On This Day … 06 April


  • 46 BC – Julius Caesar defeats Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) at the Battle of Thapsus.
  • 402 – Stilicho defeats the Visigoths under Alaric in the Battle of Pollentia.
  • 1250 – Seventh Crusade: Ayyubids of Egypt capture King Louis IX of France in the Battle of Fariskur.
  • 1320 – The Scots reaffirm their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.
  • 1453 – Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul), which falls on 29 May.
  • 1652 – At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck establishes a resupply camp that eventually becomes Cape Town.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: Ships of the Continental Navy fail in their attempt to capture a Royal Navy dispatch boat.
  • 1782 – King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) of Siam (modern day Thailand) establishes the Chakri dynasty.
  • 1793 – During the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety becomes the executive organ of the republic.
  • 1812 – British forces under the command of the Duke of Wellington assault the fortress of Badajoz.
    • This would be the turning point in the Peninsular War against Napoleon-led France.
  • 1814 – Nominal beginning of the Bourbon Restoration; anniversary date that Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Shiloh begins: In Tennessee, forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant meet Confederate troops led by General Albert Sidney Johnston.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: The Battle of Sailor’s Creek: Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia fights and loses its last major battle while in retreat from Richmond, Virginia during the Appomattox Campaign.
  • 1866 – The Grand Army of the Republic, an American patriotic organisation composed of Union veterans of the American Civil War, is founded. It lasts until 1956.
  • 1869 – Celluloid is patented.
  • 1896 – In Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games is celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games are banned by Roman emperor Theodosius I.
  • 1911 – During the Battle of Deçiq, Dedë Gjon Luli Dedvukaj, leader of the Malësori Albanians, raises the Albanian flag in the town of Tuzi, Montenegro, for the first time after George Kastrioti (Skanderbeg).
  • 1917 – World War I: The United States declares war on Germany (see President Woodrow Wilson’s address to Congress).
  • 1930 – At the end of the Salt March, Gandhi raises a lump of mud and salt and declares, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”
  • 1941 – World War II: Nazi Germany launches Operation 25 (the invasion of Kingdom of Yugoslavia) and Operation Marita (the invasion of Greece).
  • 1945 – World War II: Sarajevo is liberated from German and Croatian forces by the Yugoslav Partisans.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Battle of Slater’s Knoll on Bougainville comes to an end.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: Easter Offensive: American forces begin sustained air strikes and naval bombardments.
  • 1984 – Members of Cameroon’s Republican Guard unsuccessfully attempt to overthrow the government headed by Paul Biya.
  • 1992 – The Bosnian War begins.
  • 1994 – The Rwandan genocide begins when the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira is shot down.
  • 1998 – Nuclear weapons testing: Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of reaching India.
  • 2010 – Maoist rebels kill 76 CRPF officers in Dantewada district, India.
  • 2012 – Azawad declares itself independent from the Republic of Mali.
  • 2017 – US military launches 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an air base in Syria. Russia describes the strikes as an “aggression”, adding they significantly damage US-Russia ties.

People (Births)

  • 1664 – Arvid Horn, Swedish general and politician, Governor of Västerbotten County (d. 1742).
  • 1725 – Pasquale Paoli, French soldier and politician (d. 1807).
  • 1910 – Barys Kit, Belarusian-American rocket scientist (d. 2018).
  • 1918 – Alfredo Ovando Candía, Bolivian general and politician, 56th President of Bolivia (d. 1982).
  • 1957 – Paolo Nespoli, Italian soldier, engineer, and astronaut.
  • 1970 – Huang Xiaomin, Chinese swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 943 – Liu Churang, Chinese general and chief of staff (b. 881).
  • 1250 – Guillaume de Sonnac, Grand Master of the Knights Templar.
  • 1860 – James Kirke Paulding, American author and politician, 11th United States Secretary of the Navy (b. 1778).
  • 1862 – Albert Sidney Johnston, American general (b. 1803).
  • 1983 – Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri, Indian General who served as the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1962 to 1966 and the Military Governor of Hyderabad State from 1948 to 1949. (b. 1908).
  • 2006 – Francis L. Kellogg, American soldier and diplomat (b. 1917).
  • 2012 – Roland Guilbault, American admiral (b. 1934).
  • 2014 – Mickey Rooney, American soldier, actor, and dancer (b. 1920).
  • 2014 – Chuck Stone, American soldier, journalist, and academic (b. 1924).

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