Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 4 February
National day of Sri Lanka.
1649: Charles II proclaimed King in Edinburgh.
1915: Britain announced a naval blockade of Germany.
1922: Japan agreed to restore Shantung to China.
1938: Adolf Hitler assumed office as Germany’s war minister and named Joachim von Ribbentrop as foreign minister.
1941: The 8,000-ton cargo ship Politician went aground on Eriskay, with a cargo of luxuries, including 250,000 bottles of whisky, bound for New Orleans and Kingston, Jamaica. The wreck was immortalised by Sir Compton Mackenzie in Whisky Galore, later made into an Ealing film comedy.
1953: Sweet rationing ended in Britain.
1974: Eighty-one per cent of miners voted for a national strike.
1985: A Spanish officer unlocked a pair of green iron gates at the border between Spain and Gibraltar and ended a 16-year siege imposed on the Rock by General Franco in an attempt to transfer sovereignty of Gibraltar to Spain.
1990: Terrorists ambushed bus carrying Israeli tourists in Egypt, killing nine people and wounding 20.
1990: New Zealand cricketer Richard Hadlee became first player to take 400 wickets in Test cricket.
1991: Winnie Mandela went on trial in Johannesburg on eight charges relating to kidnap of four township youths, one of whom was later killed.
1996: Major snowstorm paralysed Midwestern United States. Milwaukee, Wisconsin ties all-time record low temperature at -32.2°C.
1997: En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collided in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.
2002: Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest independent cancer research charity, was founded.
2003: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed “Serbia and Montenegro” and adopted a new constitution.
2004: Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, while he was undergraduate at Harvard.
2006: A stampede occurred in the ULTRA Stadium near Manila killing 71.
2009: It was announced that Carol Thatcher, the daughter of former prime minister Baroness Thatcher, will no longer work on BBC’s The One Show after it was revealed she referred to a tennis player as a “golliwog” backstage during filming of the programme.
Natalie Imbruglia, singer and actor, 39; Gabrielle Anwar, actress, 44; Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier), rock singer, 67; Granville Gordon, 13th Marquess of Huntly, premier marquess of Scotland and chief of the House of Gordon, 70; Dara O’Briain, comedian and television presenter, 42; Dan Quayle, politician, 67.
Births: 1688 Pierre Marivaux, novelist and dramatist; 1881 Voroshilov, Soviet army marshal and politician; 1902 Charles Lindbergh, aviation pioneer; 1906 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor and theologian murdered by Nazis; 1907 Doctor (James) McIntosh Patrick, artist and etcher; 1915 Sir Norman Wisdom OBE, actor and comedian.
Deaths: AD211 Lucius Septimius Severus, Roman emperor; 1555 John Rogers, Protestant martyr (burnt at stake); 1983 Karen Carpenter, sister of Richard in singing duo The Carpenters; 1987 Liberace, pianist; 2013 Reg Presley, singer (The Troggs).