Today in History

Today In History – March 4

Today In History – March 4

  • AD 51 – Nero, later to become Roman emperor, is given the title princeps iuventutis (head of the youth).
  • 306 – Martyrdom of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia.
  • 852 – Croatian Knez Trpimir I issues a statute, a document with the first known written mention of the Croats name in Croatian sources.
  • 932 – Translation of the relics of martyr Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, Prince of the Czechs.
  • 1152 – Frederick I Barbarossa is elected King of Germany.
  • 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’.
  • 1351 – Ramathibodi becomes King of Siam.
  • 1386 – Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) is crowned King of Poland.
  • 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.
  • 1493 – Explorer Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what are now The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.
  • 1519 – Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and its wealth.
  • 1628 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a Royal charter.
  • 1665 – English King Charles II declares war on the Netherlands marking the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
  • 1675 – John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.
  • 1681 – Charles II grants a land charter to William Penn for the area that will later become Pennsylvania.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: The Continental Army fortifies Dorchester Heights with cannon, leading the British troops to abandon the Siege of Boston.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 1791 – The Constitutional Act of 1791 is introduced by the British House of Commons in London which envisages the separation of Canada into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario).
  • 1791 – Vermont is admitted to the United States as the fourteenth state.
  • 1794 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed by the U.S. Congress.
  • 1797 – John Adams is inaugurated as the 2nd President of the United States of America, becoming the first President to begin his presidency on March 4.
  • 1804 – Castle Hill Rebellion: Irish convicts rebel against British colonial authority in the Colony of New South Wales.
  • 1813 – Cyril VI of Constantinople is elected Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
  • 1814 – Americans defeat British forces at the Battle of Longwoods between London, Ontario and Thamesville, near present-day Wardsville, Ontario.
  • 1837 – The city of Chicago is incorporated.
  • 1848 – Carlo Alberto di Savoia signs the Statuto Albertino that will later represent the first constitution of the Regno d’Italia.
  • 1861 – The first national flag of the Confederate States of America (the “Stars and Bars”) is adopted.
  • 1865 – The third and final national flag of the Confederate States of America is adopted by the Confederate Congress.
  • 1882 – Britain’s first electric trams run in east London.
  • 1890 – The longest bridge in Great Britain, the Forth Bridge in Scotland, measuring 1,710 feet (520 m) long, is opened by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.
  • 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.
  • 1908 – The Collinwood school fire, Collinwood near Cleveland, Ohio, kills 174 people.
  • 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.
  • 1913 – First Balkan War: The Greek army engages the Turks at Bizani, resulting in victory two days later.
  • 1913 – The United States Department of Labor is formed.
  • 1917 – Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first female member of the United States House of Representatives.
  • 1933 – Frances Perkins becomes United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet.
  • 1933 – The Parliament of Austria is suspended because of a quibble over procedure – Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss initiates an authoritarian rule by decree.
  • 1941 – World War II: The United Kingdom launches Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands; the first large scale British Commando raid.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Battle of the Bismarck Sea in the south-west Pacific comes to an end.
  • 1944 – World War II: After the success of Big Week, the USAAF begins a daylight bombing campaign of Berlin.
  • 1957 – The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90.
  • 1960 – The French freighter La Coubre explodes in Havana, Cuba, killing 100.
  • 1962 – A Caledonian Airways Douglas DC-7 crashes shortly after takeoff from Cameroon, killing 111 – the worst crash of a DC-7.
  • 1966 – A Canadian Pacific Air Lines DC-8-43 explodes on landing at Tokyo International Airport, killing 64 people.
  • 1966 – In an interview in the London Evening Standard, The Beatles’ John Lennon declares that the band is “more popular than Jesus now”.
  • 1970 – French submarine Eurydice explodes underwater, resulting in the loss of the entire 57-man crew.
  • 1974 – People magazine is published for the first time in the United States as People Weekly.
  • 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.
  • 1977 – The 1977 Vrancea earthquake in eastern and southern Europe kills more than 1,500, mostly in Bucharest, Romania.
  • 1980 – Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe’s first black prime minister.
  • 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.
  • 1986 – The Soviet Vega 1 begins returning images of Halley’s Comet and the first images of its nucleus.
  • 1996 – A derailed train in Weyauwega, Wisconsin (USA) causes the emergency evacuation of 2,300 people for 16 days.
  • 1998 – Gay rights: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc.: 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.
  • 2001 – BBC bombing: A massive car bomb explodes in front of the BBC Television Centre in London, seriously injuring one person; the attack was attributed to the Real IRA.
  • 2002 – Afghanistan: Seven American Special Operations Forces soldiers and 200 Al-Qaeda Fighters are killed as American forces attempt to infiltrate the Shah-i-Kot Valley on a low-flying helicopter reconnaissance mission.
  • 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.
  • 2012 – A series of explosions is reported at a munitions dump in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, killing at least 250 people.
  • 2015 – At least 34 miners die in a suspected gas explosion at the Zasyadko coal mine in the rebel-held Donetsk region of Ukraine.
  • 2018 – Former MI6 spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, England, causing a diplomatic uproar that results in mass-expulsions of diplomats from all countries involved.

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