On This Day … 04 July

Events

  • 362 BC – Battle of Mantinea: The Thebans, led by Epaminondas, defeated the Spartans.
  • 414 – Emperor Theodosius II, age 13, yields power to his older sister Aelia Pulcheria, who reigned as regent and proclaimed herself empress (Augusta) of the Eastern Roman Empire.
  • 836 – Pactum Sicardi, a peace treaty between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples, is signed.
  • 1187 – The Crusades: Battle of Hattin: Saladin defeats Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.
  • 1253 – Battle of West-Capelle: John I of Avesnes defeats Guy of Dampierre.
  • 1359 – Francesco II Ordelaffi of Forlì surrenders to the Papal commander Gil de Albornoz.
  • 1456 – Ottoman–Hungarian wars: The Siege of Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade) begins.
  • 1534 – Christian III is elected King of Denmark and Norway in the town of Rye.
  • 1584 – Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe arrive at Roanoke Island
  • 1610 – The Battle of Klushino is fought between forces of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Russia during the Polish–Muscovite War.
  • 1634 – The city of Trois-Rivières is founded in New France (now Quebec, Canada).
  • 1744 – The Treaty of Lancaster, in which the Iroquois cede lands between the Allegheny Mountains and the Ohio River to the British colonies, was signed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • 1774 – Orangetown Resolutions are adopted in the Province of New York, one of many protests against the British Parliament’s Coercive Acts.
  • 1776 – American Revolution: The United States Declaration of Independence is adopted by the Second Continental Congress.
  • 1778 – American Revolutionary War: US forces under George Clark capture Kaskaskia during the Illinois campaign.
  • 1802 – At West Point, New York, the United States Military Academy opens.
  • 1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is announced to the US people.
  • 1826 – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, respectively the second and third presidents of the United States, die the same day, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence. Adams’ last words were, “Thomas Jefferson survives.”
  • 1837 – Grand Junction Railway, the world’s first long-distance railway, opens between Birmingham and Liverpool.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Siege of Vicksburg: Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to US forces under Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege. One hundred fifty miles up the Mississippi River, a Confederate army is repulsed at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Army of Northern Virginia withdraws from the battlefield after losing the Battle of Gettysburg, signalling an end to the Confederate invasion of US territory.
  • 1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: The Zululand capital of Ulundi is captured by British troops and burned to the ground, ending the war and forcing King Cetshwayo to flee.
  • 1892 – Western Samoa changes the International Date Line, causing Monday (July 4) to occur twice, resulting in a year with 367 days.
  • 1894 – The short-lived Republic of Hawaii is proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole.
  • 1903 – The Philippine–American War is officially concluded.
  • 1913 – President Woodrow Wilson addresses American Civil War veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913.
  • 1914 – The funeral of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie takes place in Vienna, six days after their assassinations in Sarajevo.
  • 1918 – Mehmed V died at the age of 73 and Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI ascends to the throne.
  • 1918 – World War I: The Battle of Hamel, a successful attack by the Australian Corps against German positions near the town of Le Hamel on the Western Front.
  • 1918 – Bolsheviks kill Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family (Julian calendar date).
  • 1934 – Leo Szilard patents the chain-reaction design that would later be used in the atomic bomb.
  • 1941 – Nazi crimes against the Polish nation: Nazi troops massacre Polish scientists and writers in the captured Ukrainian city of Lviv.
  • 1941 – World War II: The Burning of the Riga synagogues: The Great Choral Synagogue in German occupied Riga is burnt with 300 Jews locked in the basement.
  • 1942 – World War II: The 250-day Siege of Sevastopol in the Crimea ends when the city falls to Axis forces.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Battle of Kursk, the largest full-scale battle in history and the world’s largest tank battle, begins in the village of Prokhorovka.
  • 1943 – World War II: In Gibraltar, a Royal Air Force B-24 Liberator bomber crashes into the sea in an apparent accident moments after takeoff, killing sixteen passengers on board, including general Władysław Sikorski, the commander-in-chief of the Polish Army and the Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile; only the pilot survives.
  • 1946 – The Kielce pogrom against Jewish Holocaust survivors in Poland.
  • 1946 – After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule by various powers, the Philippines attains full independence from the United States.
  • 1947 – The “Indian Independence Bill” is presented before the British House of Commons, proposing the independence of the Provinces of British India into two sovereign countries: India and Pakistan.
  • 1950 – Cold War: Radio Free Europe first broadcasts.
  • 1951 – Cold War: A court in Czechoslovakia sentences American journalist William N. Oatis to ten years in prison on charges of espionage.
  • 1961 – On its maiden voyage, the Soviet nuclear-powered submarine K-19 suffers a complete loss of coolant to its reactor. The crew are able to effect repairs, but 22 of them die of radiation poisoning over the following two years.
  • 1976 – Israeli commandos raid Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but four of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.
  • 1987 – In France, former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (a.k.a. the “Butcher of Lyon”) is convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • 1994 – Rwandan genocide: Kigali, the Rwandan capital, is captured by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, ending the genocide in the city.
  • 2009 – The first of four days of bombings begins on the southern Philippine island group of Mindanao.
  • Independence Day, celebrates the Declaration of Independence of the United States from Great Britain in 1776 (United States and its dependencies).
  • Liberation Day (Northern Mariana Islands).
  • Liberation Day (Rwanda).
  • Republic Day (Philippines).

People (Births)

  • 1330 – Ashikaga Yoshiakira, Japanese shōgun (d. 1367).
  • 1656 – John Leake, Royal Navy admiral (d. 1720).
  • 1753 – Jean-Pierre Blanchard, French inventor, best known as a pioneer in balloon flight (d. 1809).
  • 1807 – Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian general and politician (d. 1882).
  • 1881 – Ulysses S. Grant III, American general (d. 1968).
  • 1941 – Brian Willson, American soldier, lawyer, and activist.
  • 1954 – Devendra Kumar Joshi, 21st Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy.

People (Deaths)

  • 910 – Luo Shaowei, Chinese warlord (b. 877).
  • 940 – Wang Jianli, Chinese general (b. 871).
  • 1187 – Raynald of Châtillon, French knight (b. 1125).
  • 1541 – Pedro de Alvarado, Spanish general and explorer (b. 1495).
  • 1546 – Hayreddin Barbarossa, Ottoman admiral (b. 1478).
  • 1787 – Charles, Prince of Soubise, Marshal of France (b. 1715).
  • 1831 – James Monroe, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 5th President of the United States (b. 1758).
  • 1916 – Alan Seeger, American soldier and poet (b. 1888).
  • 1922 – Lothar von Richthofen, German lieutenant and pilot (b. 1894).
  • 1943 – Władysław Sikorski, Polish general and politician, 9th Prime Minister of the Second Republic of Poland (b. 1881).
  • 1963 – Bernard Freyberg, 1st Baron Freyberg, New Zealand general and politician, 7th Governor-General of New Zealand (b. 1889).
  • 1971 – Thomas C. Hart, American admiral and politician (b. 1877).
  • 1976 – Yonatan Netanyahu, Israeli colonel (b. 1946).
  • 2002 – Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American general (b. 1912).
  • 2013 – Charles A. Hines, American general (b. 1935).
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