March 4th in History

This day in historyMarch 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 302 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 51 AD,  Nero, later to become Roman Emperor, is given the title princeps iuventutis (head of the youth).

In 306,  Martyrdom of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia.

In 852,  Croatian Knyaz Trpimir I issues a statute, a document with the first known written mention of the Croats name in Croatian sources.

In 932,  Translation of the relics of martyr Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, Prince of the Czechs.

In 1152,  Frederick I Barbarossa is elected King of the Germans.

In 1238,  The Battle of the Sit River is fought in the northern part of the present-day Yaroslavl Oblast of Russia between the Mongol hordes of Batu Khan and the Russians under Yuri II of Vladimir-Suzdal during the Mongol invasion of Rus’.

In 1351,  Ramathibodi becomes King of Siam.

In 1386,  Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) is crowned King of Poland.

In 1461,  Wars of the Roses in England: Lancastrian King Henry VI is deposed by his House of York cousin, who then becomes King Edward IV.

In 1493,  Explorer Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what is now The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.

In 1519,  Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.

In 1628,  The Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a Royal charter.

In 1634, Samuel Cole opened the first tavern in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1665,  English King Charles II declares war on the Netherlands marking the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

In 1675,  John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.

In 1681,  Charles II grants a land charter to William Penn for the area that will later become Pennsylvania. King Charles II did this in order to repaid a debt he owed the family of William Penn. The debt was satisfied with a charter granting him what is today known as the state of Pennsylvania – a name that means “Penn’s Woods.”

In 1774, the first recorded observation of the Orion Nebula was made by William Herschel.

In 1776,  American Revolutionary War: The Continental Army fortifies Dorchester Heights with cannon, leading the British troops to abandon the Siege of Boston.

In 1789,  In New York City, the first Congress of the United States meets, putting the United States Constitution into effect. The United States Bill of Rights is written and proposed to Congress.

In 1790,  France is divided into 83 départements, cutting across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on ownership of land by the nobility.

In 1791,  A Constitutional Act is introduced by the British House of Commons in London which envisages the separation of Canada into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario).

In 1791, the first Jewish member of U.S. Congress, Israel Jacobs (PA), takes office.

In 1791,  Vermont is admitted to the United States as the fourteenth state.

In 1792, oranges are introduced to Hawaii.

In 1793, George Washington was sworn in for a second term as president of the United States. He gave an inauguration speech of only 133 words, the shortest.

In 1794,  The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed by the U.S. Congress.

In 1795,  John Collins, British-American politician, 3rd Governor of Rhode Island (b. 1717) dies. He stood forth as a staunch advocate of the independence of the Thirteen Colonies. An admirer of George Washington, he was selected by the governor of Rhode Island in 1776 to carry a letter to Washington informing him of the condition of the colony and soliciting counsel upon the best method to adopt for its defense. Later (1782) he was made bearer to the President of Congress of a statement of Rhode Island’s reasons for rejecting the Impost Act. During the American Revolution, Rhode Island was for the most part an agricultural area and as such opposed the restrictions of a national government. In 1778, Collins represented Rhode Island in the Second Continental Congress, where he served until May 1781, when he was superseded by William Ellery. He was, however, re-elected in 1782 and held the position until 1783.

When George Washington was inaugurated as President on April 30, 1789 Rhode Island was one of only two of the thirteen original states (along with North Carolina) not to have ratified the United States Constitution and was, technically speaking, an independent nation with Collins as it chief of state.

Anti-Federalist elements in Rhode Island, up to 1790, vigorously fought against the calling of a convention to decide upon entering the Federal Union, but in that year (January 17) gave its sanction to such a call by a majority of one vote in the General Assembly. This vote was cast by Collins, who had come to realize the importance of a Federal connection. The vote cost him his popularity and the governorship. He left office on May 5, 1790. The Rhode Island General Assembly ratified the United States Constitution on May 29. Later in 1790 Collins was elected to the 1st Congress but did not take his seat.

In 1797, John Adams was inaugurated as the second president of the United States.

In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first President of the U.S. to be sworn in to office in Washington, D.C.

