Today In History, 4 January: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (4 January): The birth of Isaac Newton, Louis Braille and Nirupa Roy, demise of R.D. Burman, opening of the Burj Khalifa, Independence of Myanmar, and more.
This day in history (4 Jan): Birth of Isaac Newton and Louis Braille
This day in history (4 Jan): Birth of Isaac Newton and Louis Braille

Today in History, 4 January: 2023 has begun and has brought with it, chilly winters. The holiday season is almost over, and it’s time to get back to the old ways. Some people have even given up on their New Year’s resolutions already. As you harken back to reality, take a look at the historical significance of the month of January.

Today is January 4th, just another winter day, but that’s not all it’s known for. 4 January holds a key place in world history.

From the births of the most influential scientist in history, a pioneer for the education of blind people, and a renowned Indian actress to the demise of the greatest music composer of India, the opening of the tallest building in the world, and the independence of Burma, many significant events occurred on 4 January.

Dive in to find out what happened on this day (Jan. 4) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events On This Day

  • In 46 BC, the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar defeated Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina.
  • In 871, Aethelred of Wessex and his brother Alfred are defeated by an invading Danish army in the Battle of Reading.
  • In 1932, Indian freedom fighters Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were arrested on the orders of British Viceroys of India Lord Willingdon for resuming the civil disobedience movement.
  • In 1948, Burma (now Myanmar) gained independence from the United Kingdom after almost two centuries of rule.
  • In 1959, Luna 1 became the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon.
  • In 1999, former professional wrestler and actor Jesse Ventura was sworn in as the governor of Minnesota, United States
  • In 2010, the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world (829.8m) officially opened in Dubai.
  • In 2021, the first Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines were given to the general public in the UK. 

Sports Events Today

  • In 2001, American basketball star Michael Jordan, playing for the Washington Wizards, became the fourth player in NBA history to score 30,000 career points.
  • In 2018, Liverpool and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah was named the African Football Player of the Year.
  • In 2019, Rishabh Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper to hit a test century in Australia.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1903, Topsy the Elephant was electrocuted by her owners at Luna Park, Coney Island, and filmed by the Edison Manufacturing movie company.
  • In 1954, American rock and roll star Elvis Presley recorded his first demo for Sun Records with the songs "It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You", and "I'll Never Stand In Your Way."

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Albert Camus, French author, playwright and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature who is best known for his novels The Stranger, The Plague and The Myth.



Erwin Schrodinger, Austrian theoretical physicist who contributed to the wave theory of matter and other fundamentals of quantum mechanics and is known for his cat theory



T.S. Eliot, American-English poet, playwright, literary critic and editor who is regarded as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century for his works The Waste Land and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock



R.D. Burman, Indian music composer who wrote the musical scores for over 300 films and is considered one of the most influential musicians in India

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician who discovered gravity and laid the foundation for mechanical physics with his laws of motion and universal gravitation



Louis Braille, French educator who battled visual impairment and yet developed a reading and writing system for blind people



General Tom Thumb, famous American dwarf who performed for the visionary circus pioneer P.T. Barnum



Cornelius Vanderbilt, American business tycoon who became one of the wealthiest self-made Americans of the 19th century from shipping and railroad



Nirupa Roy, Indian actress best known for portraying tragic and miserable characters in film like Deewar, Do Bigha Zamin and Mard



Floyd Patterson, American professional boxer and heavyweight champion who fought legends like Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston



John McLaughlin, English guitarist and composer known for founding the jazz fusion genre of music by combining elements of jazz with rock and Indian classical music

Also Read | Today in History (3 January)

Also Read | Today in History (2 January)

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