1493 ~ Christopher Columbus the explorer arrived back in Lisbon, Portugal, aboard his ship Niña, after a voyage to the islands in the Caribbean, now known as The Bahamas.

1519 ~ Hernán Cortés arrived in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.

1628 ~ The Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a Royal charter.

1665 ~ Charles II of England declared war on the Netherlands, which marked the beginning of the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War.

1675 ~ John Flamsteed was appointed as the first Astronomer Royal of England.

1789 ~ The United States Bill of Rights was written and proposed to Congress, which put the United States Constitution into effect, in New York City, where the 1st Congress of the United States met.

1791 ~ Vermont became the 14th state of America.

1794 ~ The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress.

1797 ~ John Adams was inaugurated as the 2nd President of the United States of America.

1804 ~ The Castle Hill Rebellion occurred when Irish convicts rebelled against British colonial authority, in the Colony of New South Wales.

1837 ~ The city of Chicago in Illinois was incorporated.

1861 ~ The 1st national flag of the Confederate States of America was adopted. This was the “Stars and Bars” version of the flag.

1865 ~ The 3rd and final national flag of the Confederate States of America was adopted by the Confederate Congress.

1882 ~ Britain’s 1st electric trams began to run in east London.

1890 ~ The Forth Bridge in Scotland, the longest bridge in Great Britain, was opened by the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII. The length of the bridge measured 520 metres (1710 feet).

1899 ~ Cyclone Mahina hit north of Cooktown, Queensland, with a 12 metre (39 feet) wave that travelled inland up to 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) and killed more than 300 people.

1933 ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States, at the height of the Great Depression. In his famous inaugural address, delivered outside the east wing of the U.S. Capitol, Roosevelt outlined his “New Deal”, an expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare, and also told Americans that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Although it was a rainy day in Washington, and gusts of rain blew over Roosevelt as he spoke, he still delivered a speech radiating optimism and competence, and a broad majority of Americans united behind their new president and his radical economic proposals to lead the nation out of the Great Depression.

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