On August 4 in …
1693 –- This is the date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon’s invention of Champagne, although it is not clear whether he actually invented the wine. However, most historians concur he was an innovator who developed the techniques used to perfect sparkling wine.
1783 –- Mount Asama erupts in Japan, killing about 1,400 people. The eruption causes a famine, which results in an additional 20,000 deaths.
1889 –- The Great Fire of Spokane destroys 32 blocks of the Washington city, prompting a mass rebuilding project.
1977 –- President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the federal Department of Energy.
1987 -– The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rescinds the “Fairness Doctrine” which had required radio and television stations to present controversial issues “fairly.”