"É uma data histórica."
Translation:It is a historical date.
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You are supposed to use "an" when the next word begins with a vowel sound, and "a" when it begins with a consonant sound. In English, "h" is a consonant sound. On some occasions, such as the words "honest" and "hour", the "h" is actually not pronounced (it is "silent") and we would need to say "an hour" or "an honest (person)". Now, in some dialects of English, they never pronounce the "h" sound, but this is generally stigmatised as sub-standard. It sounds very Cockney or lower-class, and is generally confined only to Britain. Sentences like " 'ave a good day" or " 'e wants to know" instead of "have a good day" and "he wants to know" are typical. It is also common for speakers of other languages, like French or Italian, to miss out the "h" sound because it does not appear in their own languages. However, it is not normal to pronounce words such as "historic" with the pronunciation of "istoric". Therefore, it is incorrect to say "an historic (...)", because according to the rule, the correct form would be "a historic (...)". Hope this was helpful and informative :)
Grammar experts apparently agree with you. See http://www.theslot.com/a-an.html. Which is another reason why I think grammar is a bizarre 19th century concept that never seems to die, despite it being just ... wrong.
To me "a historic" sounds like "ahistoric", as in "NOT historic". See http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ahistoric
Therefore to avoid confusion I would say "an historic" ; Because accidentally meaning the exact opposite of what you mean is worse than breaking some rule that no one really cares about anyway.
The sticklers for grammar would say the 'h' is aspirated so use 'a' but they are forcing a pronunciation and spelling rule that doesn't come naturally to everyone. Native English speakers will say "an historic day" without even being aware of it. I've noticed this as well. Now, I would argue that grammar is supposed to describe the rules, not make them, and since many, many speakers are saying "an historic" as well as "a historic", grammar rules should reflect that and say either spelling is correct but it depends on whether you want the 'h' aspirated, or not aspirated, or maybe even "semi-aspirated", which I didn't even know 'h' could be until I Googled it just now.
I am neutral on the "a" -"an" question--the latter being more formal and affected and probably arose from the awkward juxtaposition of "a" before "hi." In southern English the H is more lightly aspirated than in North America, so it may hang on more in Britain. In America it is not natural, has to be learned as an "educated" locution, but even as such it doesn't have much currency. Just like the eether/ayther affectation, neither is incorrect or more correct.
What I object to in this sentence is "historical." I can't think what a "historical date" means. Clearly, Paulenrique's take is correct. Uma data histórica is one on which something important happened or is happening. That would be a "historic date." Every date is historical. A historic event is an important event. A historical event is something known to have that happened in the past, as distinct from a fictional event.