2004 – Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, is founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
1996 – Major snowstorm paralyzes Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and ties all-time record low temperature at −26 °F (−32.2 °C)
1941 – The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
1899 – The Philippine–American War begins with the Battle of Manila.
1861 – American Civil War: In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six break-away U.S. states meet and form the Confederate States of America.
1859 – The Codex Sinaiticus is discovered in Egypt.
1846 – The first Mormon pioneers make their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, westward towards Salt Lake Valley.
1801 – John Marshall is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.
1794 – The French legislature abolishes slavery throughout all territories of the French First Republic. It will be reestablished in the French West Indies in 1802.
1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
1758 – Macapá, Brazil is founded.
1555 – John Rogers is burned at the stake, becoming the first English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.
1988 – Carly Patterson, American gymnast and singer. Carly Patterson Caldwell (born February 4, 1988) is an American singer, songwriter and former artistic gymnast.
1986 – Steven Oleksy, American ice hockey player. Steven Andrew Oleksy (born February 4, 1986) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman who is currently playing for the Toledo Walleye in the ECHL.
1983 – Lee Stempniak, American ice hockey player. Lee Edward Stempniak (born February 4, 1983) is an American former professional ice hockey forward who played the National Hockey League (NHL).
1982 – Chris Sabin, American wrestler. Joshua Harter (born February 4, 1982), better known by his ring name Chris Sabin, is an American professional wrestler.
1981 – Jason Kapono, American basketball player. He won an NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006.
1977 – Gavin DeGraw, American singer-songwriter. Other notable singles from his debut album "Chariot" and "Follow Through".
1973 – Oscar De La Hoya, American boxer. Oscar De La Hoya (/deɪləˈhɔɪ.ə/; born February 4, 1973), is a Mexican-American former professional boxer who, in 2002, also became a boxing promoter and, in 2018, a mixed martial arts (MMA) promoter.
1971 – Eric Garcetti, American lieutenant and politician, 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. A former member of the Los Angeles City Council, Garcetti served as council president from 2006 to 2012.
1971 – Rob Corddry, American actor, producer, and screenwriter. Robert William Corddry (born February 4, 1971) is an American actor and comedian.
1962 – Clint Black, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Although his momentum gradually slowed throughout the 1990s, Black consistently charted hit songs into the 2000s.
1961 – Stewart O'Nan, American novelist. Stewart O'Nan (born February 4, 1961) is an American novelist.
1960 – Adrienne King, American actress, dancer, and painter. Cunningham's horror film Friday the 13th (1980), a role she later reprised in Steve Miner's sequel Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981).
1960 – Jonathan Larson, American composer and playwright (d. 1996), was an American composer and playwright noted for exploring the social issues of multiculturalism, addiction, and homophobia in his work. Typical examples of his use of these themes are found in his works Rent and Tick, Tick...
1959 – Lawrence Taylor, American football player and sportscaster. Lawrence Julius Taylor (born February 4, 1959), nicknamed "L.T.", is an American former professional football player.
1952 – Thomas Silverstein, American prisoner, founder and former leader of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, was an American criminal who spent the last 42 years of his life in prison after being convicted of four separate murders while imprisoned for armed robbery, one of which was overturned. Silverstein spent the last 36 years of his life in solitary confinement for killing Corrections Officer Merle Clutts at the Marion Penitentiary in Illinois.
1951 – Phil Ehart, American rock drummer and songwriter. Ehart (born February 4, 1950) is the drummer in the progressive rock band Kansas.
1949 – Michael Beck, American actor. John Michael Beck Taylor (born February 4, 1949), commonly known as Michael Beck, is an American actor, known for his role as Swan in the 1979 film The Warriors, and as Sonny Malone in Xanadu.
1948 – Alice Cooper, American singer-songwriter. Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years.
1948 – Rod Grams, American journalist and politician (d. 2013), was an American politician from Minnesota. He served as a Republican in both the United States House of Representatives and the U.S.
1947 – Dan Quayle, American sergeant, lawyer, and politician, 44th Vice President of the United States. Quayle was also a U.S. representative from 1977 to 1981 and a U.S. senator from 1981 to 1989 from the state of Indiana.
