August 4 is the 216th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (217th in leap years), with 149 days remaining.
- 1578 - Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir - Moroccans defeat Portuguese. King Sebastian of Portugal is defeated and killed in North Africa, leaving his elderly uncle, Cardinal Henry, as his heir. This initiates a succession crisis in Portugal.
- 1693 - Date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon's invention of Champagne.
- 1704 - During the War of the Spanish Succession an Anglo-Dutch force seizes the rock of Gibraltar.
- 1735 - Freedom of the press: New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger is acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he published was true.
- 1789 - The feudal system is abolished in France.
- 1790 - A newly passed tariff act creates the Revenue Cutter Service (the forerunner of the United States Coast Guard).
- 1821 - Atkinson & Alexander publish the Saturday Evening Post for the first time as a weekly newspaper.
- 1873 - Indian Wars: While protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, the United States 7th Cavalry , under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, clash for the first time with the Sioux (near the Tongue River; only one man on each side is killed).
- 1892 - The family of Lizzie Borden is found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home.
- 1902 - Greenwich foot tunnel under the River Thames opens.
- 1914 - World War I: The United Kingdom declares war on Germany and the United States proclaims neutrality.
- 1944 - Holocaust: A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse where they find Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family.
- 1964 - American civil rights movement: Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney found dead in Mississippi after disappearing on June 21.
- 1964 - Vietnam War: United States destroyers USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy are attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. Air support from the carrier USS Ticonderoga sinks two, possibly three North Vietnamese gunboats.
- 1969 - Vietnam War: At the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, US representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuan Thuy begin secret peace negotiations. The negotiations will eventually fail.
- 1977 - US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.
- 1983 - Thomas Sankara become President in Upper Volta.
- 1984 - The African republic Upper Volta changes its name to Burkina Faso.
- 1987 - The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and television stations to "fairly" present controversial issues.
- 1991 The Greek cruise ship Oceanos sinks off the coast of South Africa.
- 1993 - A federal judge sentences LAPD officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 30 months in prison for violating motorist Rodney King's civil rights.
- 1997 - 185,000 Teamsters union United Parcel Service drivers walk off the job.
up to 1499
- 1290 - Duke Leopold I of Austria
- 1521 - Pope Urban VII, (d. 1590)
- 1792 - Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet (d. 1822)
- 1840 - Richard von Krafft-Ebing, sexologist
- 1859 - Knut Hamsun, writer, recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature 1920 (d. 1952)
- 1899 - Ezra Taft Benson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (d. 1994)
- 1900 - Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, The Queen Mother of the United Kingdom (d. 2002)
- 1901 - Louis Armstrong, jazz musician (d. 1971)
- 1904 - Witold Gombrowicz, Polish novelist and dramatist (d. 1969)
- 1906 - Marie-José Van Sachsen Coburg-Gotha , last Queen of Italy (d. 2001)
- 1906 - Eugen Schuhmacher , zoologist (d. 1973)
- 1908 - Kurt Eichhorn, conductor
- 1909 - Glenn Cunningham, track and field star
- 1909 - Otto Steiger , writer
- 1910 - William Schuman, composer (d. 1992)
- 1912 - Aleksandr Danilovich Aleksandrov, mathematician, physicist, philosopher and a mountaineer (d. 1999)
- 1912 - Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat (d. 1947 presumed)
- 1913 - Robert Hayden, poet, Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (d. 1980)
- 1921 - Maurice Richard, professional ice hockey player (d. 2000)
- 1927 - Jess Thomas, American tenor (d. 1993)
- 1929 - Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization
- 1929 - Kishore Kumar, Indian singer and actor (d. 1987)
- 1930 - Götz Friedrich , opera director (d. 2000)
- 1932 - Hans Jürgen Fröhlich , writer
- 1932 - Guillermo Mordillo , graphic artist and cartoonist
- 1937 - David Bedford, musician
- 1944 - Richard Belzer, actor, comedian
- 1947 - Klaus Schulze, composer, perforner
- 1955 - Billy Bob Thornton, actor, writer
- 1958 - Mary Decker Slaney, track star
- 1961 - Barack Obama, American politician
- 1962 - Roger Clemens, baseball player
- 1963 - Steve Silverman, teacher, spermologer
- 1967 - Mike Marsh, American athlete
- 1968 - Marcus Schenkenberg, male model
- 1971 - Jeff Gordon, NASCAR driver
- 1985 - Justen Everage , mobster, musician
- 1060 - King Henry I of France
- 1265 - Simon de Montfort, English baron
- 1526 - Juan Sebastián Elcano, Spanish explorer
- 1875 - Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer
- 1938 - Pearl White, actress
- 1962 - Marilyn Monroe, actress
- 1976 - Roy Herbert Thomson, Lord Thomson of Fleet, publisher
- 1981 - Melvyn Douglas, actor
- 1998 - Yuri Artyukhin, cosmonaut
- 1999 - Victor Mature, actor
- 2001 - Lorenzo Music, actor, writer, producer
- 2002 - Carmen Silvera, British actress
- 2002 - Murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
Holidays and observances
- Burkina Faso - Anniversary of the Revolution
- Cook Islands - Constitution Day (celebrations begin on the last Friday in July and last up to 2 weeks.)
- El Salvador - Transfiguration Bank Holiday
August 3 - August 5 - July 4 - September 4 -- listing of all days
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Last updated: 02-07-2005 08:58:41
Last updated: 02-11-2005 17:47:38