AM in Schenectady NY begins radio transmissions
  • 1922 After boycotts and international pressure, Japan agrees to return Shantung Province to China

Historic Event

1922 First part of Katherine Mansfield's short story "The Garden Party" appears in the Saturday Westminster Gazette

  • 1924 George Kelly's play "Show-Off," premieres in New York City

1st Winter Olympics

1924 Norway sweeps the medals in the Nordic combined event at the inaugural Chamonix Winter Olympics; Thorleif Haug wins his 3rd gold of the Games ahead of teammates Thoralf Strømstad & Johan Grøttumsbråten

  • 1924 Jacob Tullin Thams of Norway wins ski jumping gold at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; in 1936 he earns a silver medal in sailing at Berlin Summer Games
  • 1926 Austrian chancellor Seipel wants to join Germany
  • 1927 KGA-AM in Spokane WA begins radio transmissions
  • 1929 Archie Jackson scores 164 in Test Cricket debut v England at Adelaide
  • 1930 1st tieless, soundless, shockless streetcar tracks, New Orleans
  • 1931 National League adopts a deader baseball
  • 1932 III Winter Olympic Games open in Lake Placid, New York
  • 1932 Japanese troops occupy Harbin, Manchuria

Historic Event

1933 German President Paul von Hindenburg limits freedom of the press

  • 1936 1st radioactive substance produced synthetically (radium E)
  • 1937 Jim Margie, Philadelphia, bowls 900 in 3 (unsanctioned) games

Music History

1938 "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder opens on Broadway

Historic Event

1938 Adolf Hitler seizes control of German army and puts Nazis in key posts

  • 1939 Glenn Cunningham (top miler) says 4-min mile beyond human effort
  • 1941 British tanks occupy Maus, Libya
  • 1941 Former Dutch premier De Geer flies to Berlin
  • 1941 United Service Organization (USO) founded
  • 1942 Clinton Pierce becomes 1st US general wounded in action in WW II
  • 1943 Bertolt Brecht's play "The Good Person of Szechwan" premieres in Zurich

Theater Premiere

1944 Jean Anouilh's play "Antigone" premieres in Paris

  • 1944 US 7th Infantry Division captures Kwajalein, in the Pacific

Yalta Conference

1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin meet at Yalta in the Crimea to discuss the final phase of World War II

  • 1946 Garson Kanin's "Born Yesterday" premieres in NYC
  • 1948 Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) declares independence from UK
  • 1948 After winning the men’s downhill, French alpine skier Henri Oreiller takes the combined gold medal at the St. Moritz Winter Olympics; becomes most successful athlete at these Games with a slalom bronze

Assassination Attempt

1949 Failed assassination attempt on Shah of Persia Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

  • 1950 IV British Empire Games open in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1951 US female Figure Skating championship won by Sonya Klopfer
  • 1951 US male Figure Skating championship won by Richard Button

Sports History

1952 1st African American executive of a major TV station (Jackie Robinson-WNBC NY)

  • 1952 Tetsuwan Atom by Osamu Tezuka first published in Weekly Shonen Magazine in Japan
  • 1956 AL plans to test automatic intentional walk during spring training
  • 1956 Soviet Union beats Canada, 2-0 at Cortina d'Ampezzo to clinch their first ever Olympic ice hockey gold medal; US takes silver, Canada bronze
  • 1957 1st electric portable typewriter placed on sale (Syracuse NY)
  • 1958 "Oh, Captain!" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 192 performances
  • 1958 MLB Hall of Fame fails to elect anyone for 1st time since 1950
  • 1959 Israel begins exporting copper ore
  • 1960 BBWAA voters fail to elect a new Hall of Fame member
  • 1960 Giants move their offices to Candlestick Park
  • 1960 Lionel Bart's musical "Fings ain't wot they used t'be" premieres
  • 1961 Sputnik 7 launches into Earth orbit; probable Venus probe failure

Historic Event

1961 "Angolan War of Independence" begins

  • 1962 "Gay Life" closes at Shubert Theater NYC after 113 performances
  • 1962 Russian newspaper Izvestia reports baseball is an old Russian game
  • 1962 US female Figure Skating championship won by Barbara Roles
  • 1962 US male Figure Skating championship won by Monty Hoyt
  • 1964 FAA begins 6 month test of reactions to sonic booms over Oklahoma City
  • 1965 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1966 All-Nippon Airways 727 crashes off Haneda Airport (Japan); kills 133
  • 1967 "Wild Thing" cover version by "Senator Bobby" hits #20 on the pop singles chart
  • 1967 US launches Lunar Orbiter 3
  • 1968 "Golden Rainbow" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 355 performances

