On This Day … 04 April


  • 503 BC – Roman consul Agrippa Menenius Lanatus celebrates a triumph for a military victory over the Sabines.
  • 1147 – Moscow is mentioned for the first time in the historical record, when it is named as a meeting place for two princes.
  • 1268 – A five-year Byzantine–Venetian peace treaty is concluded between Venetian envoys and Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos.
  • 1660 – Declaration of Breda by King Charles II of Great Britain promises, among other things, a general pardon to all royalists for crimes committed during the English Civil War and the Interregnum.
  • 1814 – Napoleon abdicates for the first time and names his son Napoleon II as Emperor of the French.
  • 1818 – The United States Congress, affirming the Second Continental Congress, adopts the flag of the United States with 13 red and white stripes and one star for each state (20 at that time).
  • 1865 – American Civil War: A day after Union forces capture Richmond, Virginia, US President Abraham Lincoln visits the Confederate capital.
  • 1913 – First Balkan War: Greek aviator Emmanouil Argyropoulos becomes the first pilot to die in the Hellenic Air Force when his plane crashes.
  • 1925 – The Schutzstaffel (SS) is founded under Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party in Germany.
  • 1933 – US Navy airship USS Akron is wrecked off the New Jersey coast due to severe weather.
  • 1939 – Faisal II becomes King of Iraq.
  • 1944 – World War II: First bombardment of oil refineries in Bucharest by Anglo-American forces kills 3000 civilians.
  • 1945 – World War II: American troops liberate Ohrdruf forced labor camp in Germany.
  • 1945 – World War II: American troops capture Kassel.
  • 1945 – World War II: Soviet troops liberate Hungary from German occupation and occupy the country itself.
  • 1949 – Cold War: Twelve nations sign the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
  • 1958 – The CND peace symbol is displayed in public for the first time in London.
  • 1960 – France agrees to grant independence to the Mali Federation, a union of Senegal and French Sudan.
  • 1965 – The first model of the new Saab Viggen fighter aircraft is unveiled.
  • 1967 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech in New York City’s Riverside Church.
  • 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 1973 – The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City are officially dedicated.
  • 1973 – A Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, dubbed the Hanoi Taxi, makes the last flight of Operation Homecoming.
  • 1975 – Microsoft is founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • 1975 – Vietnam War: A United States Air Force Lockheed C-5A Galaxy transporting orphans, crashes near Saigon, South Vietnam shortly after takeoff, killing 172 people.
  • 1981 – Iran–Iraq War: The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force mounts an attack on H-3 Airbase and destroys about 50 Iraqi aircraft.
  • 1984 – President Ronald Reagan calls for an international ban on chemical weapons.
  • 1991 – The current flag of Hong Kong is adopted for post-colonial Hong Kong during the Third Session of the Seventh National People’s Congress.
  • 2002 – The Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign a peace treaty ending the Angolan Civil War.
  • 2009 – France announces its return to full participation of its military forces within NATO.

People (Births)

  • 1593 – Edward Nicholas, English soldier and politician, Secretary of State for the Southern Department (d. 1669).
  • 1878 – Stylianos Lykoudis, Greek admiral and historian (d. 1958).
  • 1884 – Isoroku Yamamoto, Japanese admiral (d. 1943).
  • 1907 – Robert Askin, Australian sergeant and politician, 32nd Premier of New South Wales (d. 1981).
  • 1916 – Nikola Ljubičić, Serbian general and politician, 10th President of Serbia (d. 2005).
  • 1918 – George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe, English soldier and politician, Leader of the House of Lords (d. 2007).
  • 1931 – Bobby Ray Inman, American admiral and intelligence officer.
  • 1932 – Richard Lugar, American lieutenant and politician, 44th Mayor of Indianapolis (d. 2019).
  • 1935 – Geoff Braybrooke, English-New Zealand soldier and politician (d. 2013).

People (Deaths)

  • 1661 – Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven, Scottish field marshal (b. 1580).
  • 1817 – André Masséna, French general (b. 1758).
  • 1841 – William Henry Harrison, American general and politician, 9th President of the United States (b. 1773).
  • 1864 – Joseph Pitty Couthouy, American commander and palaeontologist (b. 1808).
  • 1958 – Johnny Stompanato, American soldier and bodyguard (b. 1925).
  • 1961 – Harald Riipalu, Estonian military commander (b. 1912).
  • 1991 – H. John Heinz III, American soldier and politician (b. 1938).
  • 1996 – Boone Guyton, American lieutenant and pilot (b. 1913).
  • 1997 – Alparslan Türkeş, Turkish colonel and politician, 39th Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey (b. 1917).
  • 2014 – Kumba Ialá, Bissau-Guinean soldier and politician, President of Guinea-Bissau (b. 1953).

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