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This Day in History - August 4

August 4

1265 – King Henry III puts down a revolt of English barons led by Simon de Montfort

1578 – A crusade against the Moors of Morocco is routed at the Battle of Alcazar-el-Kebir.  King Sebastian of Portugal and 8,000 of his soldiers are killed

1598 – English statesman, William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, dies

1717 – A friendship treaty is signed between France and Russia

1753 – George Washington becomes a Master Mason, the highest basic rank in the secret fraternity of Freemasonry

1789 – The Constituent Assembly in France abolishes the privileges of nobility

1790 – The Revenue Cutter Service, the parent service of the US Navy and Coast Guard, is organized

1792 – British General, John Burgoyne, dies

1792 – English poet and author, Percy Bysshe Shelley, is born

1805 – Irish scientist, William Rowan Hamilton, is born

1864 – Federal troops fail to capture Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island, one of the Confederate forts defending Mobile Bay

1873 – Lieutenant Colonel George Custer and his 7th Cavalry clash with Sioux Indians while protecting a railroad survey party in Montana

1875 – The first Convention of Colored Newspapermen is held in Ohio

1875 – Poet and Danish author, Hans Christian Anderson, dies

1879 – A law is passed in Germany making Alsace Lorraine a territory of the empire

1892 – Andrew and Abby Borden are found bludgeoned to death in their Massachusetts home.  Their daughter, Lizzie, was charged in their deaths.  The jury acquitted Lizzie, despite some damning evidence

1900 – Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, is born

1901 – Jazz trumpeter, Louis Armstrong, is born

1912 – Swedish diplomat credited with saving nearly 100,000 Budapest Jews during WWII, Raoul Wallenberg is born

1912 – American trumpeter and singer, Louis Armstrong, is born

1914 – Germany invades Belgium causing Great Britain to declare war on Germany

1914 – President Woodrow Wilson formally proclaims the neutrality of the US in WWI

1922 – Ottoman military officer Enver Pasha dies

1936 – American Jesse Owens wins gold in the long jump at the Summer Olympics in Berlin

1942 – The British government charges that Mohandas Gandhi and his All-Indian Congress Party favor “appeasement” with Japan

1944 – RAF pilot TD Dean becomes the first pilot to destroy a V-1 buzz bomb when he tips the pilotless craft’s wing, sending it off course

1944 – The Nazi Gestapo captures 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in an Amsterdam warehouse

1952 – Helicopters from the US Air Force Air Rescue Service land in Germany, completing the first transatlantic flight by helicopter in 51 hours and 55 minutes of flight time

1955 – 80th US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, is born

1958 – American athlete, Mary Decker Slaney, is born

1961 – 44th President of the US, Barack Obama, is born

1964 – The bodies of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are discovered in an earthen Mississippi dam

1964 – The USS Maddox and Turner Joy exchange fire with North Vietnamese patrol boats

1967 – The US Court of Military Appeals in Washington upholds the court-martial of Second Lieutenant Henry Howe, who had been sentenced to dismissal from the service and a year of hard labor for participating in an antiwar demonstration

1969 – The first secret negotiating session takes place between Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuan Thuy at the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris

1971 – The US launches the first satellite into lunar orbit from a manned spacecraft

1972 – Arthur Bremer is sentenced to 63 years for shooting Alabama governor George Wallace, but the sentencing is later reduced to 53 years

1972 – Floodwaters recede in Luzon, Philippines, revealing devastation and hundreds dead

1979 – President Jimmy Carter establishes the Department of Energy

1988 – The US Senate votes to give each Japanese-American who was interned during WWII $20,000 compensation and an apology

2007 – NASA launches the Phoenix spacecraft on a mission to Mars

2007 – Austrian-American political scientist and historian Raul Hilberg dies

2012 – Oscar Pistorius of South Africa becomes the first amputee to compete in the Olympics by running in an opening heat of the men’s 400-meter where he finished second out of five and advanced to the semifinals where he will finish last


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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