Sports History

1968 Bowie Kuhn replaces William Eckert as 5th commissioner of baseball

  • 1968 Around 100 Indians and Pakistanis from Kenya arrive in Britain, escaping discrimination

Historic Event

1969 The Palestine National Congress appoints Yasser Arafat chairman of the PLO

  • 1969 41,163, then largest NBA crowd, watches doubleheader Cin-Det, SD-Bost
  • 1969 Beatles appoint Eastman & Eastman as general counsel to Apple Records

Appointment of Interest

1969 John Madden is named head coach of NFL's Oakland Raiders

  • 1969 Lonne Elder's "Ceremonies in Dark Old Men" premieres in NYC
  • 1970 "Charles Aznavour" opens at Music Box Theater NYC for 23 performances
  • 1970 "Gantry" opens at George Abbott Theater NYC for 1 performance
  • 1970 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Film Premiere

1970 "Patton" directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring George C. Scott premieres in New York (Academy Awards Best Picture 1971)

  • 1971 Baseball announces a special hall of fame wing for blacks
  • 1971 British car maker Rolls Royce declared itself bankrupt
  • 1971 Government exhibit under construction in Brazil collapses, kills 65
  • 1971 National Guard mobilized to quell rioting in Wilmington NC
  • 1971 Lieutenant-General Vernon Erskine-Crum becomes General Officer Commanding of the British Army in Northern Ireland
  • 1971 The NASDAQ stock exchange, the second-largest in the world - behind the New York Stock Exchange - is founded in New York City
  • 1972 6th round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks ends in Vienna Austria

Music History

1972 Senator Strom Thurmond suggests John Lennon be deported

Olympic Gold

1972 Dutch speed skater Ard Schenk wins the 5,000m at the Sapporo Winter Olympics; also wins the 1,500m and 10,000m gold medals

  • 1973 "No, No Nanette" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 861 performances
  • 1973 Islanders & Sabres had a penalty free game
  • 1973 Manfred Kokot runs world record 50m indoor (5.61 sec)
  • 1973 Reshef, Israel's missile boat, unveiled
  • 1973 Comic strip "Hagar The Horrible" by Dik Browne debuts
  • 1973 British Army snipers shoot dead a Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteer and three civilians at the junction in Belfast during the 'Troubles' in N Ireland
  • 1973 An International inspection team is sent to Vietnam to observe progress on the Paris truce agreement
  • 1974 Chimpanzee Nim Chimsky signs his 1st word, at 2½ months
  • 1974 Petroleum rationing ends in Netherlands
  • 1974 Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb explodes on a bus in West Yorkshire, England, carrying British Army soldiers and some of their family members
  • 1974 Randolph Hearst’s 19-year-old daughter, Patty Hearst, is kidnapped from her apartment in California by the Symbionese Liberation Army
  • 1975 Haicheng earthquake, M 7.3, strikes Haicheng, Liaoning, China
  • 1976 XII Winter Olympic Games open in Innsbruck, Austria
  • 1976 7.5 earthquake kills 22,778 in Guatemala & Honduras
  • 1976 US Federal Judge Oliver upholds Seitz's decision on Andy Messersmith free agency
  • 1976 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Historic Event

1976 Hua Guofeng becomes Premier of the People's Republic of China

  • 1977 Elevated train jumps track, crashes onto Chicago st (11 die, 200 hurt)
  • 1977 "Rumours" 11th studio album by Fleetwood Mac is released (Grammy Album of the Year)
  • 1977 Wings release their single "Maybe I'm Amazed"
  • 1979 "Co-Ed Fever," TV Comedy, debut & cancelled that outing on CBS
  • 1979 End of last 3+day D/N game for 15 yrs (WSC, SCG)
  • 1979 29th NBA All-Star Game, Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Mi: West beats East, 134-129; MVP: David Thompson, Denver Nuggets, SG
  • 1980 Bani Sadr sworn in as premier of Iran
  • 1980 Studio 54 holds its grand closing party on its last night in business
  • 1982 "Pump Boys & Dinettes" opens at Princess Theater NYC for 573 performances
  • 1982 Indoor distance record for a paper airplane (47m) Tacoma Wash
  • 1982 Musical "Pump Boys & Dinettes" premieres in NYC
  • 1982 Suriname premier Chin A Sen flees
  • 1983 Jose Happart becomes mayor of Voeren Belgium

