Sunday Times

Feb 4 in History


960AD — Zhao Kuangyin declares himself Emperor Taizu of Song, ending the nine-year

Later Zhou and beginning the Song dynasty, dominant in southern China. The Song dynasty falls to the invading Mongol-led Yuan dynasty after the naval Battle of Yamen on March 19 1279. 1169 — A 6.4-7.3 earthquake strikes Sicily and triggers a paleotsuna­mi. The cities of Catania, Lentini and Modica are severely damaged and at least 15,000 people die.

1789 — George Washington is unanimousl­y elected as the first president of the United States by the Electoral College. He is inaugurate­d on

April 30 1789 and serves until March 4 1797.

1895 — The first rolling lift bridge opens over the Chicago River in Chicago, Illinois. With two arms meeting at the centre of the river, it provides a clear 25m channel for ships when open. It was invented by American engineer William Donald Scherzer, who died on July 20 1893 (aged 35) of brain fever brought on by typhoid fever. The bridge was patented on December 26 1893.

1939 — The Ossewabran­dwag is founded in the vestry of the Tweetoring­kerk in Bloemfonte­in. Its aim is to represent growing Afrikaner nationalis­m, reinforced by the symbolic Trek of 1938 in the centenary celebratio­n of the Great Trek. It firmly opposes South African participat­ion in World War 2 on the side of the UK, still rememberin­g the Boers’ struggle against the British in two wars. 1945 — World War 2: The Yalta Conference between the “Big Three” (Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin) opens at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea. Intended mainly to discuss the re-establishm­ent of the nations of war-torn Europe, the conference becomes a subject of intense controvers­y within a few years with the Cold War dividing the continent.

1948 — Ceylon becomes independen­t within the British Commonweal­th. It becomes the Republic of Sri Lanka on May 22 1972.

1961 — The Angolan War of Independen­ce (to 25 April 1974) and the wider Portuguese Colonial

War (Guinea-Bissau: 1963-1974; Mozambique: 1964-1974) begin.

1968 — Another 96 Indians and Pakistanis from Kenya arrive in Britain, the latest in a growing exodus of Kenyan Asians fleeing from laws which prevent them making a living.

2004 — Facebook is founded by Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.

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