January 4

Events

*46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina.
*871 - Battle of Reading: Ethelred of Wessex fights, and is defeated by, a Danish invasion army.
* 1490 - Anna of Brittany announces that all those who would ally with the king of France will be considered guilty of the crime of lese-majesty.
*1493 - Christopher Columbus leaves the New World, ending his first journey.
*1642 - King Charles I of England sends soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England's slide into civil war.
*1698 - Most of the Palace of Whitehall in London, the main residence of the English monarchs, is destroyed by fire.
*1717 - The Netherlands, England, and France sign the Triple Alliance.
*1762 - England declares war on Spain and Naples.
*1847 - Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government.
*1854 - The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the "Samarang".
*1865 - The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York City.
*1878 - Sofia is emancipated from Ottoman rule.
*1884 - The Fabian Society is founded in London.
*1885 - The first successful appendectomy is performed by William W. Grant on Mary Gartside.
*1896 - Utah is admitted as the 45th U.S. state.
*1903 - Topsy, an elephant, was electrocuted by Thomas Edison during the War of Currents campaign.
*1912 - The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter.
*1944 - World War II: Operation Carpetbagger, involving the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters in Europe, begins.
* 1944 - World War II: The Battle of Monte Cassino begins.
*1948 - Burma regains its independence from the United Kingdom.
*1951 - Korean War: Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul.
*1958 - Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from its orbit (it was launched on October 4, 1957).
*1959 - Luna 1 becomes the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon.
*1962 - New York City introduces a train that operates without a crew on-board.
*1965 - United States President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union address.
*1972 - Rose Heilbron becomes the first female judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London.
*1974 - United States President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over materials subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
*1975 - Elizabeth Ann Seton becomes the first American-born saint.
*1987 - The Chase, Maryland rail wreck: An Amtrak train en route to Boston, Massachusetts from Washington, D.C., collides with Conrail engines in Chase, Maryland, killing 16 people.
*1989 - Second Gulf of Sidra incident: a pair of Libyan MiG-23 "Floggers" are shot down by a pair of US Navy F-14 Tomcats during an air-to-air confrontation.
*1998 - Wilaya of Relizane massacres in Algeria: over 170 are killed in three remote villages.
* 1998 - A massive ice storm hits eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, continuing through January 10 and causing widespread destruction.
*1999 - Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura is sworn in as governor of Minnesota.
* 1999 - Gunmen open fire on Shiite Muslims worshipping in an Islamabad mosque, killing 16 people and injuring 25.
*2004 - Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, lands successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC.
*2006 - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel suffers a second, apparently more serious stroke. His authority is transferred to acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
*2007 - The 110th United States Congress convenes, electing Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history.

