On Feb. 4, 1789, George Washington, the commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, was unanimously elected the first president of the United States by all 69 presidential electors who cast their votes. John Adams of Massachusetts, who received 34 votes, was elected vice president. The electors, who represented 10 of the 11 states that had ratified the U.S. Constitution, were chosen by popular vote, legislative appointment, or a combination of both, four weeks before the election. On Feb. 4, 1792, Washington was unanimously elected to a second term, becoming the only president unanimously chosen by the Electoral College.
On Feb. 4, 1794, the French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic.
On Feb. 4, 1913, Rosa Parks was born in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1955, Parks would spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. She was named “the first lady of civil rights,” by the U.S. Congress.