#TodayInHistory – December 4
December 4 – Some important events on this day.
1154 👉🏼 Adrian IV elected Pope. The only Englishman to become pontiff, Nicholas Breakspear was a member of the family which until recent years brewed beer in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
1534 👉🏼 Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent occupies Baghdad
1563 👉🏼 Council of Trent holds its last session, after 18 years. Last ecumenical council for more than 300 years.
1619 👉🏼 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish, England disembark in Virginia and give thanks to God. Considered by many the first Thanksgiving in the Americas.
1791 👉🏼 Britain’s Observer, oldest Sunday newspaper in the world, first published
1829 👉🏼 Britain outlaws “suttee” in India (widow burning herself to death on her husband’s funeral pyre)
1918 👉🏼 US President Woodrow Wilson sails for Versailles Peace Conference in France
1952 👉🏼 Killer fogs begin in London, England; the term “Smog” is coined
1961 👉🏼 Museum of Modern Art hangs Matisse’s Le Bateau upside down for 47 days
1977 👉🏼 Jean-Bédel Bokassa crowns himself Emperor of the Central African Empire in a lavish ceremony costing US$20 million – one third of the nation’s budget.
For ten years Jean-Bédel Bokassa had reigned with an iron fist in the Central African Republic, having ousted his distant cousin from office when he was the head of the armed forces.
Attempting to emulate his idol, Napoleon Bonaparte, Bokassa had himself declared the Emperor of the Central African Republic. His coronation was unbelievably decadent: he spent some $20 million US dollars – more than a third of the country’s national income – on the occasion. No foreign leaders attended, and he was considered a laughing stock by much of the world.
The Central African Empire lasted only three years before Bokassa was himself overthrown in an operation by the French military. He was exiled to France and tried in absentia, though later returned and was tried again. He served six years of a life sentence before being released in 1993, dying three years later.
1982 👉🏼 China adopts its constitution
1982 👉🏼 Police and racist demonstrators clash in Antwerp
2009 👉🏼 Amanda Knox convicted of murder in Italy
On this day, 22-year-old American exchange student Amanda Knox is convicted of murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007 in Perugia, Italy. She received a 26-year prison sentence, while her 25-year-old Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaelle Sollecito, who also was convicted in the slaying, was sentenced to 25 years. The sensational, high-profile case raised questions in the United States about whether Knox, who always maintained her innocence, received a fair trial. Then, in October 2011, in a decision that made international headlines, an Italian court reversed the murder convictions of both Knox and Sollecito and they were freed from prison.
2012 👉🏼 Typhoon “Pablo” kills over 1,000 people in the Philippines