It happened today — this day in history – March 4

1193: Death of Saladin, first Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty.

1522: Anne Boleyn makes her debut at court at the Green Castle pageant.

1665: Charles II declares war on The Netherlands.

1675: John Flamsteed is appointed first Astronomer Royal.

1678: Birth of composer and violin virtuoso Antonio Vivaldi in Venice.

1774: First sighting of Orion nebula by William Herschel.

1789: The first US Congress meets and declares the constitution in effect.

1790: France is divided into 83 départements, which cut across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on noble ownership of land.

1792: Oranges are introduced to Hawaii.

1797: John Adams is inaugurated as the second President of The United States.

1801: Thomas Jefferson is is the first US President to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.

1809: The inauguration of James Madison as President of The United States.

1817: James Monroe is inaugurated as the fifth President of The United States.

1825: John Quincy Adams is inaugurated as sixth President of The United States.

1829: Andrew Jackson is inaugurated as seventh President of The United States.

1835: HMS Beagle moves into the Bay of Concepcion.

1837: Martin van Buren is inaugurated as eigthth President of The United States.

1845: James K Polk is inaugurated as 11th President of The United States.

1861: Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as 16th President of The United States.

1869: Ulysses S Grant is inaugurated as 18th President of The United States.

1881: James A Garfield is inaugurated as the 20th President of The United States.

1882: Britain’s first electric trams run in East London.

1885: Grover Cleveland is inaugurated as US president.

1889: Benjamin Harrison is inaugurated as 23rd President of The United States.

1890: The longest bridge in the Great Britain, the Forth Bridge (railway) (1,710 ft) in Scotland is opened by the Prince of Wales.

1893: Grover Cleveland inaugurated as President of the United States for a second term.

1895: Gustav Mahler’s second Symphony premieres in Berlin.

1897: William McKinley is inaugurated as the 25th President of The United States.

1901: William McKinley is inaugurated for his second term as President of The United States.

1909: William Howard Taft is inaugurated as the 27th President of The United States during a snowstorm.

1913: Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated as the 28th President of The United States.

1918: First recorded case of Spanish flu at Funston Army Camp, Kansas; start of a worldwide pandemic which kills 50-100 million.

1921: Warren G Harding is inaugurated as the 29th President of the United States.

1922: Nosferatu, the first vampire film, starring Max Schreck, premieres at the Berlin Zoological Garden.

1923: Actor Rudolph Valentino has his marriage to Jean Acker annulled after just six hours.

1925: Calvin Coolidge’s inauguration as US President is broadcast live on 21 radio stations.

1929: Herbert Hoover is inaugurated as 31st President of the United States.


1933: Chancellor Dollfuss dissolves the Austrian parliament. On the same day, Franklin D Roosevelt is inaugurated as 32nd US President and pledges to pull the country out of the Depression, saying: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

1936: First flight of the airship Hindenburg at Friedrichshafen, Germany.

1944: The first US bombing of Berlin.

1945: Finland declares war on Germany. On the same day, Princess Elizabeth joins the British Auxiliary Transport Service as a driver.

1964: US Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa is convicted of jury tampering.

1965: David Attenborough becomes controller of BBC2.

1966: The Evening Standard publishes an interview by Maureen Cleave with John Lennon in which he talks about The Beatles being bigger than Jesus. Although his comments cause no controversy in the UK, when published out of context in the States months later it resultss in a huge backlash with radio stations banning their songs and encouraging listeners to burn their records.

1968: Joe Frazier TKOs Buster Mathis in Round 11 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1969: The Kray twins, Ronnie and Reg, face life sentences after being found guilty at the Central Criminal Court of the murder of former associate Jack “The Hat” McVitie.

1972: A bomb explodes in a crowded restaurant in Belfast, killing two civilians and wounding 130.

1974: Labour’s Harold Wilson replaces Edward Heath as prime minister.

1975: Silent film legend Charlie Chaplin is knighted at Buckingham Palace.

1976: The Maguire Seven are jailed for possessing explosives. In 1991 the Court of Appeal quashed their convictions after it was ruled the original evidence against them was unsafe.

1977: An earthquake in Romania kills 1,541.

1978: The US Internal Revenue Service carries out a dawn raid at the home of Jerry Lee Lewis and removes cars worth over $170,000 to pay off his tax debts.

