On This Day

Events in History on April 4

  • 1081 Alexius I Comnenus occupies Byzantine throne
  • 1460 University of Basle in Swizerland forms
  • 1541 Ignatius of Loyola becomes 1st superior-general of Jesuits
  • 1552 Mauritius van Saksen begins alliance with Karel Anikita Stroganov
  • 1558 Tsar Ivan IV gives parts of North-Russia to fur traders


1581 Francis Drake knighted by Queen Elizabeth I aboard Golden Hind at Deptford

Admiral and Navigator Francis Drake
Admiral and Navigator
Francis Drake
Queen of England and Ireland Elizabeth I
Queen of England and Ireland
Elizabeth I
  • 1588 Christian IV succeeds Frederick II as king of Denmark
  • 1655 Battle at Postage Farina, Tunis: English fleet beats Barbary pirates
  • 1655 The miraculous statue entitled the Infant of Prague is solemnly crowned by command of Cardinal Harrach

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1660 English King Charles II sends Declaration of Breda (freedom of religion)

King of England Charles II
King of England
Charles II
  • 1686 English King James II publishes Declaration of Indulgence
  • 1687 King James II orders his declaration of indulgence read in English churches
  • 1737 Anthony van Heim installed as Dutch pension advisor

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1789 1st US Congress begins regular sessions during George Washington's presidency at Federal Hall, NYC (ending 1791)

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1814 Napoleon abdicates for the first time in favour of his son

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1818 Congress decides on the US flag: 13 red & white stripes & 20 stars

  • 1828 Casparus van Wooden patents chocolate milk powder (Amsterdam)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1832 Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle reaches Rio de Janeiro

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

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1841 Vice President John Tyler becomes the 10th President of the United States after the death of President William Henry Harrison

10th US President John Tyler
10th US President
John Tyler
  • 1850 City of Los Angeles incorporated
  • 1859 Bryant's Minstrels debut "Dixie" in New York City in the finale of a blackface minstrel show
  • 1862 Siege of Yorktown, fought in York County and Newport News, Virginia begins (Yorktown campaign), inconclusive result (US Civil War)
  • 1862 Peninsular Campaign, launched in southeastern Virginia, aimed at capturing Richmond during US Civil War begins, Confederate victory (US Civil War)
  • 1864 Skirmish at Elkin's Ford (Little Missouri River), Arkansas
  • 1865 Lee's army arrives at Amelia Courthouse

MurderAssassination Attempt

1866 Alexander II of Russia narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by Dmitry Karakozov in the city of St. Petersburg

Tsar of Russia Alexander II
Tsar of Russia
Alexander II
  • 1870 Golden Gate Park forms by City Order #800
  • 1887 Susanna Madora Salter elected 1st US woman mayor in Argonia, Kansas
  • 1896 Announcement of gold discovery in Yukon
  • 1899 South Africa all out 35 vs England (Trott 4-19, Haigh 6-11)
  • 1900 Assassination attempt on Prince of Wales, later British King Edward VII when shot by Jean-Baptiste Sipido in protest over Boer war
  • 1900 British garrison of Reddersberg surrenders to Boer general De Wet

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1902 Cecil Rhodes scholarship fund forms with $10 million

British Businessman and Imperialist Politician Cecil Rhodes
British Businessman and Imperialist Politician
Cecil Rhodes
  • 1905 Earthquake in Kangra India, kills 20,000
  • 1912 Army fires on striking mine workers at Lena-gold fields in Siberia
  • 1912 Chinese republic proclaimed in Tibet

  • 1913 Greek aviator Emmanuel Argyropoulos becomes the first pilot victim of the Hellenic Air Force when his plane crashes
  • 1915 Germany protests vigorously to the US, claiming it must insist that Britain lifts its blockade and assert American neutrality
  • 1917 US Senate agrees (82-6) to participate in WWI
  • 1918 Food riot in Amsterdam
  • 1920 Arabs attack Jews in Jerusalem
  • 1922 WAAB (Baton Rouge La) becomes 1st US radio station with "W" calls
  • 1926 Greek dictator Theodoros Pangalos elected president
  • 1929 1st AAU Greco-Roman wrestling championships held
  • 1930 The Communist Party of Panama is founded

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1932 George Bernard Shaw's "Too True to be Good" premieres in NYC

  • 1932 Vitamin C 1st isolated, CC King, Univ of Pittsburgh
  • 1933 US Dirigible Akron crashes off coast of NJ, 73 die
  • 1939 Faisal II ascends to throne of Iraq
  • 1940 R Rodgers/Lorenz Hart's "Higher & Higher" premieres in NYC
  • 1941 German troops conquer Benghazi, Libya
  • 1944 British troops capture Addis Ababa Ethiopia
  • 1944 De Gaulle forms new regime in exile, with communists
  • 1944 Allied Bucharest bombings targeting railroads kills 5,000
  • 1945 World War II: Soviet forces liberate Hungary from German occupation, establishing their own communist satellite state. This was celebrated as Liberation Day until 1989.
  • 1945 The Holocaust: US forces liberate the Ohrdruf concentration camp in Germany, the first such camp to be liberated by the US Army
  • 1945 World War II: US Army occupies Bielefeld in north-eastern Germany
  • 1947 Convention on International Civil Aviation goes into effect
  • 1947 Largest group of sunspots on record
  • 1947 UN's International Civil Aviation Organization forms
  • 1949 Israel & Jordan sign armistice agreement
  • 1949 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty signed in Washington, D.C.
  • 1950 Dirk Stikker becomes chairman of OES

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1951 Dutch Prince Bernhard visits Argentine President Juan & Eva Perón in Buenos Aires

First Lady of Argentina Eva Perón
First Lady of Argentina
Eva Perón
  • 1955 British government signs military treaty with Iraq
  • 1956 Enid Bagnold's "Chalk Garden" premieres in London
  • 1958 1st march against nuclear weapons (Aldermaston, England)
  • 1958 Eugene Ionesco's "Tueur sans Gages" premieres in Darmstadt
  • 1958 The CND Peace Symbol displayed in public for the first time in London
  • 1959 Mali Federation founded, consisting of Senegal & French Sudan (dissolved 1960)
  • 1960 Oscar awarded to Netherlands director Bert Haanstra
  • 1960 Project Ozma begins at Green Bank radio astronomy center
  • 1960 Senegal declares independence from France
  • 1965 The first model of the new Saab Viggen fighter aircraft plane is unveiled.
  • 1966 Pirate Radio Scotland changes name to Radio Ireland
  • 1966 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1967 Amsterdam Marines chase "Nozems" or rebellious youth out of Central Station
  • 1967 Dutch De Young government forms
  • 1968 Apollo 6 launched atop Saturn V; unmanned

Martin Luther King Shot DeadMartin Luther King Shot Dead

1968 US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee
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Martin Luther King waves to supporters after delivering his 'I have a dream' speech
Martin Luther King waves to supporters after delivering his 'I have a dream' speech

USAMartin Luther King Assassination Riots

1968 Riots break out in over 100 cities in the United States following the assassination of African-American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr
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Front page of The Washington Post on April 7, 1968, three days after the assassination of Martin Luther King
Front page of The Washington Post on April 7, 1968, three days after the assassination of Martin Luther King
  • 1969 Haskell Karp receives the 1st temporary artificial heart, implanted by surgeon Denton Cooley at Texas Heart Institute in Houston
  • 1970 Firestone World Tournament of Champions won by Don Johnson
  • 1971 Marine clay under houses liquefies in St-Jean-Vianney, Quebec, 31 die
  • 1972 1st electric power plant fueled by garbage begins operating
  • 1973 World Trade Center, then the world's tallest building, opens in New York (110 stories). Later destroyed in 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • 1975 138 killed as a USAF plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crashes on approach during an emergency landing at Tân Sơn Nhứt Air Base in South Vietnam
  • 1975 Steve Miller is arrested for burning his girlfriend's clothes

Historic InventionFounding of Microsoft

1975 Microsoft is founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800
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Paul Allen and Bill Gates, the founders of Microsoft
Paul Allen and Bill Gates, the founders of Microsoft
  • 1976 Seni Pramoj's Democratic Party wins elections in Thailand
  • 1979 Ex-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan is executed.

