This Day in History - October 4

October 4

1669 – Dutch painter, Rembrandt, dies

1777 – British General Sir William Howe defeats George Washington’s last attempt to retake Philadelphia at the Battle of Germantown, compelling Washington to spend the winter at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War

1795 – General Napoleon Bonaparte leads the counterrevolutionaries in the streets of Paris, beginning his rise to power

1822 – Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th US president, is born

1861 – Western painter and sculptor, Frederic Remington, is born

1861 – The Union ship USS South Carolina captures two Confederate blockade runners outside of New Orleans during the Civil War

1862 – Author and creator of the Hardy Boys, Rover Boys, Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins, Edward Stratemeyer, is born

1874 – Kiowa leader Satanta, known as “the Orator of the Plains,” surrenders in Darlington, Texas. He will later be sent to prison where he commits suicide

1879 – Botanist whose research led to the development of hybrid corn, Edward Murray East, is born

1884 – Journalist and writer, Damon Runyon, is born

1887 – The International Herald Tribune is published for the first time

1895 – Silent film comedian, Buster (Joseph F.) Keaton, is born

1895 – The first US Open Golf tournament is held in Newport, Rhode Island

1905 – Orville Wright pilots the first flight longer than 30 minutes

1914 – The first German Zeppelin raids London during World War I

1917 – The Battle of Broodseinde near Ypres, Flanders, takes place. It was part of a larger Battle of Passchendaele, between British and German armies and was the most successful Allied attack of the Passchendaele offensive during World War I

1918 – German Chancellor Max von Baden, appointed by Kaiser Wilhelm II just three days earlier, sends a telegraph to President Woodrow Wilson, requesting an armistice between Germany and the Allied powers during World War I. Wilson will make it clear that the US will only deal with a democratic Germany, and thus the war will continue for another month, until German forces could no longer sustain

1919 – Puerto Rican playwright, Rene Marques, is born

1923 – American actor, Charlton Heston, is born

1927 – Gutzon Borglum begins sculpting the heads of 4 US presidents on Mount Rushmore

1928 – Writer and futurist, Alvin Toffler, is born

1934 – Pro football player and star of the CBS TV special The Violent World of Sam Huff, which was narrated by Walter Cronkite and is frequently credited with the surge of pro football’s popularity in the US, Sam Huff is born

1937 – Novelist, Jackie Collins, is born

1940 – Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass

1941 – Willie Gillis Jr., a fictional everyman created by illustrator Norman Rockwell, makes his first appearance on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, and he would grace the covers of several magazines throughout World War II

1941 – Author, Anne Rice, is born

1943 – The US captures the Solomon Islands in the Pacific during World War II

1943 – the Reichsfuhrer-SS, Heinrich Himmler, addresses the squad leaders of the Nazi secret police, congratulating them on the murder of more than 1 million Jews in German-occupied Russia during World War II. It was Himmler who oversaw the establishment of the Auschwitz concentration camp cluster, the Warsaw ghetto massacre, much of the slave labor and gruesome medical experimentation. He is also attributed with saying, “Whether or not 10,000 Russian women collapse from exhaustion while digging a tank ditch interests me only in so far as the tank ditch is completed for Germany”

1944 – General Dwight D. Eisenhower distributes a report by the US Surgeon General that addresses the hazards of prolonged exposure to combat, to his combat units during World War II. The report will be used to judge that the average soldier can last about 200 days in combat before suffering serious psychiatric damage

1946 – Academy Award-winning actress, Susan Sarandon, is born

1946 – US Secretary of Defense since 2013, Chuck Hagel, is born

1947 – Bassist with band Blood, Sweat & Tears, Jim Fielder, is born

1955 – The Brooklyn Dodgers win the World Series beating the New York Yankees 2-0

1957 – Businessman who founded Def Jam Hip-hop label and Phat Farm clothing line, Russell Simmons is born

1957 – The first man-made satellite, the Soviet Sputnik 1, is launched thus officially beginning the “space race”

1963 – Hurricane Flora decimates Haiti and Cuba, killing 6,000

1964 – President Johnson issues the order to reactivate the North Vietnamese coastal raids by South Vietnamese boats in part of Oplan 34A during the Vietnam War

1965 – Pope Paul VI arrives in New York, the first Pope ever to visit the US and the Western hemisphere

1966 – Pope Paul VI addresses 150,000 in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, calling for the end of the Vietnam War

1968 – Cambodia admits that the Viet Cong use their country for sanctuary during the Vietnam War

1970 – Singer, Janis Joplin, dies of a heroin overdose in a Los Angeles hotel room at age 27

1972 – Judge John Sirca imposes a gag order on the Watergate scandal

1973 – American wrestler, Abyss, is born

1974 – American poet, Anne Sexton, dies

1976 – In Gregg v. Georgia, the US Supreme Court lifts the ban on the death sentence in murder cases, restoring the legality of capital punishment

1982 – Canadian composer and pianist, Glenn Gould, dies

1985 – Free Software Foundation founded to promote universal freedom to create, distribute and modify computer software

1988 – Televangelist Jim Bakker is indicted on federal charges of mail and wire fraud and of conspiring to defraud the public after it was learned that he had a sexual encounter with Jessica Hahn, who was his church secretary and paid her $350,000 to keep quiet about it. Bakker’s Praise The Lord ministries, an enormous empire made profitable by Jim and his wife Tammy Faye’s soliciting of funds from the public, paid for a 2,200 acre resort where the Bakker’s resided. Hahn went on to enjoy fame, writing a book about her affair, posing in Playboy and becoming a regular guest on the Howard Stern radio show, while Jim was sentenced to 45 years in prison, which was later reduced to eight. Tammy, although she tried to excuse her and her husband’s fraud, divorced Jim when he was locked up, and passed away in 2007

1988 – American basketball player, Derrick Rose, is born

1990 – Beverly Hills, 90210 debuts on Fox

1990 – The German parliament met for the first time since the reunification of Germany

1992 – Mozambique’s 16-year civil war ends with the Rome General Peace Accords

1992 – An El-Al Boeing 747 cargo jet crashes into an apartment building in Amsterdam, Holland, killing 4 aboard the plane and another 100 in the apartment

1993 – During Russia’s constitutional crisis over President Boris Yeltsin’s attempts to dissolve the legislature the army violently arresting civilian protesters occupying government buildings

2001 – Authorities confirm that a tabloid editor in Florida, Robert Stevens, had contracted anthrax during one of two waves of mysterious anthrax attacks, whereas anthrax was mailed in letters to newspapers and Democratic Senators. Stevens became the first victim of the attacks, out of 5 deaths and 17 other infections. The FBI would later call the case “one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement,” and would eventually conclude a government worker at biodefense labs at Fort Detrick, Maryland, Bruce Edwards Ivins, was responsible. Ivans killed himself with an overdose of acetaminophen in 2008 while under surveillance by the FBI. While they admitted no wrongdoing, the government settled with Stevens’ family for $2.5 million

2002 – John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban” an Islam convert who was captured as an enemy combatant during the US 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, but who is a US citizen who received training by al-Qaeda, receives a 20-year sentence

2004 – SpaceShipOne, which had achieved the first privately funded human spaceflight in June, wins the Ansari X Prize for the first non-government organization to successfully launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space

2011 – Michael Morton, who spent 25 years in prison for the beating murder of his wife Christine, is released after DNA evidence implicates another person, Mark Alan Norwood, for the crime


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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