This Day in History - November 4

November 4

644 – Umar of Arabia is assassinated at Medina and succeeded by Uthman as caliph

1493 – Christopher Columbus discovers Guadeloupe

1650 – William III, Prince of Orange and later King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, is born

1677 – William III and Mary of England wed on William’s birthday

1760 – Frederick II of Prussia defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Torgau

1791 – An Indian army near Fort Wayne defeats General Arthur St. Clair and his troops badly

1798 – Believing it to be the only way to protect US shipping, Congress agrees to pay a yearly tribute to Tripoli

1801 – Patriot William Shippen, of the powerful Shippen family of Philadelphia, dies at the age of 89 at his home in Germantown, Pennsylvania

1842 – Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd are married in Springfield, Illinois

1847 – German pianist, composer, and conductor, Felix Mendelssohn, dies

1854 – Florence Nightingale arrives in the Crimea

1863 – Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s troops are sent northeast to besiege Knoxville

1864 – At the Battle of Johnsonville, Tennessee, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest attacks a Union supply base, destroying millions of dollars in material

1879 – American actor and writer, Will Rogers, is born

1916 – News anchor and reporter, Walter Cronkite, is born

1916 – US Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Pacific Theater of World War II, John Basilone is born

1916 – Businesswoman and toy designer who co-founded Mattel and created the Barbie doll, Ruth Handler, is born

1918 – Academy Award-winning actor, Art Carney, is born

1918 – Austria signs an armistice with the Allies

1918 – One week before the armistice was declared that ended World War I, the British poet Wilfred Owen is killed in action during a British assault on the German-held Sambre Canal on the Western Front

1922 – The US Postmaster General orders all homes to get mailboxes or relinquish delivery of mail

1922 – The entrance to King Tut’s tomb is discovered

1923 – US Marine and author, Eugene Sledge, is born

1924 – Calvin Coolidge is elected as 30th president of the US

1924 – Nellie Tayloe Ross and Miriam Ferguson are elected the first and second women governors (Wyoming & Texas)

1924 – French pianist, composer and educator, Gabriel Faure, dies

1927 – 10 days of extremely heavy rain in New England lead to flooding; the floods went on to kill 200 people and cause millions of dollars in damages

1928 – Arnold Rothstein, New York’s most notorious gambler, is shot and killed during a poker game at the Park Central Hotel in Manhattan

1933 – Chinese-born physicist, Sir Charles Kuen Kao, is born

1944 – British Gen. John Dill dies in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Arlington Cemetery, the only foreigner to be so honored

1946 – The UNESCO is established (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)

1946 – First Lady from 2001 – 2009 and wife to US President George W. Bush, Laura Welch Bush, is born

1948 – T.S. Eliot wins the Nobel Prize in literature, for his profound effect on the direction of modern poetry

1951 – 4th President of Romania, Traian Basescu, is born

1952 – General Dwight Eisenhower is elected as 34th president of the US

1956 – Russian troops attack Budapest, Hungary brutally, putting an end to the Hungarian revolution

1957 – Australian politician, Tony Abbott, is born

1961 – Game show host and executive producer of Survivor, Jeff Probst, is born

1969 – In the largest battle in four months, South Vietnamese infantry, supported by U.S. air and artillery, clash with North Vietnamese troops for 10 hours near Duc Lop near the Cambodian border, killing eighty communist troops and 24 South Vietnamese losses with 38 injuries

1969 – Grammy-winning rapper, record producer, and actor, Sean Combs, is born

1970 – The United States hands over an air base in the Mekong Delta to the Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) as part of the Vietnamization program started by President Richard Nixon

1979 – At the American Embassy in Teheran, Iran, 90 people, including 63 Americans, are taken hostage by militant student followers of Ayatollah Khomeini. The students demand the return of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who is undergoing medical treatment in New York City

1980 – Ronald Reagan is elected as the 40th president of the US

1990 – Dances with Wolves, a film about an American Civil War-era soldier and a group of Sioux Indians that stars Kevin Costner in his directorial debut, premieres in Los Angeles

1992 – Carol Moseley Braun becomes the first black woman to be elected to the US Senate

1995 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv

2001 – Two outs away from their fourth championship in a row, the New York Yankees lose to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the seventh game of the World Series

2008 – Senator Barack Obama is elected as 44th president of the US and the first black president

2008 – American author, screenwriter, director, and producer, Michael Crichton dies

2015 – French historian, critic, and philosopher, Rene Girard, dies


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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