It's all in the past: What happened on February 4

Today is Thursday, March 30, the 89th day of 2023. There are 276 days left in the year. Summer arrives in 83 days (June 21, 2023). There are 182 days until fall (September 23, 2023).

Here are some notable events in history on this day — some that still have an impact on us:

In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Georgia, first used ether as an anesthetic during an operation to remove a patient’s neck tumor.

In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, a deal ridiculed by critics as “Seward’s Folly.”

In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited denying citizens the right to vote and hold office on the basis of race, was declared in effect by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish.

In 1923, the Cunard liner RMS Laconia became the first passenger ship to circle the globe as it arrived in New York.

In 1945, during World War II, the Soviet Union invaded Austria with the goal of taking Vienna, which it accomplished two weeks later.

In 1959, a narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court, in Bartkus v. Illinois, ruled that a conviction in state court following an acquittal in federal court for the same crime did not constitute double jeopardy.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr.; also wounded were White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and a District of Columbia police officer, Thomas Delahanty.

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a single measure sealing his health care overhaul and making the government the primary lender to students by cutting banks out of the process.

In 2018, the widow of the gunman who slaughtered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was acquitted on charges that she had helped plot the attack and had lied to the FBI afterward.

In 2020, Florida authorities arrested a megachurch pastor after they said he held two Sunday services with hundreds in attendance in violation of coronavirus restrictions. The charges were later dropped.

In 2022, Russian forces bombarded areas around Kyiv and another city just hours after pledging to scale back military operations in those places to help along negotiations with Ukraine. With the help of the Hubble telescope, astronomers discovered the most distant star to date, a super-hot, super-bright giant that formed nearly 13 billion years ago.


Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Peter Marshall is 97. Actor John Astin is 93. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 86. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 78. Actor Justin Deas is 75. Actor Paul Reiser is 67. Rap artist MC Hammer is 61. Singer Tracy Chapman is 59. Actor Ian Ziering is 59. TV personality Piers Morgan is 58. Rock musician Joey Castillo is 57. Actor Donna D’Errico is 55. Singer Celine Dion is 55. TV personality/producer Richard Rawlings is 54. Actor Mark Consuelos is 52. Actor Bahar Soomekh is 48. Actor Jessica Cauffiel is 47. Singer Norah Jones is 44. Actor Fiona Gubelmann is 43. Actor Katy Mixon is 42. Actor Jason Dohring is 41. Country singer Justin Moore is 39. Actor Tessa Ferrer is 37. Country singer Thomas Rhett is 33. Rapper NF is 32.

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