Answering Exams

February 4 – History, Events, Births, Deaths, Holidays and Observances On This Day

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This day marks the approximate midpoint of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and of summer in the Southern Hemisphere (starting the season at the December solstice).

in  

  • – Following the death of Rome’s Septimius Severus at Eboracum (modern York, England) while preparing to lead a campaign against the Caledonians, the empire is left in the control of his two quarreling sons, Caracalla and Geta, whom he had instructed to make peace.
  •  – The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song dynasty period of that would last more than three centuries.
  • 116 – A strong earthquake struck the Ionian coast of Sicily, causing tens of thousands of injuries and deaths, especially in Catania.
  •  – In the Thirteen Years’ War, the Secret Council of the Prussian Confederation sends a formal act of disobedience to the Grand Master.
  •  – John Rogers is burned at the stake, becoming the first  Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.
  •  – In Edo (now Tokyo), all but one of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
  •  – The city of Macapá in  is founded by Sebastião Veiga Cabral.
  •  – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first  of the  by the U.S. .
  •  – The French legislature abolishes slavery throughout all territories of the French First Republic. It would be reestablished in the French West Indies in .
  •  – The Riobamba earthquake strikes Ecuador, causing up to 40,000 casualties.
  •  – John Marshall is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.
  •  – Napoleonic Wars: Britain seizes Guadeloupe.
  •  – The  under the command of Lord Cochrane completes the two-day long Capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and two ships.
  •  – The  Legislature authorizes the construction of the  and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.
  •  – The first Mormon pioneers make their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, westward towards Salt Lake Valley.
  •  – The Codex Sinaiticus is discovered in Egypt.
  •  – : In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six break-away U.S. states meet and form the  .
  •  – The Philippine–American War begins with the Battle of Manila.
  •  – Second Sino- War: Harbin, Manchuria, falls to .
  •  – appoints himself as head of the Armed Forces High Command.
  •  – The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
  •  – : Santo Tomas Internment Camp is liberated from Japanese authority.
  • 1945 – War II: The Yalta Conference between the “Big Three” (Churchill, Roosevelt, and ) opens at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea.
  • 1945 – World War II: The British Indian Army and Imperial Japanese Army begin a series of battles known as the Battle of Pokoku and Irrawaddy River operations.
  •  – Ceylon (later renamed ) becomes within the British Commonwealth.
  •  – The Angolan  and the greater Portuguese Colonial War begin.
  •  – All Nippon Airways Flight 60 plunges into Tokyo Bay, killing .
  •  – Lunar Orbiter program: Lunar Orbiter 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.
  •  – Yasser Arafat takes over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
  •  – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in , .
  • 1974 – M62 coach bombing: The Provisional Irish Army (IRA) explodes a bomb on a bus carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel in Yorkshire, England. Nine soldiers and three civilians are killed.
  •  – Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurs in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.
  •  – In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake kills more than 22,000.
  •  – A Chicago Transit Authority elevated train rear-ends another and derails, killing 11 and injuring , the worst accident in the agency’s history.
  •  – A coup d’état is led by Hugo Chávez against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
  •  – En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.
  •  – The 5.9 Mw  Afghanistan earthquake shakes the Takhar Province with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). With 2, killed, and injured, damage is considered extreme.
  •  – Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot 41 times by four plainclothes City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race relations in the city.
  •  – The World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium, Charter of Paris is signed by the President of , Jacques Chirac and the Director of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, initiating World Cancer Day which is held on February 4 every year.
  •  – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adopts a new constitution, becoming a loose confederacy between and .
  •  – Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, is founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin.
  •  – TransAsia Airways Flight  with 58 people on board, en route from the Taiwanese capital Taipei to Kinmen, crashes into the Keelung River just after take-off, killing 43 people.
  •  – The COVID-19 pandemic causes all casinos in Macau to be closed down for 15 days.