Sports History

1983 US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Hamilton

  • 1984 "9" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 739 performances
  • 1984 "Backstage Magic" opens at CommuniCore
  • 1984 Frank Aquilera sets world frisbee distance record (168m) Las Vegas
  • 1985 20 countries (but not US) sign UN treaty outlawing torture
  • 1985 Naval exercises canceled when US refuses to tell NZ if nuclear weapons aboard USS Buchanan

NHL All-Star Game

1986 38th NHL All-Star Game, Hartford Civic Centre: Wales Conference beats Campbell Conference, 4-3 (OT); MVP: Grant Fuhr, Edmonton Oilers, G

  • 1986 Israeli fighters intercept Libyan passenger airliner

Historic Event

1987 US President Reagan's veto of Clean Water Act is overridden by Congress

  • 1987 Stars & Stripes beats Australia's Kookaburra 3, sweeps America's Cup
  • 1987 Sacramento Kings score only 4 points 1st quarter against Lakers; fewest in a period since introduction of 24 second shot-clock in 1954

Historic Event

1988 Panamanian General Manuel Noriega indicted by US federal grand jury for drug trafficking and racketeering

  • 1988 Despite union calls to end the strike, rank-and-file seamen at major British ports refuse to return to work
  • 1989 Australian cricketer Dean Jones scores 216 v WI at the Adelaide Oval
  • 1990 10 Israeli tourists murdered near Cairo
  • 1990 Anders Holmertz swims world record 400 m freestyle (3:40.81)
  • 1990 Danny Everett runs world record 400m indoor (45:04)
  • 1990 Lyudmila Narozhi-Lenko runs world record 60m hurdles indoor (7.69)
  • 1990 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: NFC beats AFC, 27-21; MVP: Jerry Gray, LA Rams, DB

Sports History

1990 Richard Hadlee takes his 400th Test Cricket wicket (Sanjay Manjrekar)

  • 1990 St Petersburg Pelicans beat West Palm Beach Tropics 12-4 to win 1st Senior Professional Baseball Association Championship

Hall of Fame

1991 Baseball's Hall of Fame board of directors vote 12-0 to bar Pete Rose, due to his betting on games while a player and manager

World Record

1991 NZ cricketers Martin Crowe and Andrew Jones make a world record 467 run stand, against Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington

  • 1991 US postage raises from 25 cents to 29 cents

Film & TV History

1991 Alex Trebek becomes first person to host three American game shows at the same time (Jeopardy!, Classic Concentration, To Tell the Truth)

  • 1993 Admiral William Studeman ends term as acting director of CIA
  • 1993 Russian space agency tests a 82-foot wide space mirror
  • 1994 10th Soap Opera Digest Awards - Days of Our Lives wins
  • 1994 20 die in armed assault on mosque in Khartoum, Sudan
  • 1994 Merlene Ottey runs world record 50 m indoor (6.00 sec)
  • 1994 Russian team beats ladies world record 4x800 m indoor (8:18.71)
  • 1995 Australian cricketer Dean Jones completes 324* for Victoria v South Australia
  • 1995 Sandra Volker swims female European record 50m backstroke (27.77)
  • 1995 Zimbabwe's 1st Test Cricket victory, over Pakistan by an inning

NFL Pro Bowl

1996 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: NFC beats AFC, 20-13; MVP: Jerry Rice, SF 49ers, WR, HI

Sports History

1997 Mario Lemieux is 7th NHL player to score 600 goals

Sports History

1997 O.J. Simpson found liable in the deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson in a civil court action

  • 1997 US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announces she just discovered that her grandparents were Jewish
  • 1997 En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.

Election of Interest

1997 After at first contesting the results, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognizes opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.

Historic Event

1998 Bill Gates gets a pie thrown in his face in Brussels, Belgium

  • 1998 An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan kills more than 5,000