Births

*1077 - Emperor Zhezong of Song Dynasty in China (d. 1100)
*1334 - Amadeus VI of Savoy (d. 1383)
*1581 - James Ussher, Irish Anglican archbishop (d. 1656)
*1643 - Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and natural philosopher (d. 1727)
*1664 - Lars Roberg, Swedish physician (d. 1742)
*1672 - Hugh Boulter, Irish Archbishop of Armagh (d. 1742)
*1710 - Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Italian composer (d. 1736)
*1720 - Johann Friedrich Agricola, German composer (d. 1774)
*1785 - Jakob Grimm, German philologist and folklorist (d. 1863)
*1809 - Louis Braille, French teacher of the blind and inventor of braille (d. 1852)
*1813 - Isaac Pitman, English inventor (Pitman shorthand) (d. 1897)
*1832 - George Tryon, British admiral (d. 1893)
*1838 - Charles Sherwood Stratton, American circus performer (d. 1883)
*1839 - Carl Humann, German engineer (d. 1896)
*1842 - Frederic T. Greenhalge, 38th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1896)
*1848 - Katsura Taro, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1913)
*1869 - Tommy Corcoran, American baseball player (d. 1960)
*1870 - Percy Pitt, English organist and conductor (d. 1932)
*1874 - Josef Suk, Czech composer (d. 1935)
*1878 - Augustus John, Welsh painter (d. 1961)
*1881 - Wilhelm Lehmbruck, German sculptor (d. 1919)
*1882 - Aristarkh Lentulov, Russian artist (d. 1943)
*1883 - Max Eastman, American writer (d. 1969)
*1891 - Edward Brooker, Premier of Tasmania (d. 1948)
*1893 - Yone Minagawa, Japanese, became worlds Oldest living person January 29, 2007. (d. Aug. 13, 2007)
*1894 - Manuel de Abreu, Brazilian physician (d. 1962)
*1895 - Leroy Grumman, American industrialist (d. 1982)
*1896 - Everett Dirksen, American politician (d. 1969)
* 1896 - André Masson, French artist (d. 1987)
*1900 - James Bond, American ornithologist (d. 1989)
*1901 - C. L. R. James, writer and journalist (d. 1989)
*1902 - John McCone, CIA Director (d. 1991)
*1910 - Arthur Villeneuve, Quebec painter (d. 1990)
*1913 - Malietoa Tanumafili II, Sovereign Ruler of Samoa (d.2007)
*1914 - Herman Franks, American baseball player
*1916 - Lionel Newman, American film music composer (d. 1989)
* 1916 - Robert Parrish, U.S. film editor and director (d. 1995)
*1920 - William Colby, American CIA director (d. 1996)
*1922 - Rosalie Crutchley, English actress (d. 1997)
*1924 - Sebastian Kappen, Indian theologian (d. 1993)
*1925 - Veikko Hakulinen, Finnish cross-country skier (d. 2003)
*1927 - Paul Desmarais, Canadian businessman
* 1927 - Barbara Rush, American actress
*1929 - Yayoi Kusama, Japanese artist, sculptor
*1930 - Sorrell Booke, American actor (d. 1994)
* 1930 - Don Shula, American football coach
*1931 - Adi Lady Lala Mara, First Lady of Fiji (d. 2004)
* 1931 - Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia 1996-2001
*1932 - Carlos Saura, Spanish director
*1933 - Ilia II Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia.
*1934 - Rudolf Schuster, President of Slovakia
*1935 - Floyd Patterson, American boxer (d. 2006)
*1937 - Grace Bumbry, American singer
* 1937 - Dyan Cannon, American actress
*1940 - Helmut Jahn, German architect
* 1940 - Brian David Josephson, Welsh physicist, Nobel laureate
* 1940 - Gao Xingjian, Chinese-born French novelist and dramatist, Nobel laureate
*1941 - Maureen Reagan, American political activist (d. 2001)
* 1941 - George Pan Cosmatos, Greek film director (d. 2005)
* 1941 - John Bennett Perry, American actor
*1942 - John McLaughlin, English jazz guitarist
