On February 4:
211 Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died, leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta.
960 The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song Dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries.
1677 Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer, was born.
1703 In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commited seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
Incense burns at the burial graves of the 47 Ronin at Sengaku-ji.
1789 George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
1792 George Washington was unanimously elected to a second term as President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
1794 The French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic.
1810 The Royal Navy seized Guadeloupe.
1820 The Chilean Navy under the command of Lord Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald completed the 2 day long capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and 2 ships.
1825 The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.
1859 The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt.
Luke 11, 2 in Codex Sinaiticus
1902 Charles Lindbergh, American pilot, was born.
1905 Hylda Baker, English comedy actress, was born.
1913 Rosa Parks, American civil rights activistwas, born.
1915 – Ray Evans, American songwriter with Jay Livingston, was born.
1915 Norman Wisdom, English actor and comedian, was born.
1921 Betty Friedan, American feminist, was born.
1921 Lotfi Asker Zadeh, American-Iranian/Russian mathematician and computer scientist and the father of fuzzy logic., was born.
1936 Radium becomes the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.
1941 The United Service Organization (USO) was created to entertain American troops.
1941 John Steel, British musician (The Animals), was born.
1945 World War II: The Yalta Conference began.
The “Big Three” at the Yalta Conference, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Also present are Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, RN, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal, RAF (both standing behind Churchill); and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, (standing behind Roosevelt).
1947 Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States, was born.
1948 Alice Cooper, American musician, was born.
1948 Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) became independent.
1957 The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), logged its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne‘s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.
1967 Lunar Orbiter 3 lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its 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 American Lynne Cox became the first woman to swim Cook Strait when she swam from the North Island to the South in a time of 12 hours 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
1975 Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurs in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.
1976 In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake killed more than 22,000.
1980 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini named Abolhassan Banisadr as president of Iran.
1985 The New Zealand Labour government refused the USS Buchanan entry to the country on the grounds that the United States would neither confirm nor deny that the ship had nuclear capability.
1992 A Coup d’état led by Hugo Chávez Frías, against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
1996 Major snowstorm paralysed Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin tied all-time record low temperature at -26°F (-32.2°C)
1997 Two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collided in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.
1997 Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognised opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.
1998 An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan killed more than 5,000.
1999 Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an urelated stake-out, inflaming race-relations in the city.
1999 The New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon.
2003 The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed to Serbia and Montenegro and adopted a new constitution.
2004 Facebook, a mainstream online social network was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
2006 A stampede occured in the ULTRA Stadium near Manila killing 71.
2008 – The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) scheme began to oeprate.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.