Births on February 4

  •  – Lodovico Lazzarelli, Italian poet (d. )
  •  – Francesco II Sforza, Duke of Milan (d. )
  • 1495 – Jean Parisot de Valette, Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller (d. 1568)
  •  – Mikołaj Rej, Polish poet and author (d. )
  •  – Pierre de Bérulle, French cardinal and theologian, founded the French school of spirituality (d. )
  •  – Hans Erasmus Aßmann, poet and politician (d. )
  •  – Giacomo Facco, Italian violinist and composer (d. )
  •  – Johann Ludwig Bach, German violinist and composer (d. )
  •  – Pierre de Marivaux, French author and playwright (d. )
  •  – Dru Drury, English entomologist and author (d. )
  •  – Carl Michael Bellman, Swedish poet and composer (d. )
  •  – Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, Swiss botanist, mycologist, and academic (d. )
  •  – Almeida Garrett, Portuguese and author (d. )
  •  – Emperor Norton, San Francisco eccentric and visionary (d. )citation needed
  •  – Oliver Ames, American financier and politician, 35th  of Massachusetts (d. )
  •  – Jean Aicard, French poet, author, and playwright (d. )
  •  – Jean Richepin, French poet, author, and playwright (d. )
  •  – Édouard Estaunié, French novelist (d. )
  •  – Abe Isoo, Japanese minister and politician (d. )
  •  – Constance Markievicz, Irish revolutionary and first woman elected to the  House of Commons (d. )
  •  – Friedrich Ebert, German lawyer and politician, 1st President of  (d. )
  •  – Gotse Delchev, Bulgarian and Macedonian revolutionary activist (d. )
  •  – Étienne Desmarteau, Canadian shot putter and discus thrower (d. )
  •  – Ludwig Prandtl, German physicist and engineer (d. )
  •  – Eddie Cochems, American football player and coach (d. 1953)
  •  – Eulalio Gutiérrez, Mexican general and politician, President of  (d. )
  • 1881 – Fernand Léger, French painter and sculptor (d. )
  •  – Reinhold Rudenberg, German-American inventor and a pioneer of electron microscopy (d. 1961)
  •  – M. A. Ayyangar, Indian lawyer and politician, 2nd Speaker of the Lok Sabha (d. )
  •  – E. J. Pratt, Canadian poet and academic (d. )
  • 1895 – Nigel Bruce, English (d. 1953)
  •  – Friedrich Glauser, Austrian-Swiss author (d. 1938)
  • 1896 – Friedrich Hund, German physicist and academic (d. 1997)
  •  – Ludwig Erhard, German soldier and politician, 2nd Chancellor of  (d. 1977)
  • 1899 – Virginia M. Alexander, American physician and founder of the Aspiranto Health Home (d. 1949)
  •  – Jacques Prévert, French poet and screenwriter (d. 1977)
  •  – , American pilot and explorer (d. 1974)
  • 1902 – Hartley Shawcross, Baron Shawcross, German-English lawyer and politician, Attorney General for England and Wales (d. 2003)
  • 1903 – Alexander Imich, Polish-American chemist, parapsychologist, and academic (d. )
  •  – MacKinlay Kantor, American author and screenwriter (d. 1977)
  • 1905 – Hylda Baker, English comedian, actress and music hall performer (d. )
  •  – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor and theologian (d. 1945)
  • 1906 – Letitia Dunbar-Harrison, Irish librarian (d. )
  • 1906 – , American astronomer and academic, discovered  (d. 1997)
