It happened today – this day in history – June 9

68AD: Roman Emperor Nero commits suicide, imploring his secretary Epaphroditos to slit his throat to evade a Senate-imposed death by flogging.

1534: Jacques Cartier sails into the mouth of the St Lawrence River.

1660: Louis XIV of France marries Maria Theresa of Spain.

1672: Tsar Peter The Great (Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov) is born in Moscow.

1752:The French army surrenders to the British in Trichinopoly, India.

1822: Charles Graham patents porcelain false teeth in New York.

1856: 500 Mormons leave Iowa, and head west for Salt Lake City, Utah, carrying all their possessions in two-wheeled handcarts.

1870: Author Charles Dickens dies from a stroke aged 58.

1873: Alexandra Palace burns down after being open for only 16 days.

1891: French painter Paul Gauguin arrives in Papeete, Tahiti.

1898: China leases Hong Kong’s new territories to the UK for 99 years.

1899: James J Jeffries KOs defending champion Bob Fitzsimmons of England in the 11th round in Brooklyn, New York to win the lineal World Heavyweight title.

1908: Edward VII visits Tsar Nicholas II at Reval, Russia, where the two discuss the growing power of Germany and British plans for reform in Macedonia.

1930: Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle is killed during rush hour at the Illinois Central train station by the Leo Vincent Brothers, allegedly over a $100,000 gambling debt owed to Al Capone.

1934: The first appearance of Donald Duck in the cartoon “The Wise Little Hen”.

1940: Gen Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill meet for the first time.

1942: Nazis kill all inhabitants of Lidice, which had been implicated in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, controller of Bohemia and Moravia.

1946: Bhumibol Adulyadej becomes King of Thailand after the death of his brother King Ananda Mahidol. On the same day, Joe Louis KOs Billy Conn in Round 8 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1958: The Queen opens Gatwick Airport. On the same day, actor Robert Donat dies aged 53.

1968: Ken Rosewall beats Rod Laver 6-3, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 to win the French Open tennis title, the first Grand Slam tournament of the open era , allowing professional players to compete.

1978: Larry Holmes beats Ken Norton in 15 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1980: Comedian Richard Pryor suffers burns from free basing cocaine.

1983: Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party wins the general election.

1984: Martina Navratilova defeats Chris Evert 6-3, 6-1, becoming the second woman in the open era to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once.

1985: American Thomas Sutherland is kidnapped and held hostage in Lebanon. On the same day, the USSR’s Vega 1 deposits a lander on the surface of Venus.

1990: Monica Seles wins her first Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, beating Steffi Graf 7-6, 6-4.

1991: Bruce Springsteen marries E Street Band backup singer Patti Scialfa.

1997: British lease on the New Territories in Hong Kong expires.

1998: Liam Gallagher and Mick Hucknall were involved in a brawl at The Metropolitan Hotel, London.

2013: Edward Snowden publicly makes his identity known as the leaker of NSA documents.

2014: Comedian/actor Rik Mayall dies aged 56.

2015: Bandleader James Last dies aged 86.

2017: 1960s Batman actor Adam West dies aged 88.

2019: Over 1 million people protest in Hong Kong over proposed new extradition laws to China in one of largest-ever protests in the city.

BIRTHDAYS: Jackie Mason, comedian, 92; Francis Monkman, keyboards/composer, 71; Patricia Cornwell, author, 64; Michael J Fox, actor, 59; Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter, 59; Johnny Depp, actor, 57; Gloria Reuben, actress, 56; Ed Simons, keyboards (The Chemical Brothers) 50; Matt Bellamy, singer-guitarist/pianist (Muse) 42; Natalie Portman (Neta-Lee Herschlag) actress, 39.

Mick Ferris

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