Today in History

Today In History – February 4

Today In History – February 4

  • 211 – Roman Emperor Septimius Severus dies at Eboracum (modern York, England) while preparing to lead a campaign against the Caledonians. He leaves the empire in the control of his two quarrelling sons, Caracalla and Geta, instructing them to make peace.[1]
  • 634 – Battle of Dathin: Rashidun forces under Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan defeat an outnumbered Byzantine force near Gaza in Palestine.
  • 960 – The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries.
  • 1169 – A strong earthquake struck the Ionian coast of Sicily, causing tens of thousands of injuries and deaths, especially in Catania.
  • 1454 – In the Thirteen Years’ War, the Secret Council of the Prussian Confederation sends a formal act of disobedience to the Grand Master.
  • 1488 – Bartolomeu Dias commands the first European expedition to reach South Africa and the Indian Ocean.
  • 1555 – John Rogers is burned at the stake, becoming the first English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.
  • 1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), all but one of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
  • 1758 – Macapá, Brazil is founded.
  • 1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
  • 1794 – The French legislature abolishes slavery throughout all territories of the French First Republic. It will be reestablished in the French West Indies in 1802.
  • 1797 – The Riobamba earthquake strikes Ecuador, causing up to 40,000 casualties.
  • 1801 – John Marshall is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.
  • 1810 – The Royal Navy seizes Guadeloupe.
  • 1820 – The Chilean Navy under the command of Lord Cochrane completes the 2-day long Capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and 2 ships.
  • 1825 – The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.
  • 1846 – The first Mormon pioneers make their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, westward towards Salt Lake Valley.
  • 1859 – The Codex Sinaiticus is discovered in Egypt.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six break-away U.S. states meet and form the Confederate States of America.
  • 1899 – The Philippine–American War begins with the Battle of Manila.
  • 1932 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Harbin, Manchuria, falls to Japan.
  • 1938 – Adolf Hitler appoints himself as head of the Armed Forces High Command.
  • 1941 – The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
  • 1945 – World War II: Santo Tomas Internment Camp is liberated from Japanese authority.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Yalta Conference between the “Big Three” (Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin) opens at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea.
  • 1945 – World War II: The British Indian Army and Imperial Japanese Army begin a series of battles known as the Battle of Pokoku and Irrawaddy River operations.
  • 1948 – Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) becomes independent within the British Commonwealth.
  • 1961 – The Angolan War of Independence and the greater Portuguese Colonial War begin.
  • 1966 – All Nippon Airways Flight 60 plunges into Tokyo Bay, killing 133.
  • 1967 – Lunar Orbiter program: Lunar Orbiter 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollospacecraft.
  • 1969 – Yasser Arafat takes over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
  • 1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.
  • 1974 – M62 coach bombing: The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) explodes a bomb on a bus carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel in Yorkshire, England. Nine soldiers and three civilians are killed.
  • 1975 – Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurs in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.
  • 1976 – In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake kills more than 22,000.
  • 1977 – A Chicago Transit Authority elevated train rear-ends another and derails, killing 11 and injuring 180, the worst accident in the agency’s history.
  • 1992 – A coup d’état is led by Hugo Chávez against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
  • 1997 – En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.
  • 1998 – The 5.9 Mw  Afghanistan earthquake shakes the Takhar Province with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). With 2,323 killed, and 818 injured, damage is considered extreme.
  • 1999 – Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot 41 times by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race relations in the city.
  • 2003 – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adopts a new constitution, becoming a loose confederacy between Montenegro and Serbia.
  • 2004 – Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, is founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
  • 2015 – TransAsia Airways Flight 235 with 58 people on board, en route from the Taiwanese capital Taipei to Kinmen, crashes into the Keelung River just after take-off, killing 43 people.

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