It happened today – this day in history – December 6

343: Greek Bishop St Nicholas, model for the modern day Father Christmas, dies aged 73.

1240: Mongols under Batu Khan occupy and destroy Kiev – out of 50,000 people in the city only 2,000 survive.

1421: Henry VI is born in Windsor Castle.

1534: Quito, Ecuador, is founded by the Spanish.

1735: The first recorded appendectomy is performed by Claudius Amyand at St George’s Hospital in London.

1745: Bonny Prince Charlie’s army of Jacobites retreats to Scotland.

1768: The first edition of “Encyclopedia Brittanica” is published in Scotland.

1841: Robert Schumann’s 4th Symphony in D premieres.

1865: The 13th Amendment of the United States constitution is ratified, abolishing slavery.

1877: Inventor Thomas Edison records himself reciting “Mary Had A Little Lamb”.

1882: Novelist Anthony Trollope dies aged 67.

1896: Lyricist Ira Gershwin is born in New York.

1897: London becomes the world’s first city to have licensed taxicabs.

1906: The British grant Transvaal self-government.

1914: German troops overrun Lodz in Poland.

1916: The Central Powers under General Mackensen capture Bucharest.

1917: French munition ship “Mont Blanc” explodes in Halifax, Canada killing 1,700. On the same day, taking advantage of the temporary relaxation of authority in Russia, Finland declares itself a republic.

1921: The Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed. Ireland receives dominion status and partition creates Northern Ireland.

1923: Calvin Coolidge makes the first US Presidential address to be broadcast on radio.

1929: Turkey introduces female suffrage.

1941: Dutch and British pilots see the Japanese invasion fleet at Singapore.

1949: Blues artist, Leadbelly (Huddie William Ledbetter) dies aged 64.

1956: Nelson Mandela and 156 others are arrested for political activities in South Africa.

1957:The first US attempt to launch a satellite fails when the Vanguard rocket blows up.

1961: The Beatles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best, meet with Brian Epstein for further discussions about his proposal to manage them. Lennon accepts on the band’s behalf.

1962: Thick fog, which has been affecting public health across London begins to spread across the country. On the same day, Bob Dylan records A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall and versions of Hero Blues, Whatcha Gonna Do, Oxford Town and I Shall Be Free, at Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. Also, James Bond actor Sean Connery marries actress Diane Cilento on Gibraltar.


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1964: The Beatles – Beatles For Sale

1964: Album chart:

  1. A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles
  2. The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones
  3. The Bachelors And 16 Great Songs – The Bachelor
  4. Beatles For Sale – The Beatles
  5. Kinks – The Kinks
  6. Moonlight And Roses – Jim Reeves
  7. The Animals – The Animals
  8. Oh Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
  9. Twelve Songs Of Christmas – Jim Reeves
  10. Five Faces Of Manfred Mann – Manfred Mann

1965: The Rolling Stones record 19th Nervous Breakdown and Mother’s Little Helper at RCA’s Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles.

1967: Singles chart:

  1. Hello Goodbye – The Beatles
  2. Let The Heartaches Begin – Long John Baldry
  3. Everybody Knows – The Dave Clark Five
  4. If The Whole World Stopped Loving – Val Doonican
  5. Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart – Gene Pitney
  6. Careless Hands – Des O’Connor
  7. Love Is All Around – The Troggs
  8. Baby Now That I’ve Found You – The Foundations
  9. World – The Bee Gees
  10. I’m Coming Home – Tom Jones

1969: The Rolling Stones headline a chaotic free festival at Altamont Speedway in Califormia. Hell’s Angels hired as security continually wade violently into the 300,000-strong crowd – one of them knocking out Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin when he remonstrates with them during the band’s set and audience member Meredith Hunter is stabbed to death in front of The Stones as they play. There were four deaths in total and the event is seen as the end of the flower power era.

1971: A woman dies trying to salvage property from the Salvation Army Citadel in Belfast after a bomb starts a large fire in an adjoining building.

1973: Gerald Ford is sworn-in as the first unelected US Vice President, succeeding Spiro Agnew.

1975: Three armed IRA men on the run from police burst into a flat in Balcombe Street central London, holding couple John and Sheila Matthew hostage for six days. The “Balcombe Street Gang” – Martin O’Connell, Edward Butler, Harry Duggan and Hugh Doherty, were jailed for life but later freed under the terms of the Good Friday agreement.

1977: South Africa grants Bophuthatswana independence.

1978: Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols smashes a glass in the face of Patti Smith’s brother Todd during a fight at New York City club Hurrah.

1982: 11 British soldiers and six civilians are killed by an Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) time bomb at the Droppin’ Well Bar in Ballykelly, Co Londonderry.

1983: Surgeons successfully complete the first heart and lung transplant operation to be performed in Britain at Harefield Hospital in north London.

1988: Nelson Mandela is transferred to Victor Vester Prison, Capetown. On the same day, singer-songwriter Roy Orbison dies of a heart attack aged 52.

1990: Saddam Hussein announces the release of all foreign hostages.

1992: A 200,000-strong crowd of Hindu militants tears apart a mosque in Ayodhya, northern India.

1994: The Queen gives the go ahead for oil drilling to take place in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

2003: Elvis Costello marries jazz artist Diana Krall in a ceremony at Elton John’s mansion in the UK.

2005: David Cameron beats David Davis to become leader of the Conservative Party.

2006: NASA reveals photographs taken by the Mars Global Surveyor suggest the presence of liquid water on Mars.

2008: US pin up Bettie Page, 85, is hospitalised in critical condition after suffering a heart attack.

2011: Singer Dobie Gray dies from complications of cancer surgery in Nashville at the age of 71.

2013: The Fender Stratocaster played by Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival is sold at auction in New York for a record $965,000. On the same day, jazz pianist Stan Tracey dies aged 86.

2017: US President Donald Trump officially recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, announcing plans to move US embassy there.

2018: Singer-songwriter and guitarist Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks dies in Estonia of a heart attack aged 63. On the same day, Luxembourg is the first country to make all public transport free.

2020: US President Donald Trump orders the withdrawal of about 700 troops from Somalia.

BIRTHDAYS: JoBeth Williams, actress, 74; Gerry Francis, footballer, 71; Steven Wright, comedian, 67; Rick Buckler, drummer (The Jam) 67; Peter Buck, guitarist (REM), 66; Nick Park, animator, 64; Dave Lovering, drummer (Pixies) 61; Colin Salmon, actor, 60; Ben Watt, musician/songwriter (Everything But The Girl) 60; Judd Apatow, screenwriter/director, 55; Noel Clarke, actor/writer, 47; Andrew Flintoff, cricketer/TV personality, 45; Tim Cahill, footballer, 43; Alberto Contador, cyclist, 40.