  •  – Julian Bell, English poet and academic (d. )
  •  – Ola Skjåk Bræk, Norwegian banker and politician, Norwegian Minister of Industry (d. 1999)
  • 1912 – Erich Leinsdorf, Austrian-American conductor (d. )
  • 1912 – Byron , American golfer and sportscaster (d. )
  •  – Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist (d. )
  •  – Alfred Andersch, German-Swiss author and publisher (d. )
  •  – William Talman, and screenwriter (d. )
  • 1915 – Norman Wisdom, English singer-songwriter and actor (d. )
  •  – Yahya Khan, general and politician, 3rd President of  (d. 1980)
  •  – Ida Lupino, English-American actress and director (d. )
  • 1918 – Luigi Pareyson, Italian philosopher and author (d. )
  •  – Janet Waldo, American actress and voice artist (d. )
  • 1921 –  Friedan, American author and feminist (d. 2006)
  • 1921 – Lotfi Zadeh, -American mathematician and computer and founder of fuzzy logic (d. )
  •  – Conrad Bain, Canadian-American actor (d. )
  • 1925 – Russell Hoban, American author and (d. )
  • 1925 – Stanley Karnow, American journalist and historian (d. 2013)
  • 1925 – Christopher Zeeman, English mathematician and academic (d. 2016)
  • 1926 – Gyula Grosics, Hungarian footballer and manager (d. 2014)
  • 1926 – Dave Sands, Australian boxer (d. )
  • 1927 – Rolf Landauer, German-American physicist and academic (d. 1999)
  •  – Oscar Cabalén, Argentinian race car driver (d. 1967)
  • 1928 – Osmo Antero Wiio, Finnish journalist, academic, and politician (d. 2013)
  •  – Paul Burlison, American rockabilly guitarist (d. 2003)
  • 1929 – Neil Johnston, American basketball player (d. 1978)
  •  – Tibor Antalpéter, Hungarian volleyball player and diplomat, Hungarian Ambassador to the  (d. )
  • 1930 – Arthur E. Chase, American businessman and politician (d. 2015)
  • 1930 – Jim Loscutoff, American basketball player (d. 2015)
  •  – Isabel Martínez de Perón, Argentinian dancer and politician, 41st President of Argentina
  •  – Wallis Mathias, Pakistani (d. 1994)
  • 1935 – Martti Talvela, Finnish opera singer (d. )
  • 1935 – Collin Wilcox, American actress (d. )
  •  – David Brenner, American comedian, actor, and author (d. 2014)
  • 1936 – Claude Nobs, Swiss businessman, founded the Montreux Jazz Festival (d. 2013)
  • 1937 – David Newman, American director and screenwriter (d. 2003)
  • 1938 – Frank J. Dodd, American businessman and politician, president of the New Jersey Senate (d. 2010)
  • 1939 – Stan Lundine, American lawyer and politician, Lieutenant
  •  – George A. Romero, American director and (d. 2017)
  • 1941 – Russell Cooper, Australian politician, 33rd Premier of Queensland
  • 1941 – Ron Rangi, rugby player (d. )
  • 1941 – Jiří Raška, Czech skier and coach (d. 2012)
  •  – Alberto João Jardim, Portuguese journalist and politician, 2nd President of the Regional Government of Madeira
  • 1943 – Wanda Rutkiewicz, Lithuanian-Polish mountaineer (d. 1992)
  • 1943 – Ken Thompson, American computer scientist and programmer, co-developed the B programming language
  •  – Florence LaRue, American singer and actress
  •  – Dennis C. Blair, American admiral and politician, 3rd Director of National Intelligence
