On Feb. 4, 1789, electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.
On this date:
In 1783, Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America.
In 1801, John Marshall was sworn in as chief justice of the United States.
In 1861, delegates from six Southern states met in Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate States of America.
In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid.
In 1945, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a wartime conference at Yalta.
In 1974, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, Calif., by the Symbionese Liberation Army.
In 1976, more than 22,000 people died when a severe earthquake struck Guatemala and Honduras.
In 1977, 11 people were killed when two cars of a Chicago Transit Authority train fell off elevated tracks after a collision with another train.
In 1982, President Reagan announced a plan to eliminate all medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe.