In c. 3622/140 B.C.E., the Chashmona’im removed all the idols from the Beis Hamikdash. The day is cited as a Yom Tov in Megillas Taanis.
In 5342/1581, the first auto-da-fe in the Americas was carried out by the Inquisition in Lima, Peru.
In 5463/1702, Harav Yehoshua Pollack, the Pnei Yehoshua, trapped under fallen rubble during the great fire in Lvov in which 36 Jews were killed, vowed that he would write a sefer and disseminate Torah if he lived. He was miraculously saved and wrote his famous sefer, Pnei Yehoshua.
In 5702/1941, 1,538 Jews of Poltava, Russia were executed by the Nazis. Hy”d.
5403/1642, Harav Meir Katz, zt”l, the father of the Shach
5600/1839, Harav Shimshon of Ozhiran, zt”l
5647/1886, Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Skver, zt”l
5755/1994, Harav Meshulam Yissachar
Ashkenazi, zt”l,the Stanislaver Rebbe of London
Harav Meshulam Yissachar Ashkenazi was born on 4 Tammuz 5662/1902. His father was Harav Zvi Hirsch, Hy”d, the Stanislaver Rebbe in Vienna.
Rav Meshulam Yissachar’s mother, Rebbetzin Gittel, was the daughter of Harav Yitzchak Yehoshua Klieger, Rav of Graidung (near Lvov). This grandfather gave Rav Meshulam Yissachar semichah in 5677/1917, when he was just 15 years old.
Rav Meshulam Yissachar also learned under Harav Ben-Zion Katz, Rav of Dorostov, and Harav Chaim Yitzchak Yerucham of Altdstat.
Rav Meshulam Yissachar took part in the Knessiah Gedolah in Vienna in Elul 5683/1923. He was active in Chevras Tiferes Bachurim in Vienna, convincing many bachurim to go to yeshivah.
When the Nazis annexed Austria in 5698/1938, Rav Meshulam Yissachar fled from Vienna to Stanislav and thus was saved from near-certain death. He ended up in London, where he cared for the many refugees and helped others escape the Nazi inferno.
His reputation as a scion of the dynasties of Alesk and Stanislav and an oved Hashem attracted large numbers of Chassidim to his beis medrash in London. He was known for his ahavas Yisrael and the yeshuos he was able to effect. London’s Torah leaders, including Harav Yechezkel Abramsky and the Shotzer Rebbe, honored him.
Rav Meshulam Yissachar was zocheh to arichas yamim. His mind was clear to his last day, and there was no change in his seder hayom or avodas Hashem.
He was niftar on Motzoei Shabbos Parashas Toldos, 3 Kislev 5755/1994, at the age of 92, and was buried in London.
Zechuso yagen aleinu.
In 1783, the British evacuated New York, their last military position in the United States during the Revolutionary War.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Confederate agents set a series of arson fires in New York; the blazes were quickly extinguished.
In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a slight stroke.
In 1963, the body of President John F. Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery; his widow, Jacqueline, lighted an “eternal flame” at the gravesite.
In 1974, former U.N. Secretary-General U Thant died in New York at age 65.
In 1984, William Schroeder of Jasper, Indiana, became the second man to receive a Jarvik-7 artificial heart, at Humana Hospital Audubon in Kentucky. (Schroeder lived 620 days on the device.)
In 1986, the Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Ronald Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.
In 1999, 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez was rescued by a pair of sport fishermen off the coast of Florida, setting off an international custody battle.
In 2002, President George W. Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security, and appointed Tom Ridge to be its head.