February 4

1783

England proclaimed the formal end to the hostilities with the United States.

1787

Shays's Rebellion, an uprising of Massachusetts farmers, was defeated.

1789

George Washington and John Adams are elected the president and vice president of the United States.

1861

Delegates from six southern states met at Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate States of America.

1945

Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met at the Yalta Conference.

1948

Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1969

The Palestine National Congress appointed Yasir Arafat head of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1974

Patricia Hearst, granddaughter of newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

1976

Benjamin Britten, British composer, died.

2003

The country of Yugoslavia disappeared, to be replaced by the loose federation of Serbia and Montenegro.

2004

The Massachusetts Supreme Court declared that gays had the right to marry.

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