1947 – Dennis C. Blair, American admiral and politician, 3rd Director of National Intelligence, was the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific region. Blair was a career officer in the U.S.
1944 – Florence LaRue, American singer and actress. Florence LaRue (born February 4, 1944) is an American actress, humanitarian, and Grammy Award award-winning singer.
1943 – Ken Thompson, American computer scientist and programmer, co-developed the B programming language. Kenneth Lane Thompson (born February 4, 1943) is an American pioneer of computer science.
1940 – George A. Romero, American director and producer (d. 2017), was an American filmmaker, writer, and editor. He is best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about an imagined zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead (1968).
1939 – Stan Lundine, American lawyer and politician, Lieutenant Governor of New York. Stanley Nelson Lundine (born February 4, 1939) is a politician from Jamestown, New York who served as Mayor of Jamestown, a United States Representative, and Lieutenant Governor of New York.
1938 – Frank J. Dodd, American businessman and politician, president of the New Jersey Senate (d. 2010), was an American businessman and Democratic Party politician who served as President of the New Jersey Senate from 1974 to 1975.
1936 – Claude Nobs, Swiss businessman, founded the Montreux Jazz Festival (d. 2013), was the founder and general manager of the Montreux Jazz Festival.
1936 – David Brenner, American comedian, actor, and author (d. 2014), was an American stand-up comedian, actor and author. The most frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in the 1970s and 1980s, Brenner "was a pioneer of observational comedy."
1930 – Arthur E. Chase, American businessman and politician (d. 2015). Chase (February 4, 1930 – January 5, 2015) was an American businessman and politician who represented the Worcester District in the Massachusetts Senate from 1991–1995.
1930 – Jim Loscutoff, American basketball player (d. 2015), was a professional basketball player for the NBA's Boston Celtics. A forward, Loscutoff played on seven Celtics championship teams between 1956 and 1964.
1929 – Paul Burlison, American rockabilly guitarist (d. 2003), was an American pioneer rockabilly guitarist and a founding member of The Rock and Roll Trio. Burlison was born in Brownsville, Tennessee, where he was exposed to music at an early age.
1927 – Rolf Landauer, German-American physicist and academic (d. 1999), was a German-American physicist who made important contributions in diverse areas of the thermodynamics of information processing, condensed matter physics, and the conductivity of disordered media. In 1961 he discovered Landauer's principle, that in any logically irreversible operation that manipulates information, such as erasing a bit of memory, entropy increases and an associated amount of energy is dissipated as heat.
1925 – Russell Hoban, American author and illustrator (d. 2011), was an American expatriate writer. His works span many genres, including fantasy, science fiction, mainstream fiction, magical realism, poetry, and children's books.
1925 – Stanley Karnow, American journalist and historian (d. 2013). Sorbonne, University of Paris, 1947–48
1923 – Conrad Bain, Canadian-American actor (d. 2013), was a Canadian/American actor and comedian and character actor. His television credits include a leading role as Phillip Drummond in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes and as Arthur Harmon on Maude.
1921 – Betty Friedan, American author and feminist (d. 2006), was an American feminist writer and activist. A leading figure in the women's movement in the United States, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th century.
1921 – Lotfi Zadeh, Iranian-American mathematician and computer scientist and founder of fuzzy logic (d. 2017), was a mathematician, computer scientist, electrical engineer, artificial intelligence researcher and professor emeritus of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.
1920 – Janet Waldo, American actress and voice artist (d. 2016), was an American radio and voice actress. In animation, she voiced Judy Jetson, Nancy in Shazzan, Penelope Pitstop, and Josie in Josie and the Pussycats.
1918 – Ida Lupino, English-American actress and director (d. 1995), was an English-American actress, singer, director, and producer. She is widely regarded as one of the most prominent, and one of the only, female filmmakers working during the 1950s in the Hollywood studio system.
1913 – Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist (d. 2005), was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has called her "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement".
1912 – Byron Nelson, American golfer and sportscaster (d. 2006), was an American professional golfer between 1935 and 1946, widely considered one of the greatest golfers of all time.