  • 1980 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1981 Henry Cisneros becomes 1st Mexican-American mayor (San Antonio)
  • 1983 6th space shuttle mission, Challenger 1 launched
  • 1984 Michael Frayn's "Benefactors" premieres in London
  • 1984 Winston Smith in Orwell's "1984" begins his secret diary
  • 1987 Dow Jones up 69.89 points, ending at record 2,390.34 pts
  • 1988 Largest crowd (55,438) at a season game at Riverfront (Reds Vs Cards)
  • 1988 Last broadcast of "Crossroads" on British TV
  • 1988 Mets set Opening Day record with 6 HRs
  • 1990 "Marshall Chronicles" premieres on ABC-TV
  • 1990 Security law violator Ivan Boesky is released from federal custody
  • 1991 Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and six others are killed when a helicopter collides with their plane over an elementary school in Merion, Pennsylvania.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1992 Jury deliberations begin in Noriega case

Panamanian General and Dictator Manuel Noriega
Panamanian General and Dictator
Manuel Noriega
  • 1992 Sali Berisha becomes president and Alexander Meksi premier of Albania
  • 1994 1st game played at Jacobs Field, Indians beat Mariners 4-3 in 11 inn
  • 1994 KLM Saab 340B crashes at Schiphol, 3 killed
  • 1994 Netscape Communications founded as Mosaic Communications
  • 1994 Tony Curtis undergoes heart-bypass surgery
  • 1994 Day vs Mets starter Dwight Gooden
  • 1996 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Austin TX on KJFK 98.9 FM
  • 1997 DMSP Titan 2 launched
  • 1997 STS 83 (Columbia 22), launches

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1999 Jack Ma founds Chinese internet company Alibaba

Alibaba Entrepreneur Jack Ma
Alibaba Entrepreneur
Jack Ma
  • 2002 The Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign a peace treaty ending the Angolan Civil War
  • 2007 15 British Royal Navy personnel held in Iran are released by the Iranian President.
  • 2008 Raid on Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints owned YFZ Ranch in Texas; 401 children and 133 women taken into state custody
  • 2010 Africa's tallest monument, the African Renaissance Monument, dedicated outside Dakar, Senegal, designed by Pierre Goudiaby to commemorate Senegal's 50th anniversary of independence

Book releaseHistoric Publication

2012 German Nobel Laureate, Günter Grass, publishes controversial poem that claims Israel is plotting to wipe out Iran

Writer and playwright Günter Grass
Writer and playwright
Günter Grass
  • 2012 Somalia's National Theater is struck by a suicide bomber killing ten people including the presidents of the Somali Olympic Committee and Football Federation
  • 2012 Boris Tadić, President of Serbia, resigns
  • 2013 74 people are killed after an illegally constructed building collapses in Thane, India
  • 2013 9 people have been killed on an axe-murdering rampage in Chhattisgarh state, India
  • 2013 Poecilotheria rajaei, a giant tarantula with a 20cm leg span, is discovered in Sri Lanka
  • 2014 President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, claims that climate change will lead to battles over water and food within the next five to ten years
  • 2017 Chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun, Syria by Syrian government forces kills more than 80 civilians
  • 2017 Pink Star diamond sets world record price of $71 million for a gem at an action in Hong Kong
  • 2017 Alibaba becomes the world's largest retailer according to US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • 2018 21st Commonwealth Games open in the Gold Coast, Australia
  • 2019 Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel apologises for the kidnapping of thousands of mixed-race children during colonial period in Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda
  • 2019 US Mormon church pledges to roll back anti-LGBT policies, including not baptizing children of gay parents