On This Day … 06 June


  • 1513 – Italian Wars: Battle of Novara. Swiss troops defeat the French under Louis II de la Trémoille, forcing the French to abandon Milan. Duke Massimiliano Sforza is restored.
  • 1523 – Gustav Vasa, the Swedish regent, is elected King of Sweden, marking a symbolic end to the Kalmar Union. This is the Swedish national day.
  • 1586 – Francis Drake’s forces raid St. Augustine in Spanish Florida.
  • 1674 – Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire, is crowned.
  • 1749 – The Conspiracy of the Slaves in Malta is discovered.
  • 1762 – Seven Years’ War: British forces begin a siege of Havana, Cuba, and temporarily capture the city in the Battle of Havana.
  • 1808 – Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte, is crowned King of Spain.
  • 1809 – Sweden promulgates a new Constitution, which restores political power to the Riksdag of the Estates after 20 years of enlightened absolutism. At the same time, Charles XIII is elected to succeed Gustav IV Adolf as King of Sweden.
  • 1813 – War of 1812: Battle of Stoney Creek: A British force of 700 under John Vincent defeats an American force twice its size under William Winder and John Chandler.
  • 1832 – The June Rebellion in Paris is put down by the National Guard.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Memphis: Union forces capture Memphis, Tennessee, from the Confederates.
  • 1882 – The Shewan forces of Menelik II of Ethiopia defeat the Gojjame army in the Battle of Embabo. The Shewans capture Negus Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam, and their victory leads to a Shewan hegemony over the territories south of the Abay River.
  • 1894 – Governor Davis H. Waite orders the Colorado state militia to protect and support the miners engaged in the Cripple Creek miners’ strike.
  • 1909 – French troops capture Abéché (in modern-day Chad) and install a puppet sultan in the Ouaddai Empire.
  • 1916 – The death of Yuan Shikai marks the beginning of China’s Warlord Era.
  • 1918 – World War I: Battle of Belleau Wood: The U.S. Marine Corps suffers its worst single day’s casualties while attempting to recapture the wood at Château-Thierry.
  • 1919 – After eight days of existence, the Republic of Prekmurje is conquered by the Hungarian Soviet Republic.
  • 1942 – World War II: Battle of Midway. US Navy dive bombers sink the Japanese cruiser Mikuma and four Japanese carriers.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Allied invasion of Normandy – codenamed Operation Overlord – begins with the execution of Operation Neptune (commonly referred to as D-Day), the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The Allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history.
  • 1971 – A midair collision between a Hughes Airwest Douglas DC-9 jetliner and a United States Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II jet fighter near Duarte, California, claims 50 lives.
  • 1971 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Long Khanh between Australian and Vietnamese communist forces begins.
  • 1982 – The Lebanon War begins. Forces under Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invade southern Lebanon during Operation Peace for the Galilee, eventually reaching as far north as the capital Beirut.
  • 1985 – The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” is opened in Embu, Brazil; the exhumed remains are later proven to be those of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death”; Mengele is thought to have drowned while swimming in February 1979.
  • 2002 – Eastern Mediterranean event. A near-Earth asteroid estimated at ten meters in diameter explodes over the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Libya. The explosion is estimated to have a force of 26 kilotons, slightly more powerful than the Nagasaki atomic bomb.
  • Memorial Day (South Korea).

People (Births)

  • 1236 – Wen Tianxiang, Chinese general and scholar (d. 1283).
  • 1584 – Yuan Chonghuan, politician, general and writer (d. 1630).
  • 1755 – Nathan Hale, American soldier (d. 1776).
  • 1756 – John Trumbull, American soldier and painter (d. 1843).
  • 1868 – Robert Falcon Scott, English sailor and explorer (d. 1912).
  • 1891 – Erich Marcks, German general (d. 1944).
  • 1896 – Henry Allingham, English soldier (d. 2009).
  • 1896 – Italo Balbo, Italian air marshal and politician (d. 1940).
  • 1919 – Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington, English army officer and politician, 6th Secretary General of NATO (d. 2018).
  • 1925 – Frank Chee Willeto, American soldier and politician, 4th Vice President of the Navajo Nation (d. 2013).
  • 1932 – David Scott, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut.
  • 1936 – Mompati Merafhe, Botswana general and politician, Vice-President of Botswana (d. 2015).
  • 1953 – Dimitris Avramopoulos, Greek lieutenant and politician, Greek Minister for National Defence.
  • 1969 – Erik Prince, American soldier and businessman, co-founded Academi.

People (Deaths)

  • 1548 – João de Castro, Portuguese soldier and politician, Governor of Portuguese India (b. 1500).
  • 1583 – Nakagawa Kiyohide, Japanese daimyō (b. 1556).
  • 1730 – Alain Emmanuel de Coëtlogon, French general (b. 1646).
  • 1862 – Turner Ashby, American colonel (b. 1828).
  • 1865 – William Quantrill, American captain (b. 1837).
  • 1916 – Yuan Shikai, Chinese general and politician, 2nd President of the Republic of China (b. 1859).
  • 1935 – Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy, English field marshal and politician, 12th Governor-General of Canada (b. 1862).
  • 1968 – Robert F. Kennedy, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 64th United States Attorney General (b. 1925).
  • 1968 – Kâzım Özalp, Turkish general and politician, 3rd Turkish Minister of National Defence (b. 1880).
  • 1984 – A. Bertram Chandler, English-Australian soldier and author (b. 1912).

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