In 1804,  Castle Hill Rebellion: Irish convicts rebel against British colonial authority in the Colony of New South Wales.

Abraham Baldwin by Naegele.jpg

Abraham Baldwin by Naegele

In 1807,  Abraham Baldwin, American educator and politician (b. 1754) dies. He was an American politician, Patriot, and Founding Father from the U.S. state of Georgia. Baldwin was a Georgia representative in the Continental Congress and served in the United States House of Representatives and Senate after the adoption of the Constitution. Baldwin was the founding father of the University of Georgia, first state-charted public institution of higher education in the United States and served as its first president. Baldwin served as the first president of the University of Georgia during its initial planning phase, from 1785 to 1801. In 1801, Franklin College, UGA’s initial college, opened to students with Josiah Meigs succeeding Baldwin as president to oversee the inaugural class of students. The school was architecturally modeled on Baldwin’s alma mater, Yale. The University of Georgia’s mascot, the Georgia Bulldogs were a tribute to Baldwin. Yale University is represented by the Yale Bulldogs.

In 1809, James Madison became the first president inaugurated in American-made clothes.

In 1814,  Americans defeat British forces at the Battle of Longwoods between London, Ontario and Thamesville, near present-day Wardsville, Ontario.

In 1825, John Quincy Adams becomes the 6th U.S. President.

In 1826, the first chartered railroad in the U.S. was chartered as the Granite Railway in Quincy, Mass.

In 1829, an unruly crowd mobbed the White House during the inaugural reception for President Jackson as he was sworn in as the seventh U.S. President.

In 1833, the First Regiment of Dragoons is organized at Fort Jefferson, Mo. under the command of Col. Henry Dodge (authorized Mar. 2).

In 1837,  The city of Chicago is incorporated.

In 1837, Martin Van Buren becomes the 8th U.S. President.

In 1841, the longest inauguration speech (8,443 words) was given by William Henry Harrison as he was inaugurated as the ninth U.S. President. (He catches pneumonia and dies a month later.).

In 1845, James K. Polk becomes the 11th U.S. President.

In 1848, Carlo Alberto di Savoia signs the Statuto Albertino that will later represent the first constitution of the Regno d’Italia

In 1849, the U.S. had no president for a day as James Knox Polk’s term ended on a Sunday; Zachary Taylor couldn’t be sworn-in because he demamded it be holy, so Senator David Rice Atchison (pres pro tem) acted as the 11 1/2th U.S. President for one day.

In 1853, William Rufus de Vane King (D) was sworn in as 13th U.S. VP.

Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry.pngIn 1858,  Matthew C. Perry, American navy officer (b. 1794) dies. He was a Commodore of the U.S. Navy and commanded a number of ships. He served in several wars, most notably in the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854 and is often associated with the Open Door Policy. Perry was very concerned with the education of naval officers and helped develop an apprentice system that helped establish the curriculum at the United States Naval Academy. With the advent of the steam engine, he became a leading advocate of modernizing the U.S. Navy and came to be considered The Father of the Steam Navy in the US.

In 1861,  The first national flag of the Confederate States of America (the “Stars and Bars”) is adopted.

In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated the 16th president of the United States. It was the first time that the U.S. had five living former presidents. It would be 1993 when that would happen again when William Clinton would take office (see Jan 20)

In 1863, the territory of Idaho was established.

In 1865,  The third and final national flag of the Confederate States of America is adopted by the Confederate Congress.

In 1865, Inauguration ceremonies for President Lincoln’s second term in Washington. “With malice toward none; with charity for all…let us strive on to finish the work we are in…to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations,” Lincoln says.