*1943 - Doris Kearns Goodwin, American writer
*1945 - Vesa-Matti Loiri, Finnish entertainer
* 1945 - Richard R. Schrock, American chemist, Nobel laureate
*1946 - Susannah McCorkle, American jazz singer (d. 2001)
* 1946 - Arthur Conley, American singer (d. 2003)
*1947 - Chris Cutler, English musician and composer (Henry Cow, Art Bears)
* 1947 - Rick Stein, English chef and television presenter
*1948 - Eugeniusz Wycisło, Polish politician
*1950 - John Louis Evans, convicted murderer (d. 1983)
*1951 - Barbara Cochran, American alpine skier
*1953 - Norberto Alonso, Argentine footballer
*1954 - Eugene Chadbourne, American composer and musician
*1955 - Mark Hollis, English musician and composer (Talk Talk)
*1956 - Nels Cline, American guitarist and composer
* 1956 - Bernard Sumner, English musician (Joy Division, New Order, Electronic)
*1957 - Patty Loveless, American singer
*1958 - Andy Borowitz, American comedian and satirist
* 1958 - Matt Frewer, American actor
* 1958 - Gary Jones, Welsh-born actor
* 1958 - Julian Sands, English actor
*1959 - Yoshitomo Nara, Japanese pop artist
*1960 - Michael Stipe, American singer (R.E.M.)
* 1960 - April Winchell, American actress
*1961 - Lee Curreri, American actor
*1962 - Laila Eloui, Egyptian actress
* 1962 - Robin Guthrie, Scottish guitarist (Cocteau Twins)
* 1962 - Peter Steele, American musician (Type O Negative)
*1963 - Dave Foley, Canadian comedian and actor
* 1963 - Till Lindemann, German singer (Rammstein)
*1965 - Yvan Attal, French actor and director
* 1965 - Guy Forget, French tennis player
* 1965 - Beth Gibbons, English singer (Portishead)
* 1965 - Cait O'Riordan, British musician (The Pogues)
* 1965 - Julia Ormond, English actress
*1966 - Deana Carter, American singer
*1967 - David Berman, American poet and singer/songwriter (Silver Jews)
* 1967 - Johnny Nelson, English boxer
* 1967 - Marina Orsini, Canadian actress
* 1967 - David Toms, American professional golfer
*1968 - Mike Wilpolt, Head Coach of the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League
*1970 - Chris Kanyon, American professional wrestler
*1971 - Junichi Kakizaki, Japanese artist, sculptor
*1972 - James Longley, American documentary filmmaker
*1973 - Frank Høj, Danish cyclist
* 1973 - Harmony Korine, American film director and artist
*1974 - Ian Moor, English singer
*1976 - Benoît Joachim, Luxembourg cyclist
* 1976 - Ted Lilly, American baseball player
*1977 - Irán Castillo, Mexican actress
* 1977 - Dan Shanahan, Irish hurler
* 1977 - Tim Wheeler, Irish singer (Ash)
*1978 - Dominik Hrbatý, Slovakian tennis player
* 1978 - Mai Meneses, Spanish singer
*1979 - Tristan Gommendy, French racing driver
* 1979 - Jeph Howard, American musician (The Used)
*1980 - Greg Cipes, American actor
* 1980 - Yaroslav Popovych, Ukrainian cyclist
* 1980 - Erin Cahill, American actress
* 1980 - Miguel Monteiro, Portuguese footballer
*1982 - Paulo Ferrari, Argentinian footballer
* 1982 - Kang Hye-jeong, South Korean actress
* 1982 - Richard Logan, English footballer
*1985 - Al Jefferson, American basketball player
* 1985 - Fernando Rees, Brazilian race car driver
*1986 - James Milner, English footballer
* 1986 - Steve Slaton , American football player
*1988 - Nabila Jamshed, Indian writer
*1989 - Graham Rahal, American race car driver
*1990 - Toni Kroos, German footballer
*1991 - Olivia Tennet, New Zealand actress
*1995 - María Isabel, Spanish singer
* 1995 - Harry Skinner, English skiier
*2000 - Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, American actress