  • 1947 – Dan Quayle, American sergeant, lawyer, and politician, 44th  of the United States
  • 1948 – Alice Cooper, American singer-songwriter
  • 1948 – Rod Grams, American journalist and politician (d. 2013)
  • 1948 – Mienoumi Tsuyoshi, Japanese sumo wrestler
  • 1949 – Michael Beck, American actor
  • 1949 – Rasim Delić, Bosnian general (d. 2010)
  •  – Patrick Bergin, Irish actor
  • 1951 – Phil Ehart, American rock drummer and songwriter
  • 1952 – Jenny Shipley, New Zealand educator and politician, 36th Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • 1952 – Thomas Silverstein, American prisoner, founder and former leader of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang (d. )
  • 1955 – Mikuláš Dzurinda, Slovak politician, Prime Minister of
  •  – Don Davis, American composer and conductor
  •  – Tomasz Pacyński, Polish journalist and author (d. 2005)
  •  – Christian Schreier, German footballer and manager
  • 1959 – Lawrence Taylor, American football player and sportscaster
  •  – Siobhan Dowd, English author and activist (d. )
  • 1960 – Adrienne King, American actress, dancer, and painter
  • 1960 – Jonathan Larson, American composer and playwright (d. )
  • 1961 – Stewart O’Nan, American novelist
  • 1961 – Denis Savard, Canadian ice player and coach
  •  – Clint Black, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
  • 1962 – Stephen Hammond, English banker and politician
  •  – Pirmin Zurbriggen, Swiss skier
  • 1964 – Elke Philipp, German Paralympic equestrian
  •  – Jerome Brown, American football player (d. 1992)
  • 1966 – Tony Butterfield, Australian rugby league player
  • 1966 – Viatcheslav Ekimov, Russian cyclist
  • 1967 – Sergei Grinkov, Russian figure skater (d. 1995)
  •  – Gabrielle Anwar, English actress
  •  – Rob Corddry, American actor, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1971 – Eric Garcetti, American lieutenant and politician, 42nd Mayor of
  •  – Dara Ó Briain, Irish comedian and television host
  • 1972 – Giovanni Silva de Oliveira, Brazilian footballer and manager
  •  – Oscar De La Hoya, American boxer
  • 1973 – James Hird, Australian footballer and coach
  • 1973 – Manny Legace, Canadian ice hockey player and sportscaster
  • 1975 – Natalie Imbruglia, Australian singer-songwriter and actress
  • 1977 – Gavin DeGraw, American singer-songwriter
  •  – Giorgio Pantano, Italian race car driver
  • 1980 – Raimonds Vaikulis, Latvian basketball player
  •  – Jason Kapono, American basketball player
  • 1981 – Johan Vansummeren, Belgian cyclist
  •  – Chris Sabin,
  • 1982 – Ivars Timermanis, Latvian basketball player
  • 1982 – Tomas Vaitkus, Lithuanian cyclist
  •  – Lee Stempniak, American ice hockey player
  • 1983 – Rebecca White, Australian politician
  •  – Sandeep Acharya, Indian singer (d. 2013)
  • 1984 – Mauricio Pinilla, Chilean footballer
  • 1986 – Maximilian Götz, German race car driver
  • 1986 – Mahmudullah Riyad, Bangladeshi cricketer
  •  – Darren O’Dea, Irish footballer
  • 1987 – Lucie Šafářová, Czech player
  • 1988 – Carly Patterson, American gymnast and singer
  • 1993 – Bae Noo-ri, South actress
  • 1998 – Maximilian Wöber, Austrian footballer

