World Facts

On This Day: March 4

Some amazing things in history have happened on this day, March 4.

What Happened on March 4?

Some interesting events in history have happened on this day, March 4. The date marks the 63rd day of the year and the 64th day on a leap year. On March 4th there will be 302 days before the year ends.

Pennsylvania is Born, 1681

England’s King Charles II handed William Penn a huge tract of land through a royal charter. The tract of land was located in the New World, and it was intended to settle an outstanding debt. William Penn named the area Pennsylvania after combining the surname of "Penn" with the word "Sylvania", which is Latin for forest. The property was held by the Penn Family until the American Revolution when it was recognized as one of the thirteen states making up the United States of America.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Becomes President, 1933

On this day, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd President to lead the United States. Roosevelt’s inaugural address was eagerly awaited by the Americans as it took place during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s speech popularised his “New Deal” policies which established the federal government as a champion for employment opportunity and welfare. The President delivered the famous lines, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Roosevelt’s speech was intended to restore public confidence in the government.

The Treat of Dunkirk is Signed, 1947

On this day, the UK and France signed the Treaty of Dunkirk. After World War II, both countries were cautious about the possibility of a Germany attack. The agreement represented an alliance and mutual assistance in the event of the attack. It was signed in Dunkirk, France and it came into effect on September 8, 1947. This treaty preceded the Treaty of Brussels which further admitted Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg in the pursuit of a joint defensive block and strengthened cultural and political ties.

Charlie Chaplin is Knighted, 1975

On March 4, 1975, the comedic genius, Charlie Chaplin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, 3 miles from his childhood neighborhood. He was recognized for outstanding films including "The Great Dictator". The comedian was famed for his acrobatic routines, and he is considered a film legend. At the time of the knighthood, he was 85 years old and was pushed in a wheelchair. Chaplin’s fourth wife, Oona and two of his children accompanied him to receive the honour.

Robert Mugabe Becomes Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, 1980

Robert Mugabe won elections by a landslide to become Zimbabwe’s first black Prime Minister. His party, Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), garnered 57 out of the 80 black seats in the nation’s first elections after the end of white rule. News of the victory was received by thousands of enthusiastic citizens who took to the streets. Mugabe’s supporters were seen arm-flapping and crowing to imitate the cockerel which was his party’s symbol. The supporters went as far as celebrating with live birds. Mr Mugabe announced that he would consider embracing Europeans into the administration and he assured the country that there would be no re-emergence of armed conflict in the country.

More in World Facts