It happened today – this day in history – May 6

1502: James Tyrrell, the alleged murderer of the Princes in the Tower is executed.

1527: Spanish and German imperial troops sack Rome.

1682: Louis XIV moves his court to Versailles.

1851: Dr John Gorrie patents a “refrigeration machine”.

1856: Birth of father of psychology Sigmund Freud.

1882: Epping Forest is dedicated to Queen Victoria. On the same day, Lord Frederick Cavendish, Chief Secretary for Ireland is murdered hours after arriving in Dublin.

1906: Tsar Nicolas II of Russia claims right to legislate by decree and restricts the power of the Duma.

1910: George V becomes king upon the death of his father, Edward VII.

1914: The House of Lords rejects women’s suffrage.

1935: George V celebrates his silver jubilee.

1937: German airship The Hindenburg explodes in flames as it approaches Lakehurst, New Jersey.

1940: John Steinbeck wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath.

1941: Josef Stalin becomes Premier of the Soviet Union.

1950: Actress Elizabeth Taylor marries Conrad Hilton.

1954: Roger Bannister, a 25-year-old medical student, becomes the first man to run a mile in less than four minutes.

1955: West Germany joins NATO.

1957: John F Kennedy wins the Pulitzer Prize for Profiles in Courage.

1959: Icelandic gunboats fire at British fishing boats.

1960: Princess Margaret marries photographer Anthony Armstrong Jones at Westminster Abbey. On the same day, Trotsky’s murderer Jacques Mornard (Ramon Mercader) is freed in Mexico.

1961: Tottenham Hotspur beat Leicester City 2-0 in the FA Cup Final to become the first club since Aston Villa in 1896/97 to win the League and FA Cup double.

1964: Joe Orton’s “Entertaining Mr Sloan” premieres in London.

1965: In his Florida hotel room, Keith Richards writes the opening riff to (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction after buying a Gibson fuzz-box earlier that day.

1966: Child killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are sentenced to life imprisonment for the so-called Moors murders. On the same day, at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, The Beatles record overdubs on the song I’m Only Sleeping and worked on various mixes of the track.

1968: Spain closes the border to Gibraltar except for Spaniards.

1970: Irish Prime Minister Jack Lynch sacks two ministers in the Irish government over allegations of illegal arms importation. On the same day, Feyenoord beats Celtic, 2-1 in Milan to win the European Cup.

1971: Singer Dickie Valentine is killed in a car crash on a single lane bridge near Crickhowell, Wales at the age of 41, together with pianist Sidney Boatman and drummer Dave Pearson.


1974: West German Chancellor Willy Brandt resigns amidst controversy over his aide Günter Guillaume’s ties with the Stasi.

1976: Italy’s worst ever earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale, leaves thousands homeless.

1982: Former manager of The Bay City Rollers Tam Paton, is convicted on a charge of gross indecency with boys and sentenced to three years in prison.

1984: Singles chart:

  1. The Reflex – Duran Duran
  2. Against All Odds – Phil Collins
  3. I Want To Break Free – Queen
  4. Automatic – Pointer Sisters
  5. Locomotion – OMD
  6. One Love – Bob Marley & The Wailers
  7. When You’re Young And In Love – The Flying Pickets
  8. Don’t Tell Me – Blancmange
  9. Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  10. Hello – Lionel Richie
1984: Queen – The Works

Album chart:

  1. Now That’s What I Call Music 2 – Various Artists
  2. Can’t Slow Down – Lionel Richie
  3. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  4. Ocean Rain – Echo and the Bunnymen
  5. The Works – Queen
  6. And I Love You So – Howard Keel
  7. Footloose – Original Soundtrack
  8. Into The Gap – The Thompson Twins
  9. Junk Culture – OMD
  10. The Top – The Cure

1987: American televangelist Jim Bakker and Rich Dortch are dismissed from the Assemblies of God after revelations of an alleged rape of a church secretary.

1990: Former South African president, P W Botha quits the ruling National Party.

1992: Death of actress/singer Marlene Dietrich aged 90.

1994: The Queen and French President Francois Mitterrand formally open the Channel Tunnel during ceremonies in France and Britain. On the same day, Lennox Lewis defeats Phil Jackson in Round 8 for the world heavyweight boxing title and Nelson Mandela and the ANC are confirmed as winners of the first post apartheid elections in South Africa.

1996: The body of former CIA director William Colby is found washed up on a riverbank in southern Maryland, eight days after he disappeared.

1997: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, gives the Bank of England independence from political control.

2001: An IRA bomb explodes at a postal sorting office in Hendon – the second such attack in three weeks.

2002: Songwriter and record producer Otis “Bumps” Blackwell dies from a heart attack. On the same day, Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is shot and killed by an animal rights activist.

2003: A Colorado radio station suspends two of its disc jockeys for playing music by The Dixie Chicks following singer Natalie Maines’ on stage comments weeks before about President George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

2004: Jazz guitarist Barney Kessel dies of a brain tumor aged of 80.

2006: Singer, songwriter Grant McLennan of The Go Betweens dies in his sleep at his home in Brisbane, Australia, aged 48.

2008: Babyshambles and Libertines singer/guitarist Pete Doherty is released from Wormwood Scrubs prison after serving 29 days of a 14-week sentence for breaching the terms of his probation.

2012: Francois Hollande is elected president of France.

2013: Singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill is sentenced in New Jersey to three months in jail for tax evasion.

2014: Author Leslie Thomas dies aged 83.

2015: Singer-songwriter Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate dies of liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas.

2017: Olympic diver Tom Daley (23) weds Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black at Bovey Castle in Devon. On the same day, 84 abducted schoolgirls are released in exchange for Boko Haram suspects in Nigeria.

2019: The Sultan of Brunei announces a moratorium on the death penalty for gay sex and adultery after worldwide condemnation over new Sharia laws.

2020: Florian Schneider, co-founder of Kraftwerk, dies at the age of 73.

BIRTHDAYS: Leon Hughes, singer (The Coasters) 90; Bob Seger, singer-songwriter, 77; Alan Dale, actor, 75; Davey Johnstone, guitarist (Elton John Band) 71; Tony Blair, politician, 69; Graeme Souness, football pundit, 69; John Flansburgh, guitar/vocals, (They Might Be Giants), 62; George Clooney, actor/director, 61; Stan Cullimore, guitarist (The Housemartins) 60; David Narcizo, drummer, (Throwing Muses), 56; Tony Wright, singer (Terrorvision), 54; Chris Shiflett, guitarist (Foo Fighters) 51; Danny Alves, footballer, 39; Adrianne Palicki, actress, 39; Gabourey Sidibe, actress, 39; Craig Dawson, footballer, 32; Naomi Scott, actress/singer, 29; Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, 3.