On This Day

On This Day in History for December 4 (Part 2)

Events in History

  • 1978 Dianne Feinstein is named as San Francisco's 1st female and Jewish mayor
  • 1978 Dutch war criminal Pieter Menten freed
  • 1978 Pioneer Venus 1 goes into orbit around Venus

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 1981 According to South Africa, Ciskei gains independence. Not recognized as an independent country outside South Africa.
  • 1982 China adopts its constitution
  • 1982 Police and racist demonstrators clash in Antwerp
  • 1983 US jet fighters strike Syrian anti-aircraft positions in Lebanon
  • 1984 Hezbollah militants hijack a Kuwait Airlines plane, killing four passengers.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985 French President Mitterrand receives Polish leader Jaruzelski

21st President of France Francois Mitterrand
21st President of France
Francois Mitterrand
  • 1985 President Reagan appoints Vice Admiral John Poindexter as security adviser
  • 1986 US launches its Fleet Satellite Communications System (Fltsatcom-7)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 Neil Simon's "Broadway Bound" premieres in NYC

Playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon
Playwright and screenwriter
Neil Simon
  • 1987 Karlstad skates world record 10 km (13:48.51)
  • 1988 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 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 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

41st US President George H. W. Bush
41st US President
George H. W. Bush
  • 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.
  • 1995 Atherton (185*) bats for 643 minutes to save Johannesburg Test
  • 1996 NASA's 1st Mars rover launched from Cape Canaveral
  • 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

MurderMurder of Interest

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

South African President F. W. de Klerk
South African President
F. W. de Klerk
  • 2005 Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong protest for democracy and call on the Government to allow universal and equal suffrage
  • 2006 An adult giant squid is caught on video by Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands, 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo
  • 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
  • 2014 The United Nations warns that the world is on course for the warmest year since records began

  • 2014 Ukraine and Pro-Russian rebels agree to cease fire in the eastern war zone, beginning December 9
  • 2014 US authorities promise a "fair" investigation into the death of African American Eric Garner, after a white New York City police officer held him in a choke-hold faces no charges
  • 2015 Floods in Chennai and Tamil Nadu state, India start receding after a month of heavy rainfall, leaving more 260 dead and thousands stranded
  • 2016 Austria elects liberal independent Alexander Van der Bellen as President, after original vote in May annulled

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016 New Zealand Prime Minister John Key resigns after 8 years in office

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
New Zealand Prime Minister
John Key
  • 2016 Tens of thousands march throughout Brazil against a vote to undermine anti-corruption investigations
  • 2016 Venezuela issues new higher-value notes after currency falls 60% in 1 months against the US dollar

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2017 US Supreme Court allows President Trump's travel ban to come into effect for 6 mostly Muslim countries

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • 2017 US President Donald Trump scales back Utah National Parks - Bears Ears National Monument (85%), Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (50%)
  • 2017 Thomas fire begins and spreads to city of Ventura, California

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018 Theresa May's UK government suffers three parliamentary defeats in one day, also found in contempt of parliament for failing to publish report in full on Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May
British Prime Minister
Theresa May

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018 French President Emmanuel Macron drops controversial rise in fuel tax after three weeks of mass protests

President of France Emmanuel Macron
President of France
Emmanuel Macron
  • 2018 Attempts to establish mob council in Sicily thwarted when 46 members of the mafia arrested including Settimio Mineo
  • 2018 First successful birth resulting from uterus transplant from a deceased donor in São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2018 French couture house Chanel ends its use of fur and exotic skins following bans by other companies
  • 2018 Native Americans had just one migration from Siberia to the New World, at most 23,000 years ago, in research published in "Nature" and "Science"
  • 2019 58 migrants drown after a boat sinks off the coast of Mauritania, with 83 saved
  • 2019 North American migratory birds getting smaller, their wings wider due to climate change according to study by University of Michigan published in journal "Ecology Letters"

Birthdays in History


Weddings in History


Deaths in History