1912 – Erich Leinsdorf, Austrian-American conductor (d. 1993), was an Austrian-born American conductor. He performed and recorded with leading orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and Europe, earning a reputation for exacting standards as well as an acerbic personality.
1906 – Clyde Tombaugh, American astronomer and academic, discovered Pluto (d. 1997). He discovered Pluto in 1930, the first object to be discovered in what would later be identified as the Kuiper belt.
1904 – MacKinlay Kantor, American author and screenwriter (d. 1977), was an American journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He wrote more than 30 novels, several set during the American Civil War, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1956 for his 1955 novel, Andersonville.
1903 – Alexander Imich, Polish-American chemist, parapsychologist, and academic (d. 2014), was a Polish-American chemist, parapsychologist, zoologist and writer who was the president of the Anomalous Phenomena Research Center in New York City. He was born in 1903 in Częstochowa, Poland (then part of the Russian Empire) to a Jewish family.
1902 – Charles Lindbergh, American pilot and explorer (d. 1974), was an American aviator, military officer, author, inventor, and activist. At age 25 in 1927, he went from obscurity as a U.S.
1883 – Reinhold Rudenberg, German-American inventor and a pioneer of electron microscopy (d. 1961), was a German-American electrical engineer and inventor, credited with many innovations in the electric power and related fields. Aside from improvements in electric power equipment, especially large alternating current generators, among others were the electrostatic-lens electron microscope, carrier-current communications on power lines, a form of phased array radar, an explanation of power blackouts, preferred number series, and the number prefix "Giga-".
1877 – Eddie Cochems, American football player and coach (d. 1953). He played football for the University of Wisconsin from 1898 to 1901 and was the head football coach at North Dakota Agricultural College—now known as North Dakota State University (1902–1903), Clemson University (1905), Saint Louis University (1906–1908), and the University of Maine (1914).
1831 – Oliver Ames, American financier and politician, 35th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1895). Oliver Ames may refer to several members of the Massachusetts family:
1575 – Pierre de Bérulle, French cardinal and theologian, founded the French school of spirituality (d. 1629), was a French Catholic priest, cardinal and statesman, one of the most important mystics of the 17th century in France. He was the founder of the French school of spirituality, who could count among his friends and disciples Vincent de Paul and Francis de Sales.
2016 – Edgar Mitchell, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1930)
2015 – Fitzhugh L. Fulton, American colonel and pilot (b. 1925)
2015 – Wes Cooley, American soldier and politician (b. 1932)
2013 – Donald Byrd, American trumpet player (b. 1932)
2012 – Mike deGruy, American director, producer, and cinematographer (b. 1951)
2012 – Robert Daniel, American farmer, soldier, and politician (b. 1936)
2010 – Helen Tobias-Duesberg, Estonian-American composer (b. 1919)
2008 – Augusta Dabney, American actress (b. 1918)
2007 – Barbara McNair, American singer and actress (b. 1934)
2007 – Jules Olitski, Ukrainian-American painter and sculptor (b. 1922)
2006 – Betty Friedan, American author and activist (b. 1921)
2005 – Ossie Davis, American actor, director, and playwright (b. 1917)
2000 – Carl Albert, American lawyer and politician, 54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1908)
1995 – Patricia Highsmith, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1921)
1992 – John Dehner, American actor (b. 1915)
1990 – Whipper Billy Watson, Canadian-American wrestler and trainer (b. 1915)
1987 – Carl Rogers, American psychologist and academic (b. 1902)
1987 – Liberace, American singer-songwriter and pianist, (b. 1919)
1987 – Meena Keshwar Kamal, Afghan activist, founded the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (b. 1956)
1983 – Karen Carpenter, American singer (b. 1950)
1975 – Louis Jordan, American singer-songwriter and saxophonist (b. 1908)
1970 – Louise Bogan, American poet and critic (b. 1897)
1968 – Neal Cassady, American novelist and poet (b. 1926)
1958 – Henry Kuttner, American author and screenwriter (b. 1915)
1894 – Adolphe Sax, Belgian instrument maker, invented the Saxophone (b. 1814)
1617 – Lodewijk Elzevir, Dutch publisher, co-founded the House of Elzevir (b. 1546)