August 4th in History

This day in history

August 4 is the 216th day of the year (217th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 149 days remaining until the end of the year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday (58 in 400 years each) than on Sunday or Monday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Wednesday or Friday (56).



In 367,  Gratian, son of Roman Emperor Valentinian I, is named co-Augustus by his father and associated to the throne aged eight.

In 598,  Goguryeo-Sui War: Emperor Wéndi of Sui orders his youngest son, Yang Liang (assisted by the co-prime minister Gao Jiong), to conquer Goguryeo (Korea) during theManchurian rainy season, with a Chinese army and navy.

Henry1 head.jpgIn 1060, Death of Henry I, King of France, Philip I becomes King of France. He was King of the Franks from 1031 to 1060. The royal demesne of France reached its smallest size during his reign, and for this reason he is often seen as emblematic of the weakness of the early Capetians. This is not entirely agreed upon, however, as other historians regard him as a strong but realistic king, who was forced to conduct a policy mindful of the limitations of the French monarchy.

In 1265,  Second Barons’ War: Battle of Evesham: The army of Prince Edward (the future king Edward I of England) defeats the forces of rebellious barons led by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, killing de Montfort and many of his allies.

In 1327,  First War of Scottish Independence: James Douglas leads a raid into Weardale and almost kills Edward III of England.

In 1532,  The Duchy of Brittany is united to the Kingdom of France.

In 1578,  Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir: The Moroccans defeat the Portuguese. King Sebastian of Portugal is killed in the battle, leaving his elderly uncle, Cardinal Henry, as his heir. This initiates a succession crisis in Portugal.

In 1693,  Date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon‘s invention of champagne; it is not clear whether he actually invented champagne, however he has been credited as an innovator who developed the techniques used to perfect sparkling wine. What else would Lawrence Welk call his music?

In 1704,  War of the Spanish Succession: Gibraltar is captured by an English and Dutch fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir George Rooke and allied with Archduke Charles.

In 1735, a jury acquitted John Peter Zenger of the New York Weekly Journal of a charge of seditious libel brought by the royal governor of New York; the victory aided in the establishment of freedom of the press in the U.S.

In 1753, George Washington became a Master Mason.

In 1783,  Mount Asama erupts in Japan, killing about 1,400 people. The eruption causes a famine, which results in an additional 20,000 deaths.

In 1789,  In France members of the National Constituent Assembly take an oath to end feudalism and abandon their privileges.

In 1790,  A newly passed tariff act creates the Revenue Cutter Service (the forerunner of the United States Coast Guard).

In 1790, the first bonds of the U.S. government were authorized.

In 1791,  The Treaty of Sistova is signed, ending the Ottoman–Habsburg wars.

In 1796,  French Revolutionary Wars: Napoleon leads the French Army of Italy to victory in the Battle of Lonato.

In 1821,  The Saturday Evening Post is published for the first time as a weekly newspaper.

In 1824,  The Battle of Kos is fought between Turkish and Greek forces.

In 1830, The plans for the city of Chicago were laid out.

In 1854,  The Hinomaru is established as the official flag to be flown from Japanese ships.

In 1862, The first federal income tax was collected. It was an unconstitutional measure created to raise money for the Union Armies.

In 1863,  Matica slovenská, Slovakia‘s public-law cultural and scientific institution focusing on topics around the Slovak nation, is established in Martin.

In 1873,  American Indian Wars: While protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, the United States 7th Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer clashes for the first time with the Cheyenne and Lakota people near the Tongue River; only one man on each side is killed.

In 1889,  The Great Fire of Spokane, Washington destroys some 32 blocks of the city, prompting a mass rebuilding project.

In 1892,  The father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden are found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home.

In 1902,  The Greenwich foot tunnel under the River Thames opens.

In 1906,  Central railway station, Sydney opens.

In 1914,  In response to the German invasion of Belgium, Belgium and the United Kingdom declare war on Germany. The United States declares its neutrality.

In 1915,  World War I: The German 12th Army occupies Warsaw during the Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive and the Great Retreat of 1915.

In 1916, Denmark cedes Danish West Indies, including the Virgin Islands, to the United States for $25 million.

