What Happened on June 4?

  • The massacre in Tiananmen Square occurred, ending weeks of protests. (1989) The massacre brought an end to the seven-week protest waged by nearly one million people, mostly students, against the Chinese government. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, were killed on this day as Chinese troops shot indiscriminately into the crowds. It is not known how many thousands were killed over the course of the protest.

  • Henry Ford took his first car for a test drive. (1896) Named the Quadricycle, it was the first car Ford designed or drove.

  • The U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. (1919) Though the Amendment was passed on June 4, 1919, it was completely ratified on August 18, 1920 and it took effect on August 26, 1920.

  • The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. (1917) The first biography award went to Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliott, and Florence Hall for Julia Ward Howe. The Pulitzer for history went to Jean Jules Jusserand for With Americans of Past and Present Days. The journalism award went to Herbert B. Swope for his work in New York World.

  • The patent for the automated teller machine (ATM) was granted. (1973) The patent was granted to Donald Wetzel, Tom Barnes and George Chastain. Wetzel is recognized as the inventor of the machine. ATMs first were used in the United Kingdom in December 1972.

  • The Montgolfier brothers demonstrated their montgolfiere invention — the hot air balloon. (1783) The first untethered flight was recorded by the brothers later that year on November 21, 1783 in Paris, France.

  • The Treaty of Trianon was signed in Paris, France. (1920) The Peace Treaty signified the end of World War I. As a result of the treaty, Hungary lost 71% of its land and 63% of its population.

  • Massachusetts set the first minimum wage standard in the U.S. (1912) The rate was established to protect women and children. Eight other states followed suit in 1913. In 1938, the U.S. federal government set a minimum wage rate at 0.25 cents per hour.

  • Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison. (1998) Nichols, a bomber and mass murderer, was sentenced for his role in the Oklahoma City bombings in the U.S on April 19, 1995. The bombing was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil at that time.

  • American musician Bruce Springsteen released his album Born in the USA. (1984) The title track of the same name was rated by Rolling Stone at number 275 on its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

  • The U.S. Transcontinental Express train crossed the country in a very fast 83 hours. (1876) In a time when it took two days to travel from New York City to Philadelphia, making the journey from New York City to San Francisco in just 83 hours was previously inconceivable.

  • The World War II Battle of Midway began. (1942) Considered one of the most important naval battles of WWII, the battle between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy waged for three days. Ultimately, the U.S. Navy defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy attack against the Midway Atoll.

  • U.S. environmental organization The Sierra Club was incorporated in San Francisco. (1892) The club is the oldest environmental group in the U.S. Its founder, John Muir, appears on the California quarter.

Discussion Comments


Though I've never heard of Terry Nichols, it's still interesting to hear this tidbit of information. Also, considering how this incident didn't seem to completely shake public media, I'm assuming it was something that most people forgot about in a few weeks, which usually seems to be the case for incidents like these.


Although I definitely enjoyed Bruce Springsteen's album, sometimes I can't help but feel that a lot of musicians are artists create some songs because they're trying to make a quick buck, or because they don't testing out ideas. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

For example, have you every listened to an album with several good songs, but by the fourth song, it kept repeating the same lyrics over and over again?


In reference to the eight bullet point, it's amazing how much minimum wage has changed in the past years. Obviously, in this day and age, minimum wage is around $8.25, correct? Well, considering how in the 1930s, it was only twenty five cents per hour, you can really imagine that items were a lot cheaper to buy.

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