Today in History: Feb. 4
by Robert Joseph Baker | February 4, 2019 12:06 am
Last Updated: February 1, 2018 at 12:08 am
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.
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.
1555 – John Rogers is burned at the stake, becoming the first English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.
1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 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.
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 Apollo spacecraft.
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.
1996 – Major snowstorm paralyzes Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and ties all-time record low temperature at −26 °F (−32.2 °C)
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 is officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro and adopts a new constitution.
2004 – Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, is founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
2015 – A TransAsia Airways aircraft with 58 people on board, en route from the Taiwanese capital Taipei to Kinmen, crashes into the Keelung River just after take-off, killing at least 31 people.