December 4th in History

The Million Dollar Quartet (l-r Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash)

Today in History

  • US General George Washington gives a farewell speech to the officers of the Continental Army (1783)
  • William “Boss” Tweed escapes from prison and flees to Spain; he will be recaptured and returned to prison the following November (1875)
  • The first manslaughter trial of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle ends in a hung jury (1921)
  • The US Senate approves US membership and participation in the United Nations (1945)
  • The first Burger King opens (1954)
  • The Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash) have an impromptu one-off jam session at the Sun Records studio in Memphis (1956)
  • Led Zeppelin officially disbands (1980)
  • Journalist Terry Anderson is released after seven years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut (1991)
  • The last Pan Am flight takes place (1991)


  • Samuel Butler, author (1835)
  • Lillian Russell, actress and singer (1861)
  • Jesse Burkett, baseball player (1868)
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, poet (1875)
  • Francisco Franco, Spanish generalissimo and caudillo (1892)
  • Pappy Boyington, “Black Sheep Squadron” commander, Marine Corps ace, and Medal of Honor winner (1912)
  • Claude Renoir, cinematographer (1914)
  • Deanna Durbin, actress and singer (1921)
  • Charles Keating, financier and felon (1923)
  • Eagle Keys, football player and coach (1923)
  • Horst Buchholz, actor (1933)
  • Victor French, actor (1934)
  • Wink Martindale, game show host (1934)
  • Robert Vesco, financier and felon (1935)
  • Max Baer, Jr., Beverly Hillbillies actor (1937)
  • Gary Gilmore, convicted murderer (1940)
  • Chris Hillman, singer-songwriter for the Byrds (1944)
  • Ann McGarrigle, singer-songwriter (1944)
  • Dennis Wilson, singer-songwriter for the Beach Boys (1944)
  • Southside Johnny, singer-songwriter (1948)
  • Jeff Bridges, actor (1949)
  • Pamela Stephenson, actress, Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member, psychologist (1949)
  • Patricia Wettig, actress (1951)
  • Bernard King, basketball player (1956)
  • Marisa Tomei, actress (1964)
  • Fred Armisen, SNL cast member (1966)
  • Jay-Z, rapper (1969)
  • Tyra Banks, supermodel (1973)
  • Joe Thomas, football player (1984)
  • Andrew Brackman, baseball player (1985)


  • عمر خیا (Omar Khayyám), poet and polymath (1131)
  • Rheticus, mathematician (1574)
  • Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of France (1642)
  • Thomas Hobbes, philosopher (1679)
  • Luigi Galvani, physicist (1798)
  • Charles Dow, Wall Street Journal co-founder (1902)
  • Jack Mercer, animator and voice of Popeye the Sailor (1984)
  • Frank Zappa, singer-songwriter (1993)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Barbórka (Miner’s Day) (Poland)
  • Bona Dea winter ceremonies (women in ancient Rome)
  • Day of Ṣàngó (Santería)
  • Eid il-Burbara (Saint Barbara’s Day) (Middle Eastern Christians, celebrated similarly to Halloween in Lebanon)
  • שאלת גשמים (First day rain is prayed for) (Jewish diaspora)
  • National Cookie Day (US food holidays, started by the Blue Chip Cookie Company in 1987 and endorsed by Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster)
  • National Dice Day (Las Vegas casinos)
  • Navy Day (India)
  • Navy Day (Italy)
  • Tupou I Day (Tonga)
  • วันสิ่งแวดล้อมไทย (Wan Singwaetlom Thai) (Thai Environment Day) (Thailand)

December 4 is the 338th day of the year (339th in leap years). There are 27 days remaining until the end of the year.