On This Day … 04 September


  • 476 – Romulus Augustulus is deposed when Odoacer proclaims himself “King of Italy”, thus ending the Western Roman Empire.
  • 626 – Li Shimin, posthumously known as Emperor Taizong of Tang, assumes the throne over the Tang dynasty of China.
  • 929 – Battle of Lenzen: Slavic forces (the Redarii and the Obotrites) are defeated by a Saxon army near the fortified stronghold of Lenzen in Brandenburg.
  • 1260 – The Sienese Ghibellines, supported by the forces of Manfred, King of Sicily, defeat the Florentine Guelphs at Montaperti.
  • 1282 – Peter III of Aragon becomes the King of Sicily.
  • 1479 – The Treaty of Alcáçovas is signed by the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon on one side and Afonso V and his son, Prince John of Portugal.
  • 1607 – The Flight of the Earls takes place in Ireland.
  • 1774 – New Caledonia is first sighted by Europeans, during the second voyage of Captain James Cook.
  • 1781 – Los Angeles is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels) by 44 Spanish settlers.
  • 1797 – Coup of 18 Fructidor in France.
  • 1800 – The French garrison in Valletta surrenders to British troops who had been called at the invitation of the Maltese. The islands of Malta and Gozo become the Malta Protectorate.
  • 1812 – War of 1812: The Siege of Fort Harrison begins when the fort is set on fire.
  • 1839 – Battle of Kowloon: British vessels open fire on Chinese war junks enforcing a food sales embargo on the British community in China in the first armed conflict of the First Opium War.
  • 1862 – American Civil War Maryland Campaign: General Robert E. Lee takes the Army of Northern Virginia, and the war, into the North.
  • 1870 – Emperor Napoleon III of France is deposed and the Third Republic is declared.
  • 1882 – The Pearl Street Station in New York City becomes the first power plant to supply electricity to paying customers.
  • 1886 – American Indian Wars: After almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrenders to General Nelson Miles in Arizona.
  • 1888 – George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak and receives a patent for his camera that uses roll film.
  • 1912 – Albanian rebels succeed in their revolt when the Ottoman Empire agrees to fulfill their demands
  • 1919 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who founded the Republic of Turkey, gathers a congress in Sivas to make decisions as to the future of Anatolia and Thrace.
  • 1923 – Maiden flight of the first US airship, the USS Shenandoah.
  • 1939 – World War II: William J. Murphy commands the first Royal Air Force attack on Germany.
  • 1941 – World War II: A German submarine makes the first attack of the war against a United States warship, the USS Greer.
  • 1944 – World War II: The British 11th Armoured Division liberates the Belgian city of Antwerp.
  • 1944 – World War II: Finland exits from the war with Soviet Union.
  • 1951 – The first live transcontinental television broadcast takes place in San Francisco, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference.
  • 1967 – Vietnam War: Operation Swift begins when US Marines engage the North Vietnamese in battle in the Que Son Valley.
  • 1975 – The Sinai Interim Agreement relating to the Arab–Israeli conflict is signed.
  • 2007 – Three terrorists suspected to be a part of Al-Qaeda are arrested in Germany after allegedly planning attacks on both the Frankfurt International airport and US military installations.

People (Births)

  • 1755 – Axel von Fersen the Younger, Swedish general and politician (d. 1810).
  • 1798 – Raynold Kaufgetz, Swiss soldier, economist, and politician (d. 1869).
  • 1850 – Luigi Cadorna, Italian field marshal (d. 1928).
  • 1926 – George William Gray, British chemist who developed liquid crystals that made displays possible (d. 2013).
  • 1929 – Robert V. Keeley, Lebanese-American soldier and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Greece (d. 2015).
  • 1930 – William Maxson, American general (d. 2013).
  • 1935 – Charles A. Hines, American general and academic (d. 2013).
  • 1937 – Virgil A. Richard, American general (d. 2013).

People (Deaths)

  • 1804 – Richard Somers, American lieutenant (b. 1778).
  • 1821 – José Miguel Carrera, Chilean general and politician (b. 1785).
  • 1864 – John Hunt Morgan, American general (b. 1825).
  • 1944 – Erich Fellgiebel, German general (b. 1886).
  • 1974 – Creighton Abrams, American general (b. 1914).
  • 1974 – Charles Arnison, English airman (b. 1893).
  • 2007 – John Scott, 9th Duke of Buccleuch, Scottish soldier and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Roxburghshire (b. 1923).
  • 2012 – Abraham Avigdorov, Israeli soldier (b. 1929).

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