It happened today – this day in history – June 2

455: King Gaiseric and the Vandals sack Rome.

575: Benedict I begins his reign as Pope.

1740: Birth of the Marquis de Sade in Paris.

1780: An anti-Catholic demonstration attacks the Houses of Parliament.

1840: Birth of poet and novelist Thomas Hardy in Dorset.

1857: Birth of composer Edward Elgar in Worcs.

1862: Gen Robert E Lee takes command of the Confederate armies of North Virginia during the American Civil War.

1875: Inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell makes first sound transmission.

1882: Death of Italian general and nationalist Guiseppe Garibaldi aged 77.

1896: Gugliemo Marconi applies to patent the radio.

1916: German troops launch an attack on Fort Vaux with flamethrowers during th.e Battle of Verdun.

1917: Canadian flying ace Billy Bishop undertakes a solo mission behind enemy lines, shooting down three aircraft as they are about to take off and several more on the ground, for which he is awarded the Victoria Cross.

1919: Albert Einstein marries his cousin Elsa Lowenthal.

1920: The Pulitzer prize is awarded to Eugene O’Neill for “Beyond The Horizon”.

1924: US President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizenship Act, declaring all Native Americans to be American citizens.

1935: Britain’s Fred Perry wins his only French tennis title, beating Gottfried von Cramm of Germany 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

1940: Heavy German bombing on Dunkirk beach.

1943: German assault on Sebastopol, Crimea, begins.

1953: Queen Elizabeth II is crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1959: Allen Ginsberg writes his poem “Lysergic Acid”.

1962: Death of author and poet Vita Sackville-West aged 70

1966: US unmanned Surveyor 1 makes a soft landing on the Moon.


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1970: Racing driver and founder of the McLaren team, Bruce McLaren, dies in a car crash aged 32.

1972: Two British soldiers die in an IRA land mine attack near Rosslea, County Fermanagh.

1975: First recorded snowfall in London in June

1976: Jockey Lester Piggott wins the Epsom Derby for a record seventh time, riding Emperie.

1979: The Pope is greeted by two million people as he sets foot on his native Poland.

1981: American journalist Barbara Walters asks Katherine Hepburn: “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”

1982: Pope John Paul II addresses more than 30,000 people at Cardiff City’s Ninian Park ground.

1985: English clubs are banned from playing in Europe indefinitely after the riot at Brussels’ Heysel stadium in which 39 people died.

1987: Death of classical guitarist/composer Andres Segovia aged 94.

1989: 10,000 Chinese soldiers are blocked by 100,000 citizens in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, protecting students demonstrating for democracy. On the same day, Bill Wyman, 52, of the Rolling Stones marries 19-year-old Mandy Smith.

1990: Actor Rex Harrison dies aged 82.

1991: Singles chart:

  1. I Wanna Sex You Up – Colour Me Badd
  2. The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) – Cher
  3. Baby Baby – Amy Grant
  4. Promise Me – Beverley Craven
  5. Gypsy Womsn (La Da Dee) – Crystal Waters
  6. Shocked – Kylie Minogue
  7. Tainted Love – Soft Cell
  8. Shiny Happy People – REM
  9. Last Train To Trancentral – KLF
  10. Light My Fire – The Doors
1991: Seal

Album chart:

  1. Seal – Seal
  2. Electronic – Electronic
  3. Never Loved Elvis – The Wonder Stuff
  4. Greatest Hits – Eurythmics
  5. Out Of Time – REM
  6. Beverley Craven – Beverley Craven
  7. Time Love And Tenderness – Michael Bolton
  8. Joyride – Roxette
  9. The White Room – KLF
  10. Memorabilia: The Singles – Soft Cell and Marc Almond

1994: Twenty of Britain’s top intelligence experts are killed when a RAF helicopter crashes on the Mull of Kintyre.

2003: The European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe launches from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.

2005: Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos is detained by Russian police as he boards a plane after being suspected of being a spy.

2008: Bo Diddley (Ellas Otha Bates) dies of heart failure in Florida aged 79.

2014: The unity government is sworn into power in the West Bank; it agrees to the following: recognition of Israel, compliance to diplomatic agreements, renunciation of violence.

2015: Four days after being controversially elected for a fifth term as FIFA president Sepp Blatter announces his resignation once a replacement is found.

2017: Death of actor Peter Sallis aged 96. On the same day, Gotham actor Ben McKenzie marries co-star Morena Baccarin in New York.

BIRTHDAYS: Sally Kellerman, actress, 84; Charlie Watts, drummer (Rolling Stones) 80; (Walter) Stacy Keach, actor, 80; Craig Stadler, golfer, 68; Dennis Haysbert, actor, 67; Dana Carvey, comedian/actor, 66; Lydia Lunch (Koch), singer/poet, 62; Liam Cunningham, actor, 60; Mark Lawrenson, football pundit, 54; Michael Steele, bassist (The Bangles) 62; Tony Hadley, singer (Spandau Ballet) 61; Jeremy Cunningham, bassist, (The Levellers) 56; Andy Cohen, TV personality, 53; John Culshaw, impressionist, 53; Dominic Greensmith, drummer (Reef) 51; John McGreal, football manager, 49; Wentworth Miler, actor, 49; Tim Rice-Oxley, musician/songwriter, 45; Zachary Quinto, actor, 44; Justin Long, actor, 43; Dominic Cooper, ,actor, 43; Morena Baccarin (McKenzie), actress, 42; Fabrizio Moreti, drummer (The Strokes) 41; Sergio Agüero (del Castillo), footballer, 33.