On This Day … 06 June

Events

  • 1513 – Battle of Novara. In the Italian Wars, Swiss troops defeat the French under Louis II de la Trémoille, forcing them to abandon Milan; Duke Massimiliano Sforza is restored.
  • 1523 – Swedish regent Gustav Vasa is elected King of Sweden and, marking a symbolic end to the Kalmar Union, 6 June is designated the country’s national day.
  • 1762 – In the Seven Years’ War, British forces begin the Siege of Havana and temporarily capture the city.
  • 1813 – The Battle of Stoney Creek, considered a critical turning point in the War of 1812.
    • 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 – The First Battle of Memphis, a naval engagement fought on the Mississippi results in the capture of Memphis, Tennessee by Union forces 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.
  • 1918 – Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I: the US Marine Corps suffers its worst single day’s casualties while attempting to recapture the wood at Château-Thierry (the losses are exceeded at the Battle of Tarawa in November 1943).
  • 1942 – World War II: The United States Navy’s victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway is a major turning point in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
    • All four Japanese fleet carriers taking part – Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū and Hiryū – are sunk, as is the heavy cruiser Mikuma.
    • The American carrier Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann are also sunk.
  • 1944 – World War II: Commencement of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, with the execution of Operation Neptune – commonly referred to as D-Day – the largest seaborne invasion in history.
    • Nearly 160,000 Allied troops cross the English Channel with about 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating.
    • By the end of the day, the Allies have landed on four invasion beaches and are pushing inland.
  • 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 in South Korea.

People (Births)

  • 1756 – John Trumbull, American soldier and painter (d. 1843).
  • 1868 – Robert Falcon Scott, English sailor and explorer (d. 1912).
  • 1891 – Erich Marcks, German general in WWII who planned Operation Barbarossa (d. 1944).
  • 1896 – Henry Allingham, English World War I soldier and supercentenarian (d. 2009).
  • 1896 – Italo Balbo, Italian air marshal and fascist politician who played a key role in developing Mussolini’s air force (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 and a noted code talker during World War II (d. 2013).
  • 1932 – David Scott, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut who was the commander of Apollo 15.
  • 1935 – Jon Henricks, Australian swimmer; winner of two Olympic gold medals in 1956.
  • 1944 – Tommie Smith, American sprinter and football player; winner of 1968 Olympic 200m gold medal in a world record time.
  • 1947 – Ada Kok, Dutch butterfly stroke swimmer; winner of three Olympic medals including gold in 1968.

People (Deaths)

  • 1548 – João de Castro, Portuguese soldier and politician, Governor of Portuguese India (b. 1500).
  • 1583 – Nakagawa Kiyohide, Japanese daimyo (b. 1556).
  • 1865 – William Quantrill, leader of a Confederate guerrilla band in the American Civil War (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).
  • 2013 – Esther Williams, American swimmer and actress (b. 1921).
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