This Day in History: June 4

The Battle of Midway Island, which resulted in a major victory for the US fleet. The USS aircraft carrier ‘Yorktown’ received a direct hit from a Japanese plane which got through despite the heavy barrage put up by American destroyers.   (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

On this day, June 4 …
1942: The World War II Battle of Midway begins, resulting in a decisive American victory against Japan and marking the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

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Also on this day:

  • 1919: Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing citizens the right to vote regardless of their gender, and sends it to the states for ratification.


  • 1986: Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, pleads guilty in Washington to conspiring to deliver information related to the national defense to Israel. (Pollard would be sentenced to life in prison and released on parole on Nov. 20, 2015.)

FILE – In a Nov. 29, 2007 file photo, Dr. Jack Kevorkian addresses an audience at Wayne State University in Detroit.

  • 1990: Dr. Jack Kevorkian carries out his first public assisted suicide, helping Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old Alzheimer’s patient from Portland, Ore., end her life in Oakland County, Mich.
  • 1998: A federal judge sentences Terry Nichols to life in prison for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.


  • 2003: Martha Stewart steps down as head of her media empire, hours after federal prosecutors in New York charge her with obstruction of justice, conspiracy, securities fraud and lying to investigators. (Stewart would be convicted of lying about why she’d sold her shares of ImClone Systems stock in 2001, just before the stock price plunged.)
  • 2009: Speaking at Cairo University, President Barack Obama calls for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims” and says, together, they could confront violent extremism across the globe.
  • 2015: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) releases information about a Chinese state security breach of its computer system, which compromised the data of 4 million Americans.


  • 2018: The Supreme Court rules in favor of a Colorado baker who wouldn’t make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, but it is a limited decision that doesn’t address the larger issue of whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gay and lesbian people.

Celebrities took to Twitter to mock Howard Schultz over his presidential ambitions.

  • 2018: Amid speculation that he is considering a run for office, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz retires from the company.
  • 2018: Saudi Arabia issues its first driver’s licenses to women as the kingdom prepares to lift the world’s only ban on women driving.
  • 2019: The House votes to protect so-called “Dreamers” and establish a path to citizenship for more than 2 million immigrants without legal status.