This Day in History: February 4


Photo Credit to IMDb

The theatrical poster for "Snow White"

Aislinn Connon, Editor-in-Chief

In 1789, the Electoral College chose George Washington as the first President of the United States. Even to this day, he is the only President to have been elected unanimously. The Electoral College in 1789 was slightly different than what we have today, but the process went as follows: each representative was given multiple candidates for President, including Washington and John Adams. Electors were to pick two candidates from the list without distinguishing who they wanted as President and Vice President, and the one with the most votes won the Presidency while the runner-up became Vice President. Every elector chose Washington as one of their candidates, making him the only President to be elected without opposition.

On February 4, 1938, the famed animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in American theaters. It was the first full-length animated film to be released by Disney, and was the first to be launched in both English and Technicolor. Walt Disney borrowed approximately $1.5 million to produce the movie, which was a decision that hardly anyone but himself believed would pay off in the end. After all, Snow White was created in the midst of the Great Depression, and since no animated feature had been released in theaters before, many of his family and friends were convinced that a cartoon fairy tale would flop. To their surprise, Snow White soon became the best selling movie of all time up to that point, generating a massive $8 million and earning a spot as one of America’s most beloved classic films.

In 2003, the nation of Yugoslavia was formally dissolved and renamed as the federated union of Serbia and Montenegro. At its height, Yugoslavia contained the countries that are now Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. The situation in the Balkan peninsula throughout the latter half of the 20th century is extremely complex, but in the simplest terms, tensions and violent outbursts between the different ethnic groups in Yugoslavia played a massive role in its downfall. No ethnic group felt as if they were properly represented in their government. Throughout the nineties, at a time when communism was falling throughout eastern Europe, the perfect time to rebel arrived. Croatia and Slovenia left first in 1991, and others followed until only Serbia and Montenegro were left in 2003. Three years later, they separated into their respective countries, and the country that had seen almost a century of history was now nonexistent.

February 4, 2004 provided two monumental events. On this date, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared that same-sex marriage was legal, and Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg. Although same-sex marriage had been discussed by the Supreme Judicial Court frequently in the years leading up to 2004, no major actions had been taken. Part of this was because no state had legalized gay marriage up to this point, and no one was completely sure of what would happen if they took action. Mitt Romney, who was the Governor at the time, voiced his opposition to same-sex marriage, which also fueled some homophobic sentiment throughout the state. On February 4, the Court declared that it was a legal right for all couples, regardless of gender, to be married if they so wished, and marriage licenses were officially given out on May 18. The foundation of Facebook is also a notable event. It was first launched 15 years ago by a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, who was then a sophomore at Harvard. At first, it was called “”, and it became an instant hit with young and old internet users alike.