|January 4 in recent years
January 4 is the 4th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 361 days remaining until the end of the year (362 in leap years).
- 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina.
- 871 - Battle of Reading: Ethelred of Wessex fights, and is defeated by, a Danish invasion army.
- 1493 - Christopher Columbus leaves the New World, ending his first journey.
- 1642 - King Charles I of England sends soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England's slide into civil war.
- 1698 - Most of the Palace of Whitehall in London, the main residence of the English monarchs, is destroyed by fire.
- 1717 - The Netherlands, England, and France sign the Triple Alliance.
- 1762 - England declares war on Spain and Naples.
- 1847 - Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government.
- 1854 - The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang.
- 1865 - The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York City.
- 1884 - The Fabian Society is founded in London.
- 1885 - The first successful appendectomy is performed by Dr. William W. Grant on Mary Gartside.
- 1896 - Utah is admitted as the 45th U.S. state.
- 1912 - The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter.
- 1936 - Mickey's Polo Team, a short animated film featuring Charlie Chaplin, Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, and Harpo Marx in a polo match against various Disney characters, is first released.
- 1936 - Billboard magazine publishes its first pop music charts.
- 1941 - The animated short Elmer's Pet Rabbit is released: it marks the second appearance of Bugs Bunny and the first to have his name on a title card.
- 1944 - Operation Carpetbagger, involving the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters in Europe, begins.
- 1944 - World War II: The Battle of Monte Cassino begins.
- 1948 - Burma regains its independence from the United Kingdom.
- 1951 - Korean War: Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul.
- 1957 - After 69 years the last issue of Collier's Weekly magazine is published.
- 1958 - Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from its orbit (launched on October 4, 1957).
- 1959 - Luna 1 becomes the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon.
- 1962 - New York City introduces a train that operates without a crew on-board.
- 1965 - United States President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union address.
- 1972 - Rose Heilbron becomes the first woman judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London.
- 1974 - United States President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over materials subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
- 1975 - Elizabeth Ann Seton becomes the first American-born saint.
- 1987 - An Amtrak train en route to Boston from Washington, collides with Conrail engines, killing 16 people (Chase).
- 1989 - Second Gulf of Sidra incident: a pair of Libyan MiG-23 "Floggers" are shot down by a pair of US Navy F-14 Tomcats during an air-to-air confrontation.
- 1990 - A crowded passenger train collides with a standing freight train in Pakistan's Sindh province, killing 300 people.
- 1998 - Wilaya of Relizane massacres in Algeria; over 170 are killed in three remote villages.
- 1999 - Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura is sworn in as governor of Minnesota.
- 1999 - Gunmen open fire on Shiite Muslims worshipping in an Islamabad mosque, killing 16 people and injuring 25.
- 2004 - Dr. Mikhail Saakashvili is elected the President of Georgia.
- 2004 - Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, lands successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC.
- 2006 - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel suffers a second, apparently more serious stroke. His authority is transferred to Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
- 2007 - The 110th United States Congress convenes, electing Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history.
- 1077 - Emperor Zhezong of Song Dynasty in China (d. 1100)
- 1334 - Amadeus VI of Savoy (d. 1383)
- 1581 - James Ussher, Irish Anglican archbishop (d. 1656)
- 1643 - Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and natural philosopher (d. 1727)
- 1664 - Lars Roberg, Swedish physician (d. 1742)
- 1672 - Hugh Boulter, Irish Archbishop of Armagh (d. 1742)
- 1710 - Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Italian composer (d. 1736)
- 1720 - Johann Friedrich Agricola, German composer (d. 1774)
- 1785 - Jakob Grimm, German philologist and folklorist (d. 1863)
- 1809 - Louis Braille, French inventor of braille (d. 1852)
- 1813 - Isaac Pitman, British inventor (Pitman shorthand) (d. 1897)
- 1832 - George Tryon, British admiral (d. 1893)
- 1838 - Charles Sherwood Stratton, American circus performer (d. 1883)
- 1839 - Carl Humann, German engineer (d. 1896)
- 1848 - Katsura Taro, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1913)
- 1869 - Tommy Corcoran, baseball player (d. 1960)
- 1874 - Josef Suk, Czech composer (d. 1935)
- 1881 - Wilhelm Lehmbruck, German sculptor (d. 1919)
- 1882 - Aristarkh Lentulov, Russian artist (d. 1943)
- 1883 - Max Eastman, American writer (d. 1969)
- 1893 - Yone Minagawa, Japanese, became worlds Oldest living person January 29, 2007. (d. Aug. 13, 2007)
- 1894 - Manuel de Abreu, Brazilian physician (d. 1962)
- 1896 - Everett Dirksen, American politician (d. 1969)
- 1896 - André Masson, French artist (d. 1987)
- 1900 - James Bond, American ornithologist (d. 1989)
- 1901 - C. L. R. James, writer and journalist (d. 1989)
- 1905 - Sterling Holloway, American actor (d. 1992)
- 1913 - Malietoa Tanumafili II, Sovereign Ruler of Samoa (d.2007)
- 1914 - Herman Franks, baseball player
- 1916 - Lionel Newman, American film music composer (d. 1989)
- 1920 - William Colby, American CIA director (d. 1996)
- 1924 - Sebastian Kappen, Indian theologian (d. 1993)
- 1925 - Veikko Hakulinen, Finnish cross-country skier (d. 2003)
- 1927 - Paul Desmarais, Canadian businessman
- 1927 - Barbara Rush, American actress
- 1929 - Yayoi Kusama, Japanese artist, sculptor
- 1930 - Sorrell Booke, American actor (d. 1994)
- 1930 - Don Shula, American football coach
- 1931 - Adi Lady Lala Mara, First Lady of Fiji (d. 2004)
- 1932 - Carlos Saura, Spanish director
- 1933 - Ilia II Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia.
