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Today in History - 4 October

  • 2004 American actress Janet Leigh—who was best remembered for her performance in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), in which her character suffered one of cinema's most memorable and shocking deaths—died at the age of 77.
  • 1995 One of the most sensational trials in U.S. history ended as a jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
  • 1992 End of the Mozambican Civil War
    The 15-year long civil war was fought between the Mozambique Resistance Movement and the Mozambican government. The conflict, which began in 1977, just a couple of years after the War of Independence against the Portuguese, resulted in massive losses of human life and property. The civil war ended with the signing of the Rome General Peace Accords by both of the warring parties.
  • 1969 American singer and songwriter Gwen Stefani, who came to fame in the 1990s as the lead singer for the rock-ska band No Doubt before starting a solo career, was born.
  • 1966 Lesotho independence
    Lesotho gained independence from British rule.
  • 1960 The Andy Griffith Show debuted on American television and was an immediate success.
  • 1957 World's first artificial satellite launched
    The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world’s oldest and largest space launch facility still in operation. The successful launch of Sputnik spurred the Space Race – a race between Cold War rivals USSR and US to gain supremacy in spaceflight.
  • 1952 The first British atomic weapons test, called Hurricane, was successfully conducted aboard the frigate HMS Plym.
  • 1945 The May-Johnson bill, keeping the atomic bomb a secret and establishing security regulations, was introduced into the U.S. Congress.
  • 1936 American collegiate gridiron football coach John Heisman, who was considered one of the greatest innovators of the game, died.
  • 1935 Italian forces led by Emilio De Bono, under orders from Benito Mussolini, invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in hopes of building a “new Roman Empire.”
  • 1918 Prince Maximilian of Baden, internationally known for his moderation and honourability, was appointed chancellor of Germany.
  • 1900 In a final confrontation, some 4000 Ashantis are defeated by the British in Gold Coast (Ghana)
  • 1895 First US Open for Golf
    The now annual event was played at the Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island, for the first time. 11 people played the 36-hole competition in a single day. Horace Rawlins, a 21-year old Englishman won the tournament and took home a trophy and $150 cash.
  • 1889 German journalist and pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1935, was born in Hamburg, Germany.
  • 1883 The Orient Express departs on its first official journey from Paris to Instanbul
  • 1866 Through the mediation of Napoleon III, Italy obtained Venetia in the Treaty of Vienna.
  • 1862 The Battle of Corinth, an American Civil War conflict that ended in a decisive Union victory over Confederate forces in northeastern Mississippi, began.
  • 1582 Last day of the Julian Calendar in Catholic countries
    The next day, the Gregorian calendar took effect in Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain by the order of Pope Gregory XIII. The calendar was put in place to realign events like equinoxes and solstices with the calendar, ensuring that Easter is always celebrated around the Northern Hemisphere's spring equinox. Because of the new calendar, several days were skipped, and October 4 was followed by October 15. Today, the Gregorian calendar is the most used calendar around the world.
  • 1537 The first complete English-language Bible (the Matthew Bible) is printed, with translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale.

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