Today In History - Wednesday, March 4th

2009


The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.
2007


Estonian parliamentary election, 2007: Approximately 30,000 voters take advantage of electronic voting in Estonia, the world's first nationwide voting where part of the votecasting is allowed in the form of remote electronic voting via the Internet.
2006


Final contact attempt with Pioneer 10 by the Deep Space Network. No response was received.
2005


The car of released Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena is fired on by US soldiers after it ran a roadblock in Iraq, causing the death of an Italian Secret Service Agent and injuring two passengers.
The United Nations warns that about 90 million Africans could be infected by the HIV virus in the future without further action against the spread of the disease.
2002


Canada bans human embryo cloning but permits government-funded scientists to use embryos left over from fertility treatment or abortions.
Multinational Force in Afghanistan: Seven American Special Operations Forces soldiers are killed as they attempt to infiltrate the Shahi Kot Valley on a low-flying helicopter reconnaissance mission.
2001


4 March 2001 BBC bombing: a massive car bomb explodes in front of the BBC Television Centre in London, seriously injuring 11 people. The attack was attributed to the Real IRA.
Hintze Ribeiro disaster, a bridge collapses in northern Portugal, killing up to 70 people.
1998


Gay rights: ''Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services'': The Supreme Court of the United States rules that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex.
1997


U.S. President Bill Clinton bans federally funded human cloning research.
1994


Space shuttle STS-62 (''Columbia'' 16) launches into orbit.
Bosnia's Bosniaks and Croats sign an agreement to form a federation in a loose economic union with Croatia.
1991


Sheikh Saad Al-Abdallah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, returns to his country for the first time since Iraq's invasion.
1986


The Soviet Vega 1 begins returning images of Comet Halley and the first images ever of its nucleus.
1985


The Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for AIDS, used since then for screening all blood donations in the United States.
1983


Bertha Wilson is appointed the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada.
1982


NASA launches the Intelsat V-508 satellite.
1980


Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe's first black prime minister.
1979


The first encyclical written by Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis (Latin for "The Redeemer of Man") is promulgated less than five months after his installation as pope.
1977


The 1977 Bucharest Earthquake in southern and eastern Europe kills more than 1,500.
The first Cray-1 supercomputer is shipped to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico.
1976


The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention is formally dissolved in Northern Ireland resulting in direct rule of Northern Ireland from London via the British parliament.
The last flight of the second Concorde prototype aircraft to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at the Royal Naval Air Station, Yeovilton,England.
1972


Libya and the Soviet Union sign a cooperation treaty.
1970


French submarine ''Eurydice'' explodes.
1966


Canadian Pacific Air Lines DC-8-43 explodes on landing at Tokyo International Airport, killing 64 people.
1962


The United States Atomic Energy Commission announces that the first atomic power plant at McMurdo Station in Antarctica is in operation.
1960


French freighter 'La Coubre' explodes in Havana, Cuba killing 100. Fidel Castro blames the U.S.
1957


The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90.
1954


Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, announces the first successful kidney transplant.
1945


In the United Kingdom, Princess Elizabeth, later to become Queen Elizabeth II, joins the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service as a driver.
Lapland War: Finland declares war on Nazi Germany.
1944


World War II: After the success of Big Week, the USAAF begins a daylight bombing campaign of Berlin.
1941


World War II: The United Kingdom launches Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands.
1933


Frances Perkins becomes United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet.
The Parliament of Austria is suspended because of a quibble over procedure - Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss initiates authoritarian rule by decree (see Austrofascism).
1931


The British Viceroy of India, Governor-General Edward Frederick Lindley Wood and Mohandas Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) meet to sign an agreement envisaging the release of political prisoners and allowing salt to be freely used by the poorest members of the population.
1930


Floods ransack Languedoc and the surrounding area in south-west France, resulting in twelve départements being submerged by water and causing the death of over 700 people.
1929


Charles Curtis becomes the first native-American Vice President of the United States.
1925


Calvin Coolidge becomes the first President of the United States to have his inauguration broadcast on radio.
1918


The first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.
1917


Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first female member of the United States House of Representatives.
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia's renunciation of the throne is made public, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia publicly issues his abdication manifesto. The victory of the February Revolution.
1911