- 1934 - Rudolf Schuster, President of Slovakia
- 1935 - Floyd Patterson, American boxer (d. 2006)
- 1937 - Grace Bumbry, American singer
- 1937 - Dyan Cannon, American actress
- 1940 - Helmut Jahn, German architect
- 1940 - Brian David Josephson, Nobel laureate
- 1940 - Gao Xingjian, Nobel laureate
- 1941 - George Pan Cosmatos, Greek film director (d. 2005)
- 1941 - John Bennett Perry, American actor
- 1941 - Maureen Reagan, American political activist (d. 2001)
- 1942 - John McLaughlin, English jazz guitarist
- 1943 - Doris Kearns Goodwin, American writer
- 1945 - Vesa-Matti Loiri, Finnish entertainer
- 1945 - Richard R. Schrock, Nobel laureate
- 1946 - Arthur Conley, American singer (d. 2003)
- 1947 - Chris Cutler, English musician and composer (Henry Cow, Art Bears)
- 1947 - Rick Stein, English chef and television presenter
- 1948 - Eugeniusz Wycisło, Polish politician
- 1950 - John Louis Evans, convicted murderer (d. 1983)
- 1951 - Barbara Cochran, American alpine skier
- 1953 - Norberto Alonso, Argentine footballer
- 1953 - George Tenet, American CIA director
- 1954 - Eugene Chadbourne, American composer and musician
- 1955 - Mark Hollis, English musician and composer (Talk Talk)
- 1956 - Nels Cline, American guitarist and composer
- 1956 - Bernard Sumner, English musician (New Order, Joy Division, Electronic)
- 1957 - Patty Loveless, American singer
- 1958 - Matt Frewer, American actor
- 1958 - Gary Jones, Welsh-born actor
- 1958 - Julian Sands, British actor
- 1959 - Yoshitomo Nara, Japanese pop artist
- 1960 - Michael Stipe, American singer (R.E.M.)
- 1961 - Lee Curreri, American actor
- 1962 - Laila Eloui, Egyptian actress
- 1962 - Robin Guthrie, Scottish guitarist (Cocteau Twins)
- 1962 - Peter Steele, American musician (Type O Negative)
- 1963 - Dave Foley, Canadian comedian and actor
- 1963 - Till Lindemann, German singer (Rammstein)
- 1965 - Yvan Attal, French actor and director
- 1965 - Beth Gibbons, English singer (Portishead)
- 1965 - Cait O'Riordan, British musician (The Pogues)
- 1965 - Julia Ormond, English actress
- 1966 - Deana Carter, American singer
- 1967 - David Berman, American poet and singer/songwriter (Silver Jews)
- 1967 - Johnny Nelson, British former boxer
- 1967 - Marina Orsini, Quebec actress
- 1967 - David Toms, American professional golfer
- 1970 - Chris Kanyon, First Active Openly Homosexual Professional Wrestler
- 1971 - Junichi Kakizaki, Japanese artist, sculptor
- 1973 - Frank Høj, Danish cyclist
- 1974 - Ian Moor, English singer
- 1976 - Benoît Joachim, professional cyclist
- 1976 - Ted Lilly, American baseball player
- 1977 - Irán Castillo, Mexican actress
- 1977 - Tim Wheeler, Irish singer (Ash)
- 1978 - Dominik Hrbatý, Slovakian tennis player
- 1978 - Mai Meneses, Spanish singer
- 1979 - Tristan Gommendy, French racing driver
- 1979 - Jeph Howard, American musician (The Used)
- 1980 - Miguel Monteiro, Portuguese footballer
- 1982 - Kang Hye-jeong, South Korean actress
- 1982 - Richard Logan, English footballer
- 1982 - Paulo Ferrari, Argentinian footballer
- 1983 - Spencer Chamberlain, American vocalist (Underoath)
- 1985 - Fernando Rees, Brazilian race car driver
- 1986 - Steve Slaton , American Football Player
- 1986 - James Milner, English footballer
- 1988 - Nabila Jamshed, Indian Writer
- 1991 - Olivia Tennet, New Zealand actress
- 1995 - María Isabel, Spanish singer
- 2000 - Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, American actress
- 1066 - Edward the Confessor, pre-Norman conquest English king (b. ca. 1004) (disputed)
- 1248 - Sancho II, King of Portugal (b. 1207)
- 1564 - Hosokawa Ujitsuna, Japanese military commander (b. 1514)
- 1584 - Tobias Stimmer, Swiss painter and drawer (b. 1539)
- 1695 - François Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, duc de Luxembourg, French general (b. 1628)
- 1752 - Gabriel Cramer, Swiss mathematician (b. 1704)
- 1761 - Stephen Hales, English physiologist (b. 1677)
- 1773 - Anton Losenko, Russian painter (b. 1737)
- 1782 - Ange-Jacques Gabriel, French architect (b. 1698)
