On October 4

This Day That Age looks at some of the most important events in history, and discusses what happened on this day in history. If you would like to discover more about the important historical events, birthdays, and other things that have occurred on this day, October 4, you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at this day in history now!

October 4, 1957 – The USSR Launches Sputnik I, The World’s First Satellite

The most significant event that has taken place on this day in history was the October 4, 1957 launch of Sputnik I by the USSR. Construction of Sputnik I began when Soviet rocket scientist Sergei Korolev first proposed a rocket-launched artificial satellite to the Minister of the Defence Industry. Work began on the satellite in earnest in 1956. Around this time, the United States also announced its plans to launch an artificial satellite – which many historians see as the beginning of the modern “space race.” 

Sputnik I was not designed to transmit any data, but only to be observed. For its launch, the R-7 Semyorka ICBM was modified to send the rocket into space. Once the R-7 completed its test flights, the satellite was launched on October 4, 1957, and it became the world’s first-ever artificial satellite, and Sputnik became well-known in the USSR and the rest of the world – inspiring the space programs that would follow in decades to come.

Observations And Celebrations

In 2007, Russia celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. In addition, World Space Week was first founded in 2010, starting on October 4, the date that Sputnik was launched into space. This event is held yearly from October 4-10, with many different celebrations across numerous countries. 

Other Famous Events On This Day In History

1537: The Matthew Bible, The First Complete English-Language Bible, Is Printed

Matthew Bible

In one of the most significant events of English Christianity, the translations of William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale were combined with the printing of the Matthew Bible by publisher John Rogers. This was the first-ever complete English-language Bible. Previously, the Bible was primarily read in Latin. This advance made it easier for laypeople who did not know Latin to read the Bible.

1895: The First Golf U.S. Open Is Played At The Newport Country Club

Golf Club

The now-annual U.S. Open was first played in Newport, Rhode Island at the Newport Country Club on October 4, 1895. The purse for the day was $150 cash – about $4,400 in 2019 dollars – and was won by Horace Rawlins, an Englishman who was 21 years old. In total, 11 competitors vied for this prize across the 36-hole tournament. 

2006: Internet Activist Julian Assange Launches WikiLeaks 


WikiLeaks, which is famous for leaking documents related to government corruption in Kenya, Guantanamo Bay, the Afghan War Diary, and other classified information, was first launched by activist Julian Assange on October 4, 2006. 

Famous Birthdays On October 4

1822: Rutherford B. Hayes 

Rutherford B. Hayes

On October 4, 1822, Rutherford B. Hayes, who would go on to serve as the 19th President of the United States, was born in Delaware, Ohio. In 1876, he would win his presidency in one of the most contentious elections in history – while his opponent, Samuel J. Tilden won the popular vote, he was awarded twenty contested electoral votes, and won narrowly.

1923: Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston, who was well-known for his roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes, and The Greatest Show on Earth, was born in Wilmette, Illinois on October 4, 1923.

1946: Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon, an actress known for her roles in films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Thelma & Louise, and Atlantic City, as well as her political activism, was born on October 4, 1946 in New York City, New York.

October 4 is certainly one of the most significant days in history, with the beginning of the Space Race, and plenty of other incredible events we couldn’t fit into a single article. Think about what you’ve learned about this day in history – and come back for more from This Day That Age.

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