It happened today – this day in history – April 6

46BC: Julius Ceasar defeats Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato in the Battle of Thapsus.

1199: Death of Richard I.

1320: Scots reaffirm their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.

1483: Birth of painter Raphael in Urbino, Italy.

1520: Painter Raphael dies on his 37th birthday.

1652: Cape Colony, the first European settlement in South Africa, is established by the Dutch East India Company under Jan van Riebeeck.

1671: Birth of French playwright/poet Jean-Baptiste Rousseau.

1672: France declares war on The Netherlands.

1722: Tsar Peter The Great of Russia ends tax on men with beards.

1757: George II dismisses William Pitt the Elder, Secretary of State for the Southern Department.

1843: William Wordsworth is appointed Poet Laureate by Queen Victoria.

1862: Union forces defeat the Confederacy near Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, in the Battle of Shiloh.

1889: George Eastman begins selling his Kodak flexible rolled film.

1893: Andy Bowen and Jack Burke box for 7hrs 19mins to no decision over 111 rounds.

1900: James J Jeffries KOs Jack Finnegan in Round 1 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1909: Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reach the north pole.

1916: The German parliament approves unrestricted submarine warfare.

1917: The US declares war on Germany.

1919: Bavaria proclaims itself a Soviet republic.

1941: Italian forces holding Addis Ababa surrender to British & Ethiopian forces.

1945: Nazis begin evacuating prisoners from Buchenwald concentration camp. On the same day, the Dutch city of Coevorden is freed from German occupation by Canadian forces.

1952: Sam Snead wins his second green jacket at the US Masters in Augusta.

1958: Golfer Arnold Palmer wins his first of four US Masters titles.

1965: The Beach Boys go into the United Western Recorders recording studio complex in Hollywood to start work on a new Brian Wilson and Mike Love song California Girls. They record 44 takes of the backing track until Brian is satisfied. In future he would use the Wrecking Crew of top session musicians including Hal Blaine and Carol Kane, bringing in the band for vocals only.

1966: The Beatles begin sessions for what will become the Revolver album at EMI Studios, Abbey Road with the recording of the basic track of a new song John Lennon had written a few days earlier – the groundbreaking Tomorrow Never Knows.

1967: The first master tape of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album is completed. The song order on side one is different from the final product at this point with She’s Leaving Home as the side’s closing track.

1968: Dozens of major cities in the United States are rocked by an escalation in the race riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King. On the same day, Cliff Richard comes second in the Eurovision Song Contest at the Royal Albert Hall, London, singing Congratulations. Also, Pink Floyd announce that songwriter Syd Barrett has left the group.

1971: The Rolling Stones launch their own record label through Atlantic Records. On the same day, composer Igor Stravinsky dies aged 88.


1972: Egypt ceases diplomatic relations with Jordan. On the same day, The Scarman Tribunal Report, an inquiry into the causes of violence during the summer of 1969 in N Ireland, is published, finding that the Royal Ulster Constabulary had been seriously at fault.

1973: NASA launches the Pioneer 11 probe to study Jupiter and Saturn.

1974: A quarter of a million people attend the California Jam festival featuring ELP, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and The Eagles. On the same day, ABBA win the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton with “Waterloo”.

1975: A plane carrying 99 Vietnamese orphans lands at Heathrow airport. On the same day, former Chinese political and military leader Chiang Kai-shek dies aged 87.

1979: Rod Stewart marries Alana Hamilton in Beverly Hills, California.

1985: Singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan wins a lawsuit against his manager Gordon Mills for unpaid royalties and is awarded $2 million.

1986: Singles chart:

  1. Living Doll – Cliff Richard and The Young Ones
  2. A Different Corner – George Michael
  3. Wonderful World – Sam Cooke
  4. Touch Me (I Want Your Body) – Samantha Fox
  5. Rock Me Amadeus – Falco
  6. You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing
  7. A Kind Of Magic – Queen
  8. Peter Gunn – Art of Noise ft Duane Eddy
  9. Train Of thought – A-ha
  10. Secret Lovers – Atlantic Starr
1986: Prince – Parade

Album chart:

  1. Hits 4 – Various Artists
  2. Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
  3. Please – Pet Shop Boys
  4. Parade – Prince and the Revolution
  5. Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston
  6. Hunting High And Low – A-ha
  7. Welcome To The Real World – Mr Mister
  8. Dirty Work – The Rolling Stones
  9. No Jacket Required – Phil Collins
  10. From Luxury To Heartache – Culture Club

1987: Lawyers for Roger Waters issue a statement that their client believes himself to be the creative driving force behind Pink Floyd and therefore would contest the use of the name by any other members of the band.

1989: The government announces it is to abolish legislation which guarantees work for more than 9,000 dockers.

1991: Diego Maradona is suspended for 15 months by the Italian football league after testing positive for cocaine.

1992: Russian scientist and sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov dies aged 72.

1994: The Rwandan genocide begins with the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira with their plane being shot down by surface-to-air missiles, abruptly ending peace negotiations.

1996: Actress Greer Garson dies aged 92.

1997: NASA brings home the space shuttle Columbia 12 days early amid fears over a defective fuel cell.

1998: Wendy O. Williams former singer of The Plasmatics dies from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. On the same day, country singer Tammy Wynette dies aged 55.

2000: Eighties pop star Steve Strange lead singer of Visage – is arrested after stealing a £10.99 Teletubbies doll in Bridgend, south Wales.

2002: France beats Ireland 44-5 at Stade de France, Saint Denis to complete a Grand Slam and win the Six Nations Rugby Championship; their 13th title. On the same day, Jim Culloty wins the Grand National on Bindaree.

2004: Rolandas Paksas becomes the first president of Lithuania to be peacefully removed from the post by impeachment.

2005: Death of Prince Ranier III of Monaco aged 81.

2006: Eminem files for divorce from his high school sweetheart Kim less than three months after the couple re-married.

2012: Model Heidi Klum divorces singer-songwriter Seal.

2014: Actor Mickey Rooney dies aged 93.

2016: Singer-songwriter Merle Haggard dies on his 79th birthday of complications from pneumonia at his home in California.

2020: The British Open Men’s Golf Championship is cancelled for the first time since the Second World War due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BIRTHDAYS: Billy Dee (William December) Williams, actor, 85; Barry Levinson, director/screenwriter, 80; John Ratzenberger, actor, 75; Marilu (Mary Lucy) Henner, actress, 70; Christopher Franke, musician (Tangerine Dream) 69; Michael Rooker, actor, 67; Rory Bremner, impressionist, 61; Stan Cullimore, guitarist (The Housemartins) 60; Black Francis/Frank Black (Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV), singer-songwriter/guitarist (Pixies) 57; Paul Rudd, actor, 53; Gina Yashere, comedian, 49; Zach Braff, actor/director/screenwriter, 47; Myleene Klass, pianist/singer (Hear’Say) 44.