June 4th in History

Henry Ford test-drives his first gas-powered automobile, June 4, 1896

Today in History

  • The people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon receive a royal monopoly for the ripening of Roquefort cheese from Charles VI of France (1411)
  • The Montgolfier brothers give a public demonstration of their montgolfière, or hot air balloon (1783)
  • The train Transcontinental Express crosses the United States from New York city to San Francisco in a record-setting 83 hours and 39 minutes (1876)
  • Henry Ford test-drives his first gasoline-powered automobile, the Ford Quadricycle (1896)
  • Massachusetts becomes the first US state to set a minimum wage (1912)
  • The first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded (1917)
  • The US Congress approves the 19th Amendment, which would give women the right to vote, and sends it to the states for ratification (1919)
  • The United States turns away the MS St. Louis, carrying 963 Jewish refugees, who are subsequently forced to return to Europe, where many die in Nazi camps (1939)
  • The evacuation of Dunkirk ends with the successful evacuation of 338,000 troops; Winston Churchill delivers his “We shall fight on the beaches” speech (1940)
  • The Battle of Midway begins (1942)
  • A US Navy hunter-killer group captures the German submarine U-505 (1944)
  • The Berlin Crisis begins (1961)
  • The Tiananmen Square protests end with an attack by forces of the People’s Liberation Army (1989)


  • George III, British monarch (1738)
  • Rosalind Russell, actress (1907)
  • Dennis Weaver, actor (1924)
  • Ruth Westheimer, sex therapist (1928)
  • Bruce Dern, actor (1936)
  • Freddy Fender, guitarist and singer (1937)
  • Robert Fulghum, author (1937)
  • Gorilla Monsoon, wrestler (1937)
  • Mortimer Zuckerman, media and real estate magnate (197)
  • Art Mahaffey, baseball player (1938)
  • Gordon Waller, half of Peter & Gordon (1945)
  • Wendy Pini, comics artist (1951)
  • Parker Stevenson, actor (1952)
  • El DeBarge, singer-songwriter (1951)
  • Al B. Sure!, singer-songwriter (1968)
  • Noah Wyle, actor (1971)
  • Russell Brand, comedian (1975)
  • Angelina Jolie, actress (1975)


  • Giacomo Casanova, adventurer (1798)
  • Wilhelm II, kaiser (1941)
  • Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi leader (1942)
  • Dorothy Gish, actress (1968)
  • Dik Browne, cartoonist (1989)
  • Carl Stotz, founded Little League Baseball (1992)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Birthday of Bhagat Puran Singh (Sikhism)
  • Flag Day (Finland, Estonia)
  • Emancipation Day (Tonga)
  • International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression (United Nations)
  • Labour Day (Bahamas)
  • National Unity Day (Hungary)
  • Revolution Day (Ghana)
  • Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 Memorial Day (international)
Informal and made-up holidays include Applesauce Cake Day, Cognac Day, Embarrassing Ailments Day (in honor of St. Quirinus, patron saint of earaches, gout, and hemorrhoids), Frost Your Hair Day, Hug Your Cat Day, National Tailor’s Day, Old Maid’s Day, Pet Rock Day (in honor of Saint Petrock, who banished monsters throughout the British Empire), Swing Day, Tomato Festival Day, and Turk Fiesta Day.
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June 4 is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years). There are 210 days remaining until the end of the year.