In 1868,  Jesse Chisholm, American guide (b. 1805) died of food poisoning after eating rancid bear meat at Left Hand Spring, near the site of present Geary, Oklahoma. He was an Indian trader, guide, and interpreter, born in the Hiwassee region of Tennessee, probably in 1806. He is chiefly famous for being the namesake to the Chisholm Trail, which ranchers used to drive their cattle to eastern markets. Chisholm had built a number of trading posts in what is now western Oklahoma before the American Civil War. Ironically, he never drove cattle on the trail named for him. His father, Ignatius Chisholm, was of Scottish ancestry and had worked as a merchant and slave trader in the Knoxville area in the 1790s. Around 1800 he married a Cherokee woman in the Hiwassee area, with whom he had three sons; Jesse was the eldest. Sometime thereafter Ignatius Chisholm separated from Jesse’s mother and moved to Arkansas Territory. Jesse Chisholm was evidently taken to Arkansas by his mother with Tahlonteskee‘s group in 1810. During the late 1820s he moved to the Cherokee Nation and settled near Fort Gibson in what is now eastern Oklahoma. Chisholm became a trader and in 1836 married Eliza Edwards, daughter of James Edwards, who ran a trading post in what is now Hughes County, Oklahoma. Chisholm took trade goods west and south into Plains Indians country, was fluent in fourteen dialects, established small trading posts, and was soon in demand as a guide and interpreter. He was universally trusted for his fairness and neutrality, critical assets as diverse and often hostile cultures interacted for the first time. Eventually he interpreted at treaty councils in Texas, Indian Territory, and Kansas. Chisholm was active in Texas for nearly twenty years. While he was the president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, who probably met Chisholm at Fort Gibson between 1829 and 1833 (and married Chisholm’s aunt), called on him to contact the prairie Indian tribes of West Texas. Chisholm hence played a major role as guide and interpreter for several Indian groups at the Tehuacana Creek councils beginning in spring 1843, when he coaxed several tribes to the first council on Tehuacana Creek near the Torrey Brothers trading post eight miles south of the site of present-day Waco. Over the next year and a half he continued to offer his services to Houston, and on October 7, 1844, Chisholm got Comanches and others to attend a meeting at Tehuacana, where Houston spoke. In February 1846, while visiting the Torreys’ post from a trip south of San Antonio, Chisholm was hired to bring Comanches to a council at Comanche Peak (Glen Rose today). The meeting was held on May 12. Finally, on December 10, 1850, Chisholm assembled representatives from seven tribes at a council on the San Saba River. At some of these meetings and on trading trips he was able to rescue captives held by Indians.

In 1869, Ulysses S. Grant was inaugurated as 18th U.S. president.

In 1881, California becomes first state to pass plant quarantine legislation.

In 1881, James A. Garfield was inaugurated as the 20th U.S. president. He as also the first president to move his mother into the White House.

In 1882,  Britain’s first electric trams run in east London.

In 1883,  Alexander H. Stephens, American politician, Vice President of the Confederate States of America (b. 1812) dies. He was an American politician from Georgia and Vice President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. He also served as a U.S. Representative from Georgia (both before the Civil War and after Reconstruction) and as the 50th Governor of Georgia from 1882 until his death in 1883. He was an old Whig Party friend and ally of Abraham Lincoln. They met in the closing days of the Civil War but could not come to terms.

In 1861, Stephens was elected as a delegate to the Georgia Secession Convention to decide Georgia’s response to the election of Abraham Lincoln. During the convention, as well as during the 1860 presidential campaign, Stephens, who came to be known as the sage of Liberty Hall, called for the South to remain loyal to the Union, likening it to a leaking but fixable boat. During the convention he reminded his fellow delegates that Republicans were a minority in Congress (especially in the Senate) and, even with a Republican President, they would be forced to compromise just as the two sections had for decades. Because the Supreme Court had voted 7–2 in the Dred Scott case, it would take decades of Senate-approved appointments to reverse it. He voted against secession in the convention but asserted the right to secede if the federal government continued allowing northern states to nullify the Fugitive Slave Law with “personal liberty laws.” He was elected to the Confederate Congress and was chosen by the Congress as Vice President of the provisional government. He was then elected Vice President of the Confederacy in February 1861. He took the provisional oath of office on February 11, 1861, then the ‘full term’ oath of office on February 22, 1862 and served until his arrest on May 11, 1865. Stephens officially served in office eight days longer than President Jefferson Davis; he took his oath seven days before Davis’ inauguration and was captured the day after Davis.

In 1885, Grover Cleveland became the first Democratic president inaugurated since Civil War. He was the 22nd at this day of inauguration.