Deaths on February 4

  • 211 – Septimius Severus, (b. )
  •  – Pope Sisinnius (b. 650)
  •  – Rabanus Maurus, archbishop and theologian (b. )
  •  – Ceolnoth, archbishop of Canterbury
  •  – John of Ajello, Bishop of Catania
  •  – Antonio del Pollaiolo, Italian artist (b. /)
  • 1505 – Jeanne de Valois, daughter of Louis XI of France (b. )
  •  – Conrad Celtes, German poet and scholar (b. )
  • 1555 – John Rogers, English clergyman and translator (b. 1505)
  •  – Gioseffo Zarlino, Italian composer and theorist (b. )
  •  – Giambattista della Porta, Italian playwright and scholar (b. 1535)
  •  – Lodewijk Elzevir, publisher, co-founded the House of Elzevir (b. )
  •  – Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, English philosopher and politician (b. )
  •  – Charles Marie de La Condamine, French mathematician and geographer (b. )
  •  – Josef Mysliveček, Czech composer (b. )
  • 1799 – Étienne-Louis Boullée, French architect and educator (b. )
  •  – Theodoros Kolokotronis, Greek general (b. )
  • 1891 – Pelagio Antonio de Labastida y Dávalos, Roman Catholic archbishop and Mexican politician who served as regent during the Second Mexican Empire (-) (b. )
  • 1905 – Louis-Ernest Barrias, French sculptor and academic (b. 1841)
  • 1926 – İskilipli Âtıf Hodja, Turkish author and scholar (b. 1875)
  • 1928 – Hendrik Lorentz, Dutch physicist and academic,  laureate (b. )
  •  – Archibald Sayce, English linguist and educator (b. 1846)
  • 1940 – Nikolai Yezhov, Russian police officer and politician (b. 1895)
  • 1943 – Frank Calder, English-Canadian ice hockey player and journalist (b. 1877)
  • 1944 – Arsen Kotsoyev, Russian author and translator (b. 1872)
  •  – Savielly Tartakower, Russian-French chess player, journalist, and author (b. )
  • 1958 – Henry Kuttner, American author and screenwriter (b. 1915)
  • 1959 – Una O’Connor, Irish-American actress (b. 1880)
  • 1968 – Neal Cassady, American novelist and poet (b. 1926)
  • 1970 – Louise Bogan, American poet and critic (b. 1897)
  • 1974 – Satyendra Nath Bose, Indian physicist, mathematician, and academic (b. )
  • 1975 – Louis Jordan, American singer-songwriter and saxophonist (b. 1908)
  • 1982 – Alex Harvey, Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1935)
  • 1982 – Georg Konrad Morgen, German lawyer and judge (b. )
  • 1983 – Karen Carpenter, American singer (b. )
  • 1987 – Liberace, American singer-songwriter and pianist, (b. )
  • 1987 – Meena Keshwar Kamal, Afghan activist, founded the Revolutionary Association of the of Afghanistan (b. 1956)
  • 1987 – Carl Rogers, American psychologist and academic (b. 1902)
  •  – Whipper Billy Watson, Canadian-American wrestler and trainer (b. 1915)
  • 1992 – John Dehner, American actor (b. 1915)
  • 1995 – Patricia Highsmith, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1921)
  • 2000 – Carl Albert, American lawyer and politician, 54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1908)
  •  – Count Sigvard Bernadotte of Wisborg (b. )
  • 2003 – Benyoucef Benkhedda, Algerian pharmacist and politician (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Ossie Davis, American actor, director, and playwright (b. 1917)
  • 2006 – Betty Friedan, American author and activist (b. 1921)
  • 2007 – José Carlos Bauer, Brazilian footballer and manager (b. 1925)
  • 2007 – Ilya Kormiltsev, Russian-English poet and translator (b. 1959)
  • 2007 – Barbara McNair, American singer and actress (b. )
  • 2007 – Jules Olitski, Ukrainian-American painter and sculptor (b. )
  •  – Augusta Dabney, American actress (b. 1918)
  • 2008 – Stefan Meller, Polish academic and politician, Minister of Foreign Affairs of  (b. 1942)
  • 2010 – Kostas Axelos, Greek-French philosopher and author (b. )
  • 2010 – Helen Tobias-Duesberg, Estonian-American composer (b. 1919)
  • 2011 – Martial Célestin, Haitian lawyer and politician, 1st Prime Minister of Haiti (b. 1913)
  • 2012 – István Csurka, Hungarian journalist and politician (b. 1934)
  • 2012 – Florence Green, English soldier (b. )
  • 2012 – Robert Daniel, American farmer, soldier, and politician (b. 1936)
  • 2012 – Mike deGruy, American director, producer, and cinematographer (b. 1951)
  • 2013 – Donald Byrd, American trumpet player (b. 1932)
  • 2013 – Reg Presley, English singer-songwriter (b. 1941)
  • 2014 – Keith Allen, Canadian-American ice hockey player, coach, and manager (b. 1923)
  • 2014 – Eugenio Corti, Italian soldier, author, and playwright (b. 1921)
  • 2014 – Dennis Lota, Zambian footballer (b. 1973)
  • 2015 – Wes Cooley, American soldier and politician (b. 1932)
  • 2015 – Fitzhugh L. Fulton, American colonel and pilot (b. 1925)
  • 2016 – Edgar Mitchell, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1930)
  • 2017 – Steve Lang, Canadian bass player (b. 1949)
  • 2017 – Bano Qudsia, Pakistani writer (b. 1928)
  •  – John Mahoney, English-American actor, voice artist, and comedian (b. 1940)
  • 2019 – Matti Nykänen, Finnish Olympic-winning ski jumper and singer (b. 1963)

Holidays and observances on February 4

  • Christian feast day:
    • Andrew Corsini
    • Gilbert of Sempringham
    • John de Brito
    • Blessed Rabanus Maurus
    • Rimbert
    • Veronica
    • February 4 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
  • Day of the Armed Struggle (Angola)
  • Earliest day on which Ash  can fall, while is the latest; celebrated on the first day of Lent ()
  • Independence Day (Sri Lanka)
  • Rosa Parks Day (California and , United States)
  • World Cancer Day
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