Today in History for February 4th (Associated Press video)


1169 ~ An earthquake hit Sicily, on the Ionian coast, causing tens of thousands of casualties, mostly in Catania.

1488 ~ Bartolomeu Dias commanded the 1st European expedition to South Africa and the Indian Ocean.

1555 ~ John Rogers was burned at the stake, making him the 1st English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.

1758 ~ Macapá in Brazil is founded.

1789 ~ George Washington was elected as the 1st President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

1794 ~ The French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French First Republic, but it was re-established in the French West Indies in 1802.

1797 ~ The Riobamba earthquake hit Ecuador, causing approximately 40,000 casualties.

1846 ~ The 1st Mormon pioneers made their exodus from Nauvoo in Illinois, to Salt Lake Valley.

1859 ~ The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt.

1861 ~ The Confederate States of America was formed in Montgomery, Alabama, when delegates from six break-away U.S. states met during the American Civil War.

1938 ~ Adolf Hitler appointed himself as head of the Armed Forces High Command.

1941 ~ USO : The United Service Organization was created to entertain American troops.

1948 ~ Ceylon became independent within the British Commonwealth, and later renamed Sri Lanka.

1966 ~ All Nippon Airways Flight 60 plungeds into Tokyo Bay, killing 133 people.

1967 ~ Lunar Orbiter program: Lunar Orbiter 3 lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on a mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.

1969 ~ Yasser Arafat took over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1974 ~ The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.

1975 ~ Haicheng earthquake hit Haicheng, Liaoning, in China, with a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale. 2,041 people were killed, with over 27,000 injured, and thousands of buildings collapsed.

1976 ~ Guatemala and Honduras earthquake killed over 22,000 people.

1977 ~ A Chicago Transit Authority elevated train rear-ended another train and derailed, killing 11 people and injuring 180. This was the worst accident in the agency’s history.

1992 ~ A coup d’état was led by Hugo Chávez against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.

1998 ~ An Afghanistan earthquake hit the Takhar Province and killed 2,323 killed people, and injured 818.

2004 ~ Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

2015 ~ TransAsia Airways Flight 235 crashed into the Keelung River shortly after take-off, killing 43 people.