In 1889, Benjamin Harrison was inaugurated as the 23rd U.S. President for one term.

In 1890,  The longest bridge in Great Britain, the Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland, measuring 1,710 feet (520 m) long, is opened by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.

In 1891, the International Copyright Act is passed by Congress to halt the piracy of British, Belgium, French, and Swiss books by U.S. publishers.

In 1893, Grover Cleveland was reinaugurated for his second, non-consecutive term as the 24th U.S. president.

In 1894, Great fire in Shanghai; over 1,000 buildings destroyed.

In 1897, William McKinley was inaugurated as the 25th president of the U.S.

In 1899,  Cyclone Mahina sweeps in north of Cooktown, Queensland, with a 12 metres (39 ft) wave that reaches up to 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) inland, killing over 300.

In 1901, Term of George H White, last of post-Reconstruction congressmen, ends.

In 1901, U.S. president William McKinley was inaugurated for a second term of office.

In 1903,  Jackson Free Library  opened its doors. It was the town’s first library, financed by Jackson City Council funds and a matching $30,000 grant from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

In 1908,  The Collinwood school fire, Collinwood near Cleveland, Ohio, kills 174 people.

In 1909,  U.S. President William Taft used what became known as a Saxbe fix, a mechanism to avoid the restriction of the U.S. Constitution‘s Ineligibility Clause, to appoint Philander C. Knox as U.S. Secretary of State

In 1913,  First Balkan War: The Greek army engages the Turks at Bizani, resulting in victory two days later.

In 1913,  The United States Department of Labor is formed

In 1913, Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as the 28th U.S. President.

In 1917,  Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first female member of the United States House of Representatives.

In 1918,  The first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.

In 1918,  The USS Cyclops departs from Barbados and is never seen again, presumably lost with all hands in the Bermuda Triangle.

In 1921, Hot Springs National Park was created in Arkansas.

In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge’s inauguration was broadcast live on 21 radio stations as he became the 30th U.S. president.

In 1929, Charles Curtis (R-Kans) became the first native American V.P. as Herbert Hoover is inaugurated as the 31st U.S. President.

In 1930, Coolidge Dam in Arizona is dedicated.

In 1933,  Frances Perkins becomes United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet.

In 1933,  The Parliament of Austria is suspended because of a quibble over procedure – Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss initiates an authoritarian rule by decree.

In 1933, in his inaugural address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt becoming the 32nd U.S. president pledged effective leadership to pull the country out of the Great Depression, saying, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.

In 1941,  World War II: The United Kingdom launches Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands; the first large scale British Commando raid.

In 1943,  World War II: The Battle of the Bismarck Sea in the South West Pacific comes to an end as a major U.S. victory in the Pacific, sinking a convoy of 22 Japanese ships.

In 1944,  World War II: After the success of Big Week, the USAAF begins a daylight bombing campaign of Berlin.

In 1945,  Lapland War: Finland declares war on Nazi Germany.

In 1952, Actor Ronald Reagan and actress Nancy Davis were married in San Fernando Valley, California. It was Ronald’s second wedding.

In 1954, First Black U.S. sub-cabinet member appointed – J.E. Wilkins.

In 1957,  The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90.

In 1958, the U.S. atomic submarine Nautilus reached the North Pole by passing beneath the Arctic ice cap.

In 1959, Pioneer 4 made the first US fly-by of the moon. Just over a decade later, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human step out onto the lunar surface.

In 1960,  The French freighter La Coubre explodes in Havana, Cuba killing 100.

In 1962,  A Caledonian Airways Douglas DC-7 crashes shortly after takeoff from Cameroon, killing 111 – the worst crash of a DC-7.

In 1962, the Atomic Energy Commission announces that the first atomic power plant in Antarctica is in operations at McMurdo Sound.

In 1966,  A Canadian Pacific Air Lines DC-8-43 explodes on landing at Tokyo International Airport, killing 64 people.

In 1970,  French submarine Eurydice explodes underwater, resulting in the loss of the entire 57-man crew.

In 1974,  People magazine is published for the first time in the United States as People Weekly.

