What happened on August 4 ?

Choose another date »




1265 - The Battle of Evesham of the Second Barons' War is fought in Worcestershire, with the army of future King Edward I of England defeating the forces of rebellious barons led by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester and killing de Montfort and many of his allies. This is sometimes considered the death of chivalry in England.

1578 - Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir - Moroccans defeat Portuguese. King Sebastian of Portugal is defeated and killed in North Africa, leaving his elderly uncle, Cardinal Henry, as his heir. This initiates a succession crisis in Portugal.

1693 - Date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon's invention of Champagne.

1704 - During the War of the Spanish Succession an Anglo-Dutch force seizes the rock of Gibraltar.

1735 - Freedom of the press: New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger is acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he published was true.

1753 - George Washington, then a young Virginia planter, becomes a Master Mason, the highest basic rank in the secret fraternity of Freemasonry.

1782 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is married to Constanze Weber.

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

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

1821 - Atkinson & Alexander publish the Saturday Evening Post for the first time as a weekly newspaper.

1824 - Battle of Cos fought between Turks and Greeks.

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

1873 - Indian Wars: While protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, the United States 7th Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, clash for the first time with the Sioux (near the Tongue River; only one man on each side is killed).


1892 - The family of Lizzie Borden is found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home.

1902 - Greenwich foot tunnel under the River Thames opens.

1914 - World War I: Germany invaded Belgium; in response, the United Kingdom declares war on Germany. The United States proclaims neutrality.

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

1947 - The Supreme Court of Japan is established.

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.

1964 - Vietnam War: United States destroyers USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy are allegedly attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. Air support from the carrier USS Ticonderoga sinks two, possibly three North Vietnamese gunboats. Years later, the claim of NVA attack was revealed to be false.

1969 - Vietnam War: At the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, US representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuan Thuy begin secret peace negotiations. The negotiations will eventually fail.

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

1977 - US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.

1983 - Thomas Sankara becomes president of Upper Volta.

1983 - New York Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield accidentally kills a seagull during warmups in the outfield prior to a baseball game in Toronto at Exhibition Stadium and is charged by local police for his "act of cruelty to animals". His manager Billy Martin quipped, "It's the first time he's hit the cutoff man."

1984 - The African republic Upper Volta changes its name to Burkina Faso.


1985 - In a day of milestones, Tom Seaver of the Chicago White Sox becomes the 17th pitcher to win 300th career games and Rod Carew of the California Angels becomes the 16th player ever to collect 3000 career hits. Seaver pitches the White Sox to a 4?1 six-hit victory on Phil Rizzuto Day at Yankee Stadium as 54,032 New Yorkers cheer him on, while Carew bloops a single to left off Frank Viola in the 3rd inning of the Angels 6?5 win over the Twins. It marks the only day in which two men reach these two milestones on the same day.

1987 - The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and television stations to "fairly" present controversial issues.

1991 - The Greek cruise ship Oceanos sinks off the coast of South Africa.

1993 - A federal judge sentences LAPD officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 30 months in prison for violating motorist Rodney King's civil rights.

1995 - Operation Storm begins in Croatia.

1997 - 185,000 Teamsters union United Parcel Service drivers walk off the job.

2005 - Prime Minister Paul Martin announces that Michaëlle Jean will be Canada's 27th ? and first black ? Governor General.


Events Births Deaths Holidays