1979: Randy Jackson of The Jackson Five is seriously injured in a car crash, breaking both legs and almost dies in the emergency room when a nurse inadvertently injects him with methadone.

Singles chart:

  1. Tragedy – The Bee Gees
  2. Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  3. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  4. Lucky Number – Lene Lovich
  5. Can You Feel The Force – The Real Thing
  6. Heart Of Glass – Blondie
  7. Something Else – The Sex Pistols
  8. Contact – Edwin Starr
  9. Chiquitita – ABBA
  10. Painter Man – Boney M
1979: Blondie – Parallel Lines

Album chart:

  1. Parallel Lines – Blondie
  2. Spirits Having Flown – The Bee Gees
  3. Manilow Magic – Barry Manilow
  4. Armed Forcs – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  5. Thank You Very Much: Reunion Concert – Cliff Richard and the Shadows
  6. C’est Chic – Chic
  7. Live (X-Cert) – The Stranglers
  8. Blondes Have More Fun – Rod Stewart
  9. New Boots And Panties – Ian Dury
  10. Action Replay – Various Artists

1980: Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe’s first black prime minister.

1986: Howard Greenfield, songwriting partner of Neil Sedaka and composer of the Bewitched TV theme, dies of a brain tumour aged 50. On the same day, after just completing a concert, Richard Manuel of The Band hangs himself from a shower curtain rod in a hotel room in Florida.

1989: Six people die and 80 are injured in a train crash at Purley in Surrey. On the same day, The Louvre Pyramid, designed by I M Pei, is inaugurated by French President Francois Mitterrand.

1993: Katherine Hepburn is admitted to hospital suffering from exhaustion.

1994: Kurt Cobain is rushed to hospital after overdosing on alcohol and drugs in a Rome hotel during a European tour with Nirvana. On the same day, four Arab terrorists are found guilty of bombing the World Trade Centre in New York and actor/comedian John Candy dies from a heart attack aged 43.

2001: The IRA detonates a bomb in front of BBC Television Centre in Shepherd’s Bush, injuring 11 people. On the same day, Village People singer Glenn Hughes dies of lung cancer aged 50.

2002: Doreen Waddell, singer with Soul II Soul is killed attempting to run across the A27 in Brighton after being caught shoplifting.

2005: The car of released Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena is fired on by US soldiers in Iraq, causing the death of an Italian Secret Service Agent and injuring two passengers.

2009: The International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, becoming the first sitting head of state to be indicted.

2012: Vladimir Putin wins the Russian presidential election amid allegations of voter fraud.

2013: The Papal Conclave begins to select the successor of Pope Benedict XVI.

2016: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch marries Jerry Hall in a private civil ceremony in London.

2018: Gary Oldman wins the Oscar for best actor at the 90th Academy Awards for his role as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”. On the same day, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury.

2019: Keith Flint, front man with The Prodigy, is found dead at his home in Essex aged 49. On the same day, actor Luke Perry dies after suffering a stroke six days earlier.

2020: Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg drops out of the US Democratic presidential race.

2022: Rocket debris thought to be the booster from China’s Chang’e 5-T1 mission, crashes into the far side of the moon, On the same day, Australian cricketer Shane Warne dies aged 52 from a hearft attack.

2023: A High Seas Treaty is agreed by nations at the UN, aiming to place 30% of the seas into protected areas by 2030.

Patsy Kensit (Photo: Damien Everett)

BIRTHDAYS: Dieter Meier, musician (Yello), 79; Shakin’ Stevens, (Michael Barratt), singer, 76; James Ellroy, writer, 76; Sir Kenny Dalgleish, football legend, 73; Chris Rea, singer-songwriter, 73; Catherine O’Hara, actress, 70; Jason Newsted, bassist (Metallica) 61; Janey Lee Grace, broadcaster, 61; Cheryl Ferguson, actress, 59; Evan Dando, singer-songwriter (The Lemonheads) 57; Sam Taylor-Johnson, director, 57; Tim Vine, comedian, 57; Patsy Kensit, actress, 56; Penny Mordaunt MP, government minister, 51; Landon Donovan, footballer, 42; Erik Lamela, footballer, 32; Brooklyn Beckham, 25.