It happened today – this day in history – June 6

1665: English and Portuguese armies beat Spain at the Battle of Monte Carlo.

1683: The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford opens as the world’s first university museum.

1752: A third of Moscow is destroyed in the third great fire in two weeks.

1795: Fire destroys a third of Copenhagen in Denmark.

1844: The YMCA is formed in London by George Williams.

1889: The Great Fire in Seattle destroys 25 downtown blocks.

1896: Frank Samuelsen and George Harbo leave New York harbour to row across the Atlantic; their 55 day record lasted for 114 years.

1912: Novarupta erupts in Alaska, the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.

1914: The first air flight out of sight of land (Scotland – Norway).

1916: The death of Yuan Shikai, ruler of much of China since 1912, causes the central government to virtually collapse.

1919: Finland declares war on the Bolsheviks.

1921: Southwark Bridge is opened to traffic by George V and Queen Mary.

1923: Edgar Wallace becomes the first British radio sports reporter, reporting on The Derby for the BBC.

1938: Father of psychology, Sigmund Freud, arrives in London.

1939: The ship MS St. Louis, carrying 907 Jewish refugees from Europe, begins sailing back to the continent after it was refused entry into America. Approximately a quarter of those on board would perish in the Holocaust.

1942: Japanese forces retreat, ending the Battle of Midway.

1944: D-Day as thousands of Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy in northern France at the start of a major offensive against the Germans.

1958: French Premier Charles de Gaulle says Algeria will always be French.

1961: The founder of analytic psychology, Carl Jung, dies aged 85.

1962: The first Beatles recording session for Parlophone takes place at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, St John’s Wood with Pete Best on drums. They record four songs.

1966: James Meredith, the first black man to brave the colour bar at the University of Mississippi, is shot in the back and legs while on a civil rights march. Also, Stokely Carmichael launches the Black Power movement. On the same day, Roy Orbison’s wife, Claudette, is killed when a truck pulls out of a side road and collides with the motorbike she and her husband are riding in Gallatin, Texas.

1967: Israeli troops occupy Gaza during the second day of the Six-Day War.

1968: Senator Robert Kennedy dies from his wounds after being shot the previous night.

1975: British voters back the UK’s continued membership of the EEC by two-to-one in a nationwide referendum.

1976: Oil magnate John Paul Getty dies aged 83.


1979: Death of actor Jack Haley (Wizard of Oz – the Tin Man) aged 81.

1981: Czech teenager Hana Mandlíková beats Sylvia Hanika of Germany 6-2, 6-4 for her only French Open tennis singles crown.

1982: 30,000 Israeli troops invade Lebanon to drive out the PLO.

1983: Li Xiannian becomes President of the People’s Republic of China and Deng Xiaoping supreme commander.

1984: Nearly 300 people are killed as Indian troops storm the Golden Temple in Amritsar which is being held by Sikh militants.

1985: The body of Nazi concentration camp doctor Dr Josef Mengele is located and exhumed in Brazil.

1986: Ray Wilkins becomes the first England player to be sent off in a World Cup finals game when he throws the ball at Paraguayan ref Gabriel Gonzalez during a disappointing goalless draw with Morocco.

1987: 17 year-old Steffi Graf beats World No1 Martina Navratilova in three sets to win the French Open tennis title.

1991: “Different Strokes” actress Dana Plato receives a six-year suspended sentence for robbing a video store. On the same day, cricketer Graeme Hick makes his test debut against the West Indies at Headingley. Also, jazz saxophonist Stan Getz dies aged 64.

1992: Monica Seles beats Steffi Graf 6-2, 3-6, 10-8 to win the French Open ladies singles tennis championship.

1993: Singles chart:

  1. (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You – UB40
  2. All That She Wants – Ace of Base
  3. Two Princes – The Spin Doctors
  4. Sweat (A La La La La Song) – Inner Circle
  5. Three Little Pigs – Green Jelly
  6. What Is Love – Haddaway
  7. Can You Forgive Her – Pet Shop Boys
  8. Shout (It Out) – Louchie Lou and Michie One
  9. In All The Right Places – Lisa Stansfield
  10. Do You See The Light (Looking For…) – Snap! ft Niki Harris

Album chart:

  1. No Limits – 2 Unlimited
  2. Automatic For The People – REM
  3. Janet – Janet Jackson
  4. Too Long In Exile – Van Morrison
  5. Unplugged And Seated – Rod Stewart
  6. So Close – Dina Carroll
  7. Pocket Full Of Kryptonite – The Spin Doctors
  8. Kamakiriad – Donald Fagen
  9. Dream Harder – The Waterboys
  10. Connected – Stereo MCs

1994: Six detainees held in the Campsfield immigration centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, make their escape after a rooftop protest. On the same day, cricketer Brian Lara hits a record 501 not out in one day for Warks v Durham.

1998: Arantxa Sánchez Vicario of Spain beats Monica Seles in three sets to win her third French Open tennis title.

1999: The largest jailbreak in Brazilian history at the Putim maximum security prison in Brazil – 345 prisoners run from the main gate. In the ensuing manhunt, two fugitives are killed and five innocent bystanders are accidentally jailed.

2003: A High Court judge in London rules that rap lyrics should be treated as a foreign language after admitting that he is unsure of the meaning of the term ‘shizzle my nizzle’.

2005: Actress Anne Bancroft dies aged 73.

2006: Keyboards player and songwriter Billy Preston dies aged 59 of kidney failure.

2010: Marvin Isley, bassist and the youngest member of The Isley Brothers, dies aged 56 from complications arising from diabetes.

2012: U2 bass player Adam Clayton’s former personal assistant and housekeeper goes on trial accused of stealing almost £2.4m from him over a four-year period.

2013: Author Tom Sharpe dies aged 85.

2015: Barcelona beats Juventus, 3-1 to win the Champions League in Berlin. On the same day, Frankie Dettori wins The Epsom Derby on Golden Horn.

2019: Legendary New Orleans musician/singer-songwriter Dr John (Mac Rebenack) does aged 77 after a heart attack. On the same day, German nurse Niels Hoegel is jailed for a second life sentence for the murder of 85 more people (previously convicted for killing six). Germany’s worst post-war serial killer.

BIRTHDAYS: Tony Levin, bassist (King Crimson), 76; Baron David Blunkett, poitician, 75; Robert Englund, actor/director, 73; Björn Borg, tennis champion, 66; Mike Gatting, cricketer, 65; Amanda Pays (Bersen), actress, 63; Josie Lawrence, actress/comedian, 63; Steve Vai, guitarist, 62; Tom Araya, bassist/vocalist (Slayer) 61; Jason Isaacs, actor, 59; Paul Giamatti, actor, 55; Sonya Walger, actress, 48; Carl Barat, singer-songwriter (The Libertines) 44; Jeremy Gara, drummer (The Arcade Fire) 44; Ross MacDonald, bass/keyboards (The 1975) 33.