August 4 is the anniversary of the sighting of a supernova in Cassiopia (1181), Dom Perignon's invention of champagne (1693), publication of the first edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1855), Custer's opening clash with the Sioux (1873), Lizzie Borden's arrest (1892), and Elvis Presley's release of "Hound Dog" (1956).
It is also the anniversary of several events that never really happened:
The death of Mrs Maidan occurred on the 4th of August, 1904. And then nothing happened until the 4th of August, 1913. There is the curious coincidence of dates, but I do not know whether that is one of those sinister, as if half jocular and altogether merciless proceedings on the part of a cruel Providence that we call a coincidence. Because it may just as well have been the superstitious mind of Florence that forced her to certain acts, as if she had been hypnotized. It is, however, certain that the 4th of August always proved a significant date for her. To begin with, she was born on the 4th of August. Then, on that date, in the year 1899, she set out with her uncle for the tour round the world in company with a young man called Jimmy. But that was not merely a coincidence. Her kindly old uncle, with the supposedly damaged heart, was in his delicate way, offering her, in this trip, a birthday present to celebrate her coming of age. Then, on the 4th of August, 1900, she yielded to an action that certainly coloured her whole life—as well as mine. She had no luck. She was probably offering herself a birthday present that morning. . . .
On the 4th of August, 1901, she married me, and set sail for Europe in a great gale of wind—the gale that affected her heart. And no doubt there, again, she was offering herself a birthday gift—the birthday gift of my miserable life. [from The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford; the ellipses are his.]
Ford contrived most of his novel's August 4 coincidences--but not all of them. In the early 1990s, as I was reading The Good Soldier for the first time, I came across the passage above . . . and realized that the date was August 4. I've never quite recovered from that jolt.