Deaths

*1248 - King Sancho II of Portugal (b. 1207)
*1428 - Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 'The Warlike' (b. 1370)
*1564 - Hosokawa Ujitsuna, Japanese military commander (b. 1514)
*1584 - Tobias Stimmer, Swiss painter and drawer (b. 1539)
*1695 - François Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, duc de Luxembourg, French general (b. 1628)
*1752 - Gabriel Cramer, Swiss mathematician (b. 1704)
*1761 - Stephen Hales, English physiologist (b. 1677)
*1773 - Anton Losenko, Russian painter (b. 1737)
*1782 - Ange-Jacques Gabriel, French architect (b. 1698)
*1804 - Charlotte Lennox, English author and poet (bc. 1730)
*1821 - Elizabeth Ann Seton, American saint (b. 1774)
*1825 - King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies (b. 1751)
*1863 - Roger Hanson, Confederate general (b.1827)
*1874 - Thomas Gregson, Premier of Tasmania (b. 1798)
*1877 - Cornelius Vanderbilt, American entrepreneur (b. 1794)
*1882 - John William Draper, English scientist, photographer (b. 1811)
*1883 - Antoine Eugène Alfred Chanzy, French general (b. 1823)
*1891 - Antoine Labelle, Quebec catholic priest (b. 1833)
*1896 - Joseph Hubert Reinkens, German Old Catholic bishop (b. 1821)
*1903 - Gulstan Ropert, Roman Catholic prelate (b. 1839)
*1903 - Topsy the elephant (b. circa 1875)
*1919 - Georg von Hertling, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1843)
*1920 - Benito Pérez Galdós, Spanish novelist (b. 1843)
*1924 - Alfred Grünfeld, Austrian pianist, composer (b. 1852)
*1931 - Art Acord, American actor (b. 1890)
*1941 - Henri Bergson, French philosopher, Nobel laureate (b. 1859)
*1944 - Kai Munk, Danish playwright, Lutheran pastor (b. 1898)
*1960 - Albert Camus, Algerian-born French philosopher and writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1913)
*1961 - Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1887)
*1962 - Hans Lammers, German SS officer (b. 1879)
*1965 - T. S. Eliot, American-born writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1888)
*1967 - Donald Campbell, English motorboat racer (b. 1921)
*1969 - Daisy and Violet Hilton, British conjoined twins (b. 1908)
*1970 - Jean-Étienne Valluy, French general (b. 1899)
*1971 - Arthur Ford, American clairaudient (b. 1896)
*1975 - Carlo Levi, Italian anti-fascist painter, writer and activist (b. 1902)
*1981 - Ruth Lowe, Canadian pianist and composer (I'll Never Smile Again) (b. 1914)
*1985 - Brian Horrocks, British general (b. 1895)
* 1985 - Lovro von Matacic, Croatian conductor (b. 1899)
*1986 - Christopher Isherwood, English writer (b. 1904)
* 1986 - Phil Lynott, Irish musician (Thin Lizzy) (b. 1949)
*1988 - Lily Laskine, French harpist (b. 1893)
*1990 - Harold Edgerton, American electrical engineer (b. 1903)
* 1990 - Sir Henry Bolte, Premier of Victoria 1955-1972 (b. 1908)
*1993 - Charles Bridgford, Australian politician
*1994 - RD Burman, Indian musician (b. 1939)
*1995 - Sol Tax, American anthropologist (b. 1907)
* 1995 - Eduardo Mata, Mexican conductor and composer (b. 1942)
*1996 - Ramón Vinay, Chilean operatic tenor (b. 1911)
*1997 - Harry Helmsley, American real estate mogul (b. 1909)
*1998 - Mae Questel, American actress (b. 1908)
* 1998 - John Gary, U.S. popular singer (b. 1932)
*1999 - Iron Eyes Cody, American actor (b. 1904)
*2000 - Tom Fears, American football player (b. 1922)
*2001 - Les Brown, American bandleader (b. 1912)
*2003 - Sabine Ulibarri, Mexican American writer (b. 1919)
* 2003 - Yfrah Neaman, Lebanese-born violinist (b. 1923)
* 2003 - Conrad Hall, American cinematographer (b. 1927)
*2004 - John Toland, American historian (b. 1912)
* 2004 - Joan Aiken, English author (b. 1924)
* 2004 - Jake Hess, American singer (b. 1927)
* 2004 - Jeff Nuttall, English writer (b. 1933)
* 2004 - Brian Gibson (director), English film director (b. 1944)
*2005 - Alton Tobey, American artist (b. 1914)
* 2005 - Robert Heilbroner, American economist (b. 1919)
* 2005 - Frank Harary, American mathematician (b. 1921)
* 2005 - Bud Poile, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1924)
* 2005 - Guy Davenport, American author, artist, and scholar (b. 1927)
* 2005 - Humphrey Carpenter, English author (b. 1946)
* 2005 - Ali al-Haidri, Iraqi governor of Baghdad (assassinated)
*2006 - Irving Layton, Canadian poet (b. 1912)
* 2006 - Robert Howard White, Mayor of Papatoetoe, New Zealand (b. 1914)
* 2006 - Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai (b. 1946)
*2007 - Marais Viljoen, former State President of South Africa (b. 1915)
* 2007 - Sir Lewis Hodges, British Air Chief Marshal (b. 1918)
* 2007 - Steve Krantz, American film and TV producer (Fritz the Cat) (b. 1923)
* 2007 - Osman Waqialla, Sudanese artist and calligrapher (b. 1925)
* 2007 - Gren, Welsh newspaper cartoonist (b. 1934)
* 2007 - Sandro Salvadore, Italian footballer (b. 1939)
* 2007 - Jan Schröder, Dutch cyclist (b. 1941)
* 2007 - Gáspár Nagy, Hungarian poet and writer (b. 1949)
* 2007 - Ben Gannon, Australian theatre film and television producer (b. 1952)
* 2007 - Helen Hill, American independent film-maker (b. 1970)
*2008 - Joyce Carlson, American artist (b. 1923)
* 2008 - Xavier Chamorro Cardenal, Nicaraguan print editor (b. 1932)
* 2008 - Jimmy Nah, Singapore celebrity (b. 1968)

Holidays and observances

*National Day of Burma
*Feast day of St Elizabeth Ann Seton
*The eleventh night and tenth day of Christmas in Western Christianity
*Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
* January 4 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/4 BBC: On This Day]
*
* [http://www1.sympatico.ca/cgi-bin/on_this_day?mth=Jan&day=04 On This Day in Canada] ----


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