December 4


1619 - Thirty-eight colonists from Berkeley Parish in England disembark in Virginia and give thanks to God (this is considered to be the first Thanksgiving in the Americas).
1674 - Father Jacques Marquette founds a mission on the shores of Lake Michigan to minister to the Illinois Indians (the mission would later grow into the city of Chicago, Illinois).
1783 - At Fraunces Tavern in New York City, US General George Washington formally bids his officers farewell.
1791 - The first issue of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, is published.
1829 - In the face of fierce opposition, British Lord William Bentinck carries a regulation declaring that all who abetted suttee in India were guilty of culpable homicide.
1867 - Former Minnesota farmer Oliver Hudson Kelley founds the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry (better known today as the Grange Movement).
1872 - The crewless American ship Mary Celeste is found by the British brig Dei Gratia (the ship was abandoned for 9 days but was only slightly damaged).
1875 - Notorious New York City politician Boss Tweed escapes from prison and flees to Cuba, then Spain.
1918 - US President Woodrow Wilson sails for Versailles for the World War I peace talks, becoming the first US president to travel to Europe while in office.
1921 - The Virginia Rappe manslaughter trial against actor and film director Roscoe Arbuckle ends in a hung jury.
1942 - In Warsaw, two Christian women, Zofia Kossak and Wanda Filipowicz risk their lives by setting up the Council for the Assistance of the Jews.
1943 - In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.
1943 - Great Depression ends in the United States: With unemployment figures falling fast due to World War II-related employment, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt closes the Works Progress Administration.
1945 - By a vote of 65 to 7, the United States Senate approves United States participation in the United Nations (the UN was established on October 24, 1945).
1952 - A "killer fog" descends on London ("Smog" for "smoke" and "fog" becomes a word).
1958 - Dahomey (present-day Benin) becomes a self-governing country within the French Community.
1967 - US and South Vietnamese forces engage Viet Cong troops in the Mekong Delta (235 of the 300-strong Viet Cong battalion were killed).
1977 - Jean-Bdel Bokassa, president of the Central African Republic, crowns himself Emperor.
1977 - A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737 is hijacked and then blown up in mid-air over the Straits of Johore, killing 100.
1978 - Following the murder of Mayor George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein becomes San Francisco, California's first woman mayor (she served until January 8, 1988).
1981 - South Africa grants "homeland" Ciskei independence (not recognized outside South Africa).
1982 - The People's Republic of China adopts its current constitution.
1991 - Journalist Terry Anderson is released after a seven years' captivity as a hostage in Beirut (he was the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon).
1991 - Pan Am Airlines ends operations.
1992 - President George H. W. Bush orders 28,000 US troops to Somalia.
1993 - A truce is concluded between the government of Angola and UNITA rebels.


1443 - Pope Julius II (d. 1513)
1585 - John Cotton, American Puritan leader (d. 1652)
1777 - Madame Rcamier, writer (d. 1849)
1795 - Thomas Carlyle, writer, historian (d. 1881)
1835 - Samuel Butler, writer (d. 1902)
1849 - Crazy Horse, Native American leader (d. 1877)
1861 - Lillian Russell, singer, actress (d. 1922)
1866 - Wassily Kandinsky, painter (d. 1944)
1875 - Rainer Maria Rilke, poet (d. 1926)
1892 - Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain (d. 1975)
1895 - Fung Yu-lan, Chinese philosopher (d. 1990)
1903 - Cornell Woolrich, crime writer, "Father of Film Noir" (d. September 24, 1968)
1908 - Alfred Hershey, American psychologist, winner 1969 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1997)
1912 - Pappy Boyington, American fighter pilot (d. 1988
1914 - Rudolf Hausner, painter and graphic artist (d. 1995)
1921 - Deanna Durbin, actress, singer
1922 - Grard Philipe, actor (d. 1959)
1934 - Victor French, actor (d. 1989)
1937 - Max Baer Jr., actor
1940 - John Cale, rock musician (The Velvet Underground)
1944 - Dennis Wilson, pop musician (The Beach Boys)
1945 - Roberta Bondar, astronaut and scientist
1949 - Jeff Bridges, actor
1964 - Marisa Tomei, actress
1973 - Tyra Banks, model


765 - Jafar Sadiq, Shia Imam
771 - Carloman, king of the Franks
1214 - William I of Scotland
1334 - Pope John XXII
1576 - Rheticus, mathematician
1642 - Cardinal Armand-Jean du Plessis, duc de Richelieu, French statesman
1679 - Thomas Hobbes, politcal philosopher
1732 - John Gay, playwright
1798 - Luigi Galvani, physicist
1867 - Sophie (Frmiet) Rude, French artist
1890 - King Willem III of the Netherlands (date of burial)
1926 - Ivana Kobilca, Slovene painter (b. 1861)
1956 - Alexandr Rodchenko, Russian painter and photographer
1967 - Bert Lahr, actor
1973 - Michael O'Shea, actor
1976 - Benjamin Britten, composer
1976 - Tommy Bolin, rock guitarist (Deep Purple)
1980 - Stanislawa Walasiewicz, Polish-American sprinter
1993 - Frank Zappa, rock musician, composer
1997 - Richard Vernon, actor


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