- 1804 - Charlotte Lennox, English author and poet (bc. 1730)
- 1821 - Elizabeth Ann Seton, American saint (b. 1774)
- 1825 - Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies (b. 1751)
- 1877 - Cornelius Vanderbilt, American entrepreneur (b. 1794)
- 1883 - Antoine Eugène Alfred Chanzy, French general (b. 1823)
- 1891 - Antoine Labelle, Quebec catholic priest (b. 1833)
- 1896 - Joseph Hubert Reinkens, German Old Catholic bishop (b. 1821)
- 1903 - Gulstan Ropert, Roman Catholic prelate (b. 1839)
- 1919 - Georg von Hertling, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1843)
- 1920 - Benito Pérez Galdós, Spanish novelist (b. 1843)
- 1931 - Art Acord, American actor (b. 1890)
- 1941 - Henri Bergson, French philosopher, Nobel laureate (b. 1859)
- 1960 - Albert Camus, Algerian-born French philosopher and writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1913)
- 1961 - Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1887)
- 1962 - Hans Lammers, German SS officer (b. 1879)
- 1965 - T. S. Eliot, American-born writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1888)
- 1967 - Donald Campbell, British motorboat racer (b. 1921)
- 1970 - Jean-Étienne Valluy, French general (b. 1899)
- 1971 - Arthur Ford, American clairaudient (b. 1896)
- 1981 - Ruth Lowe, Canadian pianist and composer (I'll Never Smile Again) (b. 1914)
- 1985 - Brian Horrocks, British general (b. 1895)
- 1986 - Christopher Isherwood, English writer (b. 1904)
- 1986 - Phil Lynott, Irish musician (Thin Lizzy) (b. 1949)
- 1990 - Doc Edgerton, American electrical engineer (b. 1903)
- 1994 - RD Burman, Indian musician (b. 1939)
- 1995 - Eduardo Mata, Mexican conductor and composer (b. 1942)
- 1995 - Sol Tax, American anthropologist (b. 1907)
- 1997 - Harry Helmsley, American real estate mogul (b. 1909)
- 1998 - Mae Questel, American actress (b. 1908)
- 1999 - Iron Eyes Cody, American actor (b. 1904)
- 2003 - Conrad Hall, American cinematographer (b. 1927)
- 2003 - Yfrah Neaman, Lebanese-born violinist (b. 1923)
- 2003 - Sabine Ulibarri, Mexican American writer (b. 1919)
- 2004 - Joan Aiken, English author (b. 1924)
- 2004 - Brian Gibson, English film director (b. 1944)
- 2004 - Jake Hess, American singer (b. 1927)
- 2004 - Jeff Nuttall, English writer (b. 1933)
- 2004 - John Toland, American historian (b. 1912)
- 2005 - Humphrey Carpenter, English author (b. 1946)
- 2005 - Guy Davenport, American author, artist, and scholar (b. 1927)
- 2005 - Ali al-Haidri, Iraqi governor of Baghdad (assassinated)
- 2005 - Frank Harary, American mathematician (b. 1921)
- 2005 - Robert Heilbroner, American economist (b. 1919)
- 2005 - Bud Poile, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1924)
- 2005 - Alton Tobey, American artist (b. 1914)
- 2006 - Irving Layton, Canadian poet (b. 1912)
- 2006 - Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai (b. 1946)
- 2006 - Robert Howard White, Mayor of Papatoetoe, New Zealand (b. 1914)
- 2007 - Ben Gannon, Australian theatre film and television producer (b. 1952)
- 2007 - Helen Hill, American independent film-maker (b. 1970)
- 2007 - Sir Lewis Hodges, British Air Chief Marshal (b. 1918)
- 2007 - Grenfell (Gren) Jones, Welsh newspaper cartoonist (b. 1934)
- 2007 - Steve Krantz, American film and TV producer (Fritz the Cat) (b. 1923)
- 2007 - Gáspár Nagy, Hungarian poet and writer (b. 1949)
- 2007 - Sandro Salvadore, Italian footballer (b. 1939)
- 2007 - Jan Schröder, Dutch cyclist (b. 1941)
- 2007 - Marais Viljoen, former State President of South Africa (b. 1915)
- 2007 - Osman Waqialla, Sudanese artist and calligrapher (b. 1925)
Holidays and observances
- ^ To prevent confusion the proper noun "Braille" is written in lower case ("braille") when referring to the writing system.
- ^ Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-140-51312-4.
Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-140-51312-4.
115 Familypedia people were born on January 4
119 Familypedia people died on January 4
68 Familypedia people were first married on January 4