This website does readability filtering of other pages. All styles, scripts, forms and ads are stripped. If you want your website excluded or have other feedback, use this form.

On This Day - What Happened Today In History | Britannica

Encyclopædia Britannica Subscribe Now Biographies On This Day Quizzes COVID-19 COVID-19

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

APRIL 4 WHAT HAPPENED ON YOUR BDAY? Go to Today's Date

FEATURED EVENT

1968 Martin Luther King, Jr., assassinated On this day in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., a leader of the American civil rights movement who was in Memphis, Tennessee, to support a strike by the city's sanitation workers, was assassinated by James Earl Ray.

Featured Biography

Marguerite Duras French author
born
April 4, 1914
Gia Dinh, Vietnam
(Birthday tomorrow)
died
March 3, 1996 (aged 81)
Paris, France

Born on This Day

1979 Heath Ledger Australian actor 1965 Robert Downey, Jr. American actor 1932 Anthony Perkins American actor 1928 Maya Angelou American poet, memoirist, and actress 1913 Muddy Waters American musician
See All Biographies On This Day

MORE EVENTS ON THIS DAY

American film critic Roger Ebert, who was perhaps the best known of his profession and the first person to receive a Pulitzer Prize for film criticism (1975), died in Chicago. 2013 After 27 years of fighting, the Angolan government and UNITA signed a cease-fire agreement that ended the country's civil war. 2002 The government of South Korea ordered some 85 percent of the country's livestock markets closed in an attempt to end an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that had struck Asian livestock. 2000 In West Africa the Mali Federation, a short-lived union between the autonomous territories of the Sudanese Republic and Senegal, led by Léopold Senghor, came into being. 1959 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed, the founding member nations of this military alliance being Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 1949 American poet Maya Angelou—perhaps best known for her several volumes of autobiography, which explore the themes of economic, racial, and sexual oppression—was born. 1928 Muddy Waters, an American blues guitarist and singer who played a major role in creating the modern rhythm-and-blues style, was born. 1913? In the American Civil War, Union forces under George B. McClellan began the unsuccessful Peninsular Campaign to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. 1862 With a population totaling about 1,600, Los Angeles was incorporated as an American city. 1850 After serving for only one month, William Henry Harrison became the first U.S. president to die in office; he was succeeded by Vice President John Tyler. 1841 Bettina von Arnim, one of the outstanding women writers in modern German literature, was born in Frankfurt am Main. 1785 History at your fingertips Thank you for subscribing! Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Your preference has been recorded Check out Britannica's new site for parents!