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This Day in History: June 4


1760 – Great Upheaval: New England planters arrive to claim land in Nova Scotia, Canada, taken from the Acadians.

1792 – Captain George Vancouver claims Puget Sound for the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1812 – Following Louisiana's admittance as a U.S. state, the Louisiana Territory is renamed the Missouri Territory.

1825 – General Lafayette, a French officer in the American Revolutionary War, speaks at what would become Lafayette Square, Buffalo, during his visit to the United States.

1855 – Major Henry C. Wayne departs New York aboard the USS Supply to procure camels to establish the U.S. Camel Corps.

1862 – American Civil War: Confederate troops evacuate Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River, leaving the way clear for Union troops to take Memphis, Tennessee.

1876 – An express train called the Transcontinental Express arrives in San Francisco, via the First Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after leaving New York City.

1896 – Henry Ford completes the Ford Quadricycle, his first gasoline-powered automobile, and gives it a successful test run.

1912 – Massachusetts becomes the first state of the United States to set a minimum wage.

1917 – The first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded: Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliott, and Florence Hall receive the first Pulitzer for biography (for Julia Ward Howe). Jean Jules Jusserand receives the first Pulitzer for history for his work With Americans of Past and Present Days Herbert B. Swope receives the first Pulitzer for journalism for his work for the New York World.

1919 – Women's rights: The U.S. Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees suffrage to women, and sends it to the U.S. states for ratification.

1939 – The Holocaust: The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida, in the United States, after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps.

1940 – World War II: The Dunkirk evacuation ends: British forces complete evacuation of 338,000 troops from Dunkirk in France. To rally the morale of the country, Winston Churchill delivers, only to the House of Commons, his famous "We shall fight on the beaches" speech.

1942 – World War II: The Battle of Midway begins. The Japanese Admiral ChÅ«ichi Nagumo orders a strike on Midway Island by much of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

1943 – A military coup in Argentina ousts Ramón Castillo.

1944 – World War II: A hunter-killer group of the United States Navy captures the German submarine U-505: The first time a U.S. Navy vessel had captured an enemy vessel at sea since the 19th century.

1944 – World War II: Rome falls to the Allies, the first Axis capital to fall.

1965 – Duane Earl Pope robs the Farmers' State Bank of Big Springs, Nebraska, killing three people execution-style and severely wounding a fourth. The crime later puts Pope on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list.

1974 – During Ten Cent Beer Night, inebriated Cleveland Indians fans start a riot, causing the game to be forfeited to the Texas Rangers.

1986 – Jonathan Pollard pleads guilty to espionage for selling top secret United States military intelligence to Israel.

1998 – Terry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.

2010 – Falcon 9 Flight 1 is the maiden flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40.


1738 – George III of the United Kingdom (d. 1820)

1916 – Robert F. Furchgott, American biochemist and pharmacologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2009)

1928 – Ruth Westheimer, German-American therapist and author

1932 – John Drew Barrymore, American actor (d. 2004)

1937 – Freddy Fender, American singer and guitarist (Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven) (d. 2006)

1937 – Robert Fulghum, American author

1972 – Joe Hill, American author

1975 – Angelina Jolie, American actress, director, producer, and activist


1801 – Frederick Muhlenberg, American minister and politician, 1st Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1750)

2010 – John Wooden, American basketball player and coach (b. 1910)