On This Day … 06 July


  • 371 BC – The Battle of Leuctra shatters Sparta’s reputation of military invincibility.
  • 640 – Battle of Heliopolis: The Muslim Arab army under ‘Amr ibn al-‘As defeat the Byzantine forces near Heliopolis (Egypt).
  • 1411 – Ming China’s Admiral Zheng He returns to Nanjing after the third treasure voyage and presents the Sinhalese king, captured during the Ming–Kotte War, to the Yongle Emperor.
  • 1438 – A temporary compromise between the rebellious Transylvanian peasants and the noblemen is signed in Kolozsmonostor Abbey.
  • 1483 – Richard III is crowned King of England.
  • 1484 – Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River.
  • 1495 – First Italian War: Battle of Fornovo: Charles VIII defeats the Holy League.
  • 1535 – Sir Thomas More is executed for treason against King Henry VIII of England.
  • 1557 – King Philip II of Spain, consort of Queen Mary I of England, sets out from Dover to war with France, which eventually resulted in the loss of the City of Calais, the last English possession on the continent, and Mary I never seeing her husband again.
  • 1560 – The Treaty of Edinburgh is signed by Scotland and England.
  • 1573 – Córdoba, Argentina, is founded by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera.
  • 1573 – French Wars of Religion: Siege of La Rochelle ends.
  • 1614 – Raid on Żejtun: The south east of Malta, and the town of Żejtun, suffer a raid from Ottoman forces. This was the last unsuccessful attempt by the Ottomans to conquer the island of Malta.
  • 1630 – Thirty Years’ War: Four thousand Swedish troops under Gustavus Adolphus land in Pomerania, Germany.
  • 1685 – Battle of Sedgemoor: Last battle of the Monmouth Rebellion. troops of King James II defeat troops of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth.
  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: Siege of Fort Ticonderoga: After a bombardment by British artillery under General John Burgoyne, American forces retreat from Fort Ticonderoga, New York.
  • 1779 – Battle of Grenada: The French defeat British naval forces during the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1801 – First Battle of Algeciras: Outnumbered French Navy ships defeat the Royal Navy in the fortified Spanish port of Algeciras.
  • 1809 – The second day of the Battle of Wagram; France defeats the Austrian army in the largest battle to date of the Napoleonic Wars.
  • 1887 – David Kalākaua, monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, is forced to sign the Bayonet Constitution, which transfers much of the king’s authority to the Legislature of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
  • 1917 – World War I: Arabian troops led by T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) and Auda ibu Tayi capture Aqaba from the Ottoman Empire during the Arab Revolt.
  • 1918 – The Left SR uprising in Russia starts with the assassination of German ambassador Wilhelm von Mirbach by Cheka members.
  • 1919 – The British dirigible R34 lands in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.
  • 1937 – Spanish Civil War: Battle of Brunete: The battle begins with Spanish Republican troops going on the offensive against the Nationalists to relieve pressure on Madrid.
  • 1941 – The German army launches its offensive to encircle several Soviet armies near Smolensk.
  • 1942 – Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.
  • 1944 – Jackie Robinson refuses to move to the back of a bus, leading to a court-martial.
  • 1947 – Referendum held in Sylhet to decide its fate in the Partition of India.
  • 1947 – The AK-47 goes into production in the Soviet Union.
  • 1962 – As a part of Operation Plowshare, the Sedan nuclear test takes place.
  • 1964 – Malawi declares its independence from the United Kingdom.
  • 1966 – Malawi becomes a republic, with Hastings Banda as its first President.
  • 1967 – Nigerian Civil War: Nigerian forces invade Biafra, beginning the war.
  • 1975 – The Comoros declares independence from France.
  • 1995 – In the Bosnian War, under the command of General Ratko Mladić, Serbia begins its attack on the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.
  • 1997 – The Troubles: In response to the Drumcree dispute, five days of mass protests, riots and gun battles begin in Irish nationalist districts of Northern Ireland.
  • 2006 – The Nathu La pass between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-opens for trade after 44 years.

People (Births)

  • 1736 – Daniel Morgan, American general and politician (d. 1802).
  • 1747 – John Paul Jones, Scottish-American captain (d. 1792).
  • 1885 – Ernst Busch, German field marshal (d. 1945).
  • 1898 – Hanns Eisler, German-Austrian soldier and composer (d. 1962).
  • 1907 – George Stanley, Canadian soldier, historian, and author, designed the flag of Canada (d. 2002).
  • 1908 – Anton Muttukumaru, Sri Lankan general and diplomat (d. 2001).
  • 1915 – Leonard Birchall, Royal Canadian Air Force pilot (d. 2004).
  • 1919 – Edward Kenna, Australian Second World War recipient of the Victoria Cross (d. 2009).
  • 1923 – Wojciech Jaruzelski, Polish general and politician, 1st President of Poland (d. 2014).

People (Deaths)

  • 371 BC – Cleombrotus I, Spartan king.
  • 887 – Wang Chongrong, Chinese warlord.
  • 1758 – George Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe, English general and politician (b. 1725).
  • 1802 – Daniel Morgan, American general and politician (b. 1736).
  • 1809 – Antoine Charles Louis de Lasalle, French general (b. 1775).
  • 1835 – John Marshall, American captain and politician, 4th United States Secretary of State (b. 1755).
  • 1868 – Harada Sanosuke, Japanese captain (b. 1840).
  • 1934 – Nestor Makhno, Ukrainian commander (b. 1888).
  • 1964 – Claude V. Ricketts, American admiral (b. 1906).
  • 2009 – Robert McNamara, American businessman and politician, 8th United States Secretary of Defence (b. 1916).
  • 2014 – Alan J. Dixon, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 34th Illinois Secretary of State (b. 1927).

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