Victor Berger (Wisconsin) becomes the first socialist congressman in U.S..
1908


The Collinwood School Fire, Collinwood near Cleveland, Ohio, kills 174 people.
1904


Russo-Japanese War: Russian troops in Korea retreat toward Manchuria followed by 100,000 Japanese troops.
1902


In Chicago, the American Automobile Association is established.
1899


Cyclone Mahina sweeps in north of Cooktown, Queensland, with a 12 m wave that reached up to 5 km inland, killing over 300.
1894


Great fire in Shanghai. Over 1,000 buildings are destroyed.
1893


Congo Free State: The army of Francis, Baron Dhanis attacks the Lualaba, enabling him to transport his troops across the Upper Congo and, capture Nyangwe almost without an effort.
1890


The longest bridge in Great Britain, the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland, measuring 1710 ft in length, is opened by the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII.
1887


Gottlieb Daimler unveils his first automobile which he test runs in Esslingen and Cannstatt, Germany.
1882


1877


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet ''Swan Lake'' receives its première performance at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
1865


Third (and last) national flag of the Confederate States of America is adopted.
1863


The Idaho Territory is created as a political division of the United States.
1861


First national flag of the Confederate States of America (the 'Stars and Bars') is adopted.
Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States.
1848


Carlo Alberto di Savoia signs the ''Statuto Albertino'' that will later represent the first constitution of the ''Regno d'Italia''
1845


James Knox Polk is inaugurated as the 11th President of the United States.
1837


Chicago is incorporated as a city.
1824


The "National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck" is founded in the United Kingdom, later to be renamed The Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1858.
1814


Americans defeat the British at the Battle of Longwoods between London, Ontario and Thamesville, near present-day Wardsville, Ontario.
1813


Russian troops fighting the army of Napoleon reach Berlin in Germany and the French garrison evacuates the city without a fight.
1804


Castle Hill Rebellion: Irish convicts rebel against British colonial authority in the Colony of New South Wales.
1797


In the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times, John Adams is sworn in as President of the United States, succeeding George Washington.
1794


The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed by the U.S. Congress.
1793


French troops conquer Geertruidenberg, Netherlands.
1791


Vermont is admitted as the 14th U.S. state.
A Constitutional Act is introduced by the British House of Commons in London which envisages the separation of Canada into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario).
1790


France is divided into 83 ''départements'', which cuts across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on ownership of land by the nobility.
1789


In New York City, the first United States Congress meets, putting the Constitution of the United States into effect.
1778


The Continental Congress votes to ratify both the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance with France. The two treaties are the first entered into by the United States government.
1776


The American War of Independence: The Americans capture Dorchester Heights dominating the port of Boston, Massachusetts.
1681


Charles II of England grants a land charter to William Penn for the area that will later become Pennsylvania.
1675


John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.
1665


English King Charles II declares war on The Netherlands which marks the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
1629


Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a Royal charter.
1621


1611


George Abbot is appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
1570


King Philip II of Spain bans foreign Dutch students.
1519


Hernan Cortes arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.
1493


Explorer Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what is now The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.
1492


King James IV of Scotland concludes an alliance with France against England.
1461


Wars of the Roses in England: Lancastrian King Henry VI is deposed by his Yorkist cousin, who then becomes King Edward IV.
1386


Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) is crowned King of Poland.
1351


Ramathibodi becomes King of Siam.
1238


The Battle of the Sit River is fought in the northern part of the present-day Yaroslavl Oblast of Russia between the Mongol Hordes of Batu Khan and the Russians under Yuri II of Vladimir-Suzdal during the Mongol invasion of Russia.
1215


King John of England makes an oath to the Pope as a crusader to gain the support of Innocent III.
1152


Frederick I Barbarossa is elected King of the Germans.
932


Translation of the relics of martyr Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, Prince of the Czechs.
852


Croatian Duke Trpimir I issues a statute, a document with the first known written mention of the Croats name in Croatian sources.
303


Martyrdom of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia.
51


Nero, later to become Roman Emperor, is given the title princeps iuventutis (head of the youth).