November 4th in History

On This Day in History

  • A confederation of Western Native American Tribes defeats the US at the Battle of the Wabash: in proportional terms of losses to strength, it was the worst defeat the US ever suffered in battle, with only 48 of 1,000 escaping unharmed. (1791)
  • The City and South London Railway, the first deep underground railway and the first railway to use electric motors, opens in London (1890)
  • Archeologist Howard Carter and associates find the entrance to the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen (1922)
  • The US National Security Agency is founded (1952)
  • Jane Goodall observes chimpanzees creating tools, the first recorded observation of nonhuman tool use (1960)
  • The Iran Hostage Crisis begins when an Iranian mob overruns the US Embassy in Tehran, taking 90 captives, 53 of whom are American (1979)
  • Barack Obama is elected US President (2008)


  • Will Rogers, comedian (1879)
  • Alfred Lee Loomis, physicist and philanthropist (1887)
  • Skeeter Webb, baseball player (1909)
  • Gig Young, actor (1913)
  • Walter Cronkite, CBS news anchorman (1916)
  • Art Carney, actor (1918)
  • Martin Balsam, actor (1919)
  • Doris Roberts, actress (1925)
  • Tommy Makem, Irish singer-songwriter (1932)
  • Loretta Swit, actress (1937)
  • Laura Bush, 45th US First Lady
  • Robert Mapplethorpe, photographer (1946)
  • Markie Post, actress (1950)
  • Kathy Griffin, comedienne (1960)
  • Ralph Macchio, actor (1961)
  • Jeff Probst, television host (1961)
  • Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, rapper (1969)
  • Orlando Pace, football player (1975)
  • Heather Tom, soap opera actress (1975)


  • Felix Mendelssohn, composer (1847)
  • Wilfred Owen, poet (1918)
  • Buddy Bolden (1930)
  • Grover Cleveland Alexander, baseball player (1950)
  • Cy Young, baseball player (1955)
  • Tom Reamy, science fiction writer (1977)
  • Dominique Dunne, actress (1982)
  • Jacques Tati, actor and director (1982)
  • יִצְחָק רַבִּין (Yitzhak Rabin), 5th Israeli prime minister (1995)
  • Richard Hooker (Richard Hornberger), author of M*A*S*H (1997)
  • Sheree North, actress (2005)
  • Sparky Anderson, baseball player and manager (2010)
  • Andy Rooney, television commentator (2011)


  • Community Service Day (Dominica)
  • Day of Love (Egypt, 1970s)
  • Feast of Qudrat (Bahá’í)
  • Fill Our Staplers Day (created by the Dull Men’s Club)
  • Flag Day (Panama)
  • Giorno dell’Unità Nazionale e Festa delle Forze Armate (Italy)
  • First day of the Ludi Plebeii (Roman Empire)
  • National Candy Day (US)
  • National Chicken Lady Day (in honor of motivational Dr. M. Tina Dupree, official holiday proclaimed by US President George W. Bush)
  • National Tonga Day (Tonga)
  • Unity Day (Russia)
  • Use Your Common Sense Day (in honor of Will Rogers’ birthday)
  • Waiting for the Barbarians Day (in honor of the publication of J. M. Coetzee’s novel of that name)

November 4 is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years), with 57 days remaining until year’s end.