On This Day … 04 January


  • 46 BC – Julius Caesar fights Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina.
  • 871: Battle of Reading: Æthelred of Wessex and his brother Alfred are defeated by a Danish invasion army.
  • 1649: English Civil War: The Rump Parliament votes to put Charles I on trial.
  • 1717: The Netherlands, Great Britain, and France sign the Triple Alliance in an attempt to maintain the Treaty of Utrecht; Britain having signed a preliminary alliance with France on 28 November (17 November 1716).
  • 1762: Great Britain declares war on Spain, thus entering the Seven Years’ War.
  • 1798: Constantine Hangerli arrives in Bucharest, Wallachia, as its new Prince, invested by the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1878: Russo-Turkish War (1877–78): Sofia is liberated from Ottoman rule and designated the capital of Liberated Bulgaria.
  • 1912: The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Empire by royal charter.
  • 1918: The Finnish Declaration of Independence is recognised by Russia, Sweden, Germany and France.
  • 1944: World War II: Operation Carpetbagger, involving the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters in Europe, begins.
  • 1948: Burma gains its independence from the United Kingdom becoming an independent republic, named the Union of Burma, with Sao Shwe Thaik as its first President and U Nu its first Prime Minister.
  • 1951: Korean War: Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul.
  • 1989: Second Gulf of Sidra incident: A pair of Libyan MiG-23 “Floggers” are shot down by a pair of US Navy F-14 Tomcats during an air-to-air confrontation.

People (Births)

  • 1832: George Tryon, British admiral (d. 1893).
  • 1848: Katsura Tarō, Japanese general and politician, 6th Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1913).
  • 1891: Edward Brooker, British-Australian sergeant and politician, 31st Premier of Tasmania (d. 1948).

People (Deaths)

  • 1695: François-Henri de Montmorency, duc de Luxembourg, French general (b. 1628).
  • 1863: Roger Hanson, American general (b. 1827).
  • 1883: Antoine Chanzy, French general (b. 1823).
  • 1912: Clarence Dutton, American geologist and soldier (b. 1841).
  • 1985: Brian Horrocks, British-Indian general (b. 1895).
  • 1990: Henry Bolte, Australian sergeant and politician, 38th Premier of Victoria (b. 1908).
  • 2013: Anwar Shamim, Pakistani general (b. 1931).

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