In 1922, Every telephone in the U.S. and Canada went dead as AT and T and the Bell System shut down all its switchboards and switching stations for one minute in memory of Alexander Graham Bell, who had died two days earlier. During this time, none of the 13 million telephones in operation could be used.

In 1924,  Diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Soviet Union are established.

In 1936,  Prime Minister of Greece Ioannis Metaxas suspends parliament and the Constitution and establishes the 4th of August Regime.

In 1944,  The Holocaust: A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and four others.

In 1946,  An earthquake of magnitude 8.0 hits northern Dominican Republic. One hundred are killed and 20,000 are left homeless.

In 1947,  The Supreme Court of Japan is established.

In 1956, Wilhelm Herz was clocked at 210 miles per hour this day at Wendover, UT. He became the first person to race a motorcycle over 200 mph.

In 1958,  The Billboard Hot 100 is published for the first time.

In 1958, The first potato-flake plant is established in the U.S. at Grand Fork, North Dakota. Some flake must have thought of this.

In 1962, Nelson Mandela was captured by police. Mandela established the first black law partnership in 1952 in South Africa. Having been in conflict with the white government there much of his life, he was apprehended by security police and sentenced to five years in prison. In 1963, he faced a new trial of sabotage, high treason, and conspiracy to overthrow the government. The following June, he was sentenced to life in prison. He was freed in 1990.

In 1964,  American civil rights movement: Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found dead in Mississippi after disappearing on June 21.

In 1964, the bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were found buried inside an earthen dam in Mississippi. They had disappeared June 21st.

In 1964,  Gulf of Tonkin incident: U.S. destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy report coming under attack in the Gulf of Tonkin.

In 1965,  The Constitution of the Cook Islands comes into force, giving the Cook Islands self-governing status within New Zealand.

In 1969,  Vietnam War: At the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, American representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuân Thuỷ begin secret peace negotiations. The negotiations will eventually fail.

In 1972, President Idi Amin declared that Uganda would expel 50,000 Asians with British passports to Britain within three months.

In 1974,  A bomb explodes in the Italicus Express train at San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Italy, killing 12 people and wounding 22.

In 1975,  The Japanese Red Army takes more than 50 hostages at the AIA Building housing several embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The hostages include the U.S. consul and the Swedish Chargé d’affaires. The gunmen win the release of five imprisoned comrades and fly with them to Libya.

In 1977,  U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.

In 1984,  The Republic of Upper Volta changes its name to Burkina Faso.

In 1987, A new 22-cent stamp honoring noted author, William Faulkner, went on sale in Oxford, MS, this day. Faulkner had been fired as postmaster of that same post office in 1924.

In 1987,  The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and television stations to present controversial issues “fairly”.

In 1991,  The Greek cruise ship MTS Oceanos sinks off the Wild Coast of South Africa.

In 1992, Indictments were handed down charging officers Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, and Theodore Briseno with aiding and abetting the videotaped kicking and baton beating of Rodney King, a black motorist.

In 1993,  A federal judge sentences Los Angeles Police Department officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 30 months in prison for violating motorist Rodney King‘s civil rights.

In 1995,  Operation Storm begins in Croatia.

In 1997, Jeanne Calment, at age 122 the world’s oldest person, died at a retirement home in Arles, France.

In 1998, Turning aside an urgent White House appeal, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist cleared the way for prosecutors to question White House lawyers about their advice to President Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky case.

Victor Mature - publicity.JPGIn 1999,  Victor Mature, American actor (b. 1913) dies at the age of 86 of leukemia. He was an American stage, film, and television actor who starred most notably in several movies during the 1950s, and was known for his dark hair and smile. His best known film roles include One Million B.C. (1940), My Darling Clementine (1946), Kiss of Death (1947), Samson and Delilah (1949), and The Robe (1953). He also appeared in a large number of musicals opposite such stars as Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable.

In 2002,  Soham murders: Ten-year-old school girls Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells go missing from the town of Soham, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.

In 2006,  A massacre is carried out by Sri Lankan government forces, killing 17 employees of the French INGO Action Against Hunger (known internationally as Action Contre la Faim, or ACF).

In 2007,  NASA‘s Phoenix spacecraft is launched.

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