THE FOLLOWING EVENTS TOOK PLACE ON FEBRUARY 4
1818 - During an evening at Leigh Hunt's, Keats, Hunt, and Shelley vie with each other in composing sonnets on the subject of the Nile. Hunt's Nile Sonnet is deemed the best. "It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands, / Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream, / And times and things, as in that vision, seem / Keeping along it their eternal stands..." Hunt was an early advocate of both poets. He published Keats' first poem in his Morning Examiner in 1817. In 1821, he supervised the Greek-style funeral for Shelley, and was, along with Byron, one of the last people to see Shelley alive. Byron and Hunt had spent the day with Shelley in Livorno, making plans for the English expatriate journal The Liberal, which Hunt was brought to England to publish. Hunt gave Shelley that day a copy of Keats' latest book of poems. It was found in the pocket when Shelley's body washed ashore in the Bay of Spezzia.
1894 - Antoine J. "Adolphe" Sax, maker of the first saxophone, dies at 79. Thanks, Antoine!
1941 - Animals drummer John Steel is born in Gateshead, England.
1944 - Jean Anouilh's Antigone premieres in Paris.
1948 - Alice Cooper [Vincent Furnier], proto-punk-rocker, is born in Detroit.
1966 - The Jefferson Airplane play the Fillmore Auditorium, as presented by Bill Graham.
1968 - Neal Cassady collapses and dies along some railroad tracks in Mexico.
1975 - Bandleader Louis Jordan dies in Los Angeles at age 62 of a heart attack.
1969 - Columbia Records signs Johnny Winter to a recording contract, advancing him $300,000.
For more day-by-day history go to HistoryUnlimited.net