This Day In History : December 4

1965 United States

NASA launches Gemini 7

On December 4, 1965, NASA successfully launched Gemini 7 as part of its manned spaceflight program. Over its nearly 14-day mission, Gemini 7 conducted scientific experiments and achieved critical rendezvous maneuvers with Gemini 6A, demonstrating advancements in space exploration and orbital techniques.

Also on This Day in History December 4

Discover what happened on December 4 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, December 4
  • 1924 Frank Press

    American geophysicist known for his investigations of the structure of the Earth's crust and mantle and the mechanics of earthquakes.

  • 1906 Robert Wallace Wilkins

    American physician who made many contributions in the research of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

  • 1877 Stuart Criddle

    English-born Canadian farmer, mammalogist, and plant breeder who kept meticulous field notes of mammal (and bird) life.

  • 1818 John LeConte

    American physicist who promoted the use of statistics in medical research, and discovered the sensitive flame (1858).

  • 1908 Alfred Day Hershey

    American biologist who, along with Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria, won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1969.

Deaths on This Day, December 4
  • 1945 Thomas Hunt Morgan

    American geneticist and zoologist famous for his experimental research with the fruit fly by which he established the chromosome theory of heredity.

  • 1574 Georg Joachim Rheticus

    German astronomer and mathematician who was among the first to adopt and spread the heliocentric theory of Nicolaus Copernicus.

  • 1850 William Sturgeon

    English electrical engineer who devised the first electromagnet capable of supporting more than its own weight (1825).

  • 1898 John Fowler

    English engineer who helped to develop the steam-hauled plough.

  • 1680 Thomas Bartholin

    Danish anatomist and mathematician who was first to describe fully the entire human lymphatic system (1652) and an early defender of Harvey's discovery of the circulation of blood.


Mars Pathfinder launch

In 1996, the Mars Pathfinder was launched on a Delta II rocket. Pathfinder carried a robot rover, named Sojourner, after U.S. civil rights crusader, Sojourner Truth.

Space station

In 1998, the space shuttle Endeavour and a crew of six blasted off on the first mission to begin assembling the international space station.

China Adopts Current Constitution

On December 4, 1982, China adopted its current constitution, officially known as the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. This constitution outlines the fundamental laws and principles guiding the governance and rights of its citizens, reflecting China's political and social framework.

Pioneer 10 Reaches Jupiter

On December 4, 1973, NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first spacecraft to reach Jupiter. This mission provided valuable data about Jupiter's atmosphere, magnetic field, and radiation environment, paving the way for further exploration of the outer solar system.
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