In 1976,  The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention is formally dissolved in Northern Ireland resulting in direct rule of Northern Ireland from London by the British parliament.

In 1977,  The 1977 Vrancea earthquake in eastern and southern Europe kills more than 1,500, mostly in the seriously damaged city of Bucharest, Romania.

In 1978, Chicago Daily News, founded in 1875, published its last issue.

In 1980,  Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe‘s first black prime minister.

In 1983,  Bertha Wilson is appointed the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada.

In 1985,  The Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for AIDS infection, used since then for screening all blood donations in the United States.

In 1985, “Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care” was published with Dr. Michael Rothenberg sharing authorship with Dr. Benjamin Spock,”The Baby Doc”. It was the fifth edition of the book to be published. Thirty-million copies had been printed — second only to the Bible in the best seller category.

In 1985, a virtual ban on leaded gasoline is ordered by the EPA, requiring the removal of 90% of the lead from gas by the end of the year.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan, in a speech to the National Association of Counties, pressed Congress to move ahead with the MX missile program, calling it vital to U.S. security.

In 1986,  The Soviet Vega 1 begins returning images of Halley’s Comet and the first images of its nucleus.

In 1989, Time Incorporated and Warner Communications Incorporated announced plans to merge into the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate.

In 1991,  Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, returns to his country for the first time since Iraq‘s invasion.

In 1991, Iraq released 10 allied prisoners of war (6 US, 3 British & 1 Italian POW) (a second group was freed the following day).

In 1992, Sonny Bono officially filed for the Republican primary for the U-S Senate seat being vacated by California Democrat Alan Cranston.

In 1993, America On-Line pulls its Disney GIFs after being contacted by a Disney representative.

In 1995, Blind teenage boy receives a ‘Bionic Eye’ at a Washington Hospital.

In 1996,  A derailed train in Weyauwega, Wisconsin, US, causes the emergency evacuation of 2,300 people for 16 days.

In 1996, Jury selection began in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the trial of President Clinton’s Whitewater partners, James and Susan McDougal, and the man who succeeded him as Arkansas governor, Jim Guy Tucker (James McDougal and Tucker were later convicted of fraud and conspiracy; Susan McDougal was convicted of fraud).

In 1997,  for the third time in as many years, the Senate rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to require the federal government to balance its budget.

In 1998,  Gay rights: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex. God, they can think of anything… can’t they.

In 1998, Microsoft repairs software that apparently allowed hackers to shut down computers in government and university offices nationwide.

In 1998, The House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation that would grant self-determination to Puerto Rico for the first time since the island was taken over by the U.S. a century ago. The bipartisan bill would allow Puerto Ricans to vote in a plebiscite by year-end on whether they want to become the 51st state, an independent nation or continue their present status as a U.S. commonwealth. It was passed by just 209-208 votes after 12 hours of heated debate.

In 1999, Retired Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, died in Arlington, Virginia, at age 90. Just think, because of him there was a chance that you might not be here.

In 1999, “Monica’s Story,” former White House intern Monica Lewinsky’s take on her affair with President Clinton, hit bookshelves nationwide.

In 2001,  4 March 2001 BBC bombing: a massive car bomb explodes in front of the BBC Television Centre in London, seriously injuring 1 person. The attack was attributed to the Real IRA.

In 2001,  Hintze Ribeiro disaster: A bridge collapses in northern Portugal, killing up to 70 people.

In 2002,  Afghanistan: Seven American Special Operations Forces soldiers and 200 Al-Qaeda Fighters are killed as American forces attempt to infiltrate the Shahi Kot Valley on a low-flying helicopter reconnaissance mission.

In 2007,  Estonian parliamentary election, 2007: Approximately 30,000 voters take advantage of electronic voting in Estonia, the world’s first nationwide voting where part of the votecasting is allowed in the form of remote electronic voting via the Internet.

In 2009,  The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.

In 2013,  A plane crash in Democratic Republic of the Congo kills 6 people.

In 2015,  At least 34 miners die in a suspected gas explosion at the Zasyadko coal mine in rebel-held Donetsk region of Ukraine.

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