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 Epsom 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.

1971: Singles chart:

  1. Knock Three Times – Dawn
  2. I Did What I Did For Maria – Tony Christie
  3. Indiana Wants Me – R Dean Taylor
  4. I Am… I Said – Neil Diamond
  5. Heaven Must Have Sent You – The Elgins
  6. My Brother Jake – Free
  7. Lady Rose – Mungo Jerry
  8. I’m Gonna Run Away From You – Tami Lynn
  9. The Banner Man – Blue Mink
  10. Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones
1971: The Groundhogs – Split

Album chart:

  1. Ram – Paul and Linda McCartney
  2. Sticky Fingers – The Rolling Stones
  3. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  4. Motown Chartbuters Vol 5 – Various Artists
  5. Home Lovin’ Man – Andy Williams
  6. Symphonies Fr The 70s – Waldo de los Rios
  7. Split – The Groundhogs
  8. Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon – James Taylor
  9. She’s A Lady – Tom Jones
  10. Greatest Hits – Andy Williams

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.

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.

2022: Former chairman of far-right group The Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, and four others are indicted for seditious conspiracy for their role in January 6 attack on the US Capitol. On the same day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wins a vote of no confidence with 41% of Conservative MPs voting against him.

2023: Prince Harry becomes the first senior royal to testify in court in 130 years, accusing Mirror Group Newspapers of hacking his e-mails. On the same day, guitarust Tony McPhee of The Groundhogs dies aged 79.

Lord Blunkett

BIRTHDAYS: Tony Levin, bassist (King Crimson), 78; Baron David Blunkett, poitician, 77; Robert Englund, actor/director, 75; Björn Borg, tennis champion, 68; Mike Gatting, cricketer, 67; Amanda Pays (Bersen), actress, 65; Josie Lawrence, actress/comedian, 65; Steve Vai, guitarist, 64; Tom Araya, bassist/vocalist (Slayer) 63; Jason Isaacs, actor, 61; Paul Giamatti, actor, 57; Sonya Walger, actress, 50; Carl Barat, singer-songwriter (The Libertines) 46; Jeremy Gara, drummer (The Arcade Fire) 46; Ross MacDonald, bass/keyboards (The 1975), 35.