On This Day … 04 June [2022]


  • 1615 – Siege of Osaka: Forces under Tokugawa Ieyasu take Osaka Castle in Japan.
  • 1745 – Battle of Hohenfriedberg: Frederick the Great’s Prussian army decisively defeated an Austrian army under Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine during the War of the Austrian Succession.
  • 1792 – Captain George Vancouver claims Puget Sound for the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • 1825 – General Lafayette, a French officer in the American Revolutionary War, speaks at what would become Lafayette Square, Buffalo, during his visit to the United States.
  • 1855 – Major Henry C. Wayne departs New York aboard the USS Supply to procure camels to establish the US Camel Corps.
  • 1859 – Italian Independence wars: In the Battle of Magenta, the French army, under Louis-Napoleon, defeat the Austrian army.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Confederate troops evacuate Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River, leaving the way clear for Union troops to take Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 1878 – Cyprus Convention: The Ottoman Empire cedes Cyprus to the United Kingdom but retains nominal title.
  • 1916 – World War I: Russia opens the Brusilov Offensive with an artillery barrage of Austro-Hungarian lines in Galicia.
  • 1920 – Hungary loses 71% of its territory and 63% of its population when the Treaty of Trianon is signed in Paris.
  • 1932 – Marmaduke Grove and other Chilean military officers lead a coup d’état establishing the short-lived Socialist Republic of Chile.
  • 1939 – The Holocaust: The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 German Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida, in the United States, after already being turned away from Cuba.
    • Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps.
  • 1940 – World War II: The Dunkirk evacuation ends: the British Armed Forces completes evacuation of 338,000 troops from Dunkirk in France.
    • To rally the morale of the country, Winston Churchill delivers, only to the House of Commons, his famous “We shall fight on the beaches” speech.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Midway begins. The Japanese Admiral Chūichi Nagumo orders a strike on Midway Island by much of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
  • 1943 – A military coup in Argentina ousts Ramón Castillo.
  • 1944 – World War II: A hunter-killer group of the United States Navy captures the German Kriegsmarine submarine U-505: The first time a US Navy vessel had captured an enemy vessel at sea since the 19th century.
  • 1944 – World War II: The United States Fifth Army captures Rome, although much of the German Fourteenth Army is able to withdraw to the north.
  • 1961 – Cold War: In the Vienna summit, the Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev sparks the Berlin Crisis by threatening to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany and ending American, British and French access to East Berlin.
  • 1970 – Tonga gains independence from the British Empire.
  • 1977 – JVC introduces its VHS videotape at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago.
    • It will eventually prevail against Sony’s rival Betamax system in a format war to become the predominant home video medium.
  • 1979 – Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings takes power in Ghana after a military coup in which General Fred Akuffo is overthrown.
  • 1986 – Jonathan Pollard pleads guilty to espionage for selling top secret United States military intelligence to Israel.
  • 1989 – The Tiananmen Square protests are suppressed in Beijing by the People’s Liberation Army, with between 241 and 10,000 dead (an unofficial estimate).
  • 1989 – Solidarity’s victory in the 1989 Polish legislative election, the first election since the Communist Polish United Workers Party abandoned its monopoly of power.
    • It sparks off the Revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe.
  • Birthday of C. G. E. Mannerheim, Marshal of Finland and the flag flying day of the Finnish Defence Forces (Finland).
  • Emancipation Day or Independence Day, commemorates the abolition of serfdom in Tonga by King George Tupou in 1862, and the independence of Tonga from the British protectorate in 1970 (Tonga).
  • Trianon Treaty Day (Romania).
  • Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 Memorial Day (International).

People (Births)

  • 1744 – Patrick Ferguson, Scottish soldier, designed the Ferguson rifle (d. 1780).
  • 1754 – Miguel de Azcuénaga, Argentinian soldier (d. 1833).
  • 1860 – Alexis Lapointe, Canadian runner (d. 1924).
  • 1867 – Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, Finnish general and politician, 6th President of Finland (d. 1951).
  • 1885 – Arturo Rawson, Argentinian general and politician, 26th President of Argentina (d. 1952).
  • 1910 – Christopher Cockerell, English engineer, invented the hovercraft (d. 1999).
  • 1930 – George Chesworth, English air marshal and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Moray (d. 2017).
  • 1945 – Daniel Topolski, English rower and coach (d. 2015).
  • 1951 – Bronisław Malinowski, Polish runner (d. 1981).
  • 1959 – Juan Camacho, Bolivian runner.
  • 1962 – Zenon Jaskuła, Polish cyclist.
  • 1967 – Robert S. Kimbrough, American colonel and astronaut.
  • 1981 – Jennifer Carroll, Canadian swimmer.
  • 1982 – Abel Kirui, Kenyan runner.

People (Deaths)

  • 1453 – Andronikos Palaiologos Kantakouzenos, Byzantine commander.
  • 1622 – Péter Révay, Hungarian soldier and historian (b. 1568).
  • 1830 – Antonio José de Sucre, Venezuelan general and politician, 2nd President of Bolivia (b. 1795).
  • 1928 – Zhang Zuolin, Chinese warlord (b. 1873).
  • 1942 – Reinhard Heydrich, German SS officer and politician (b. 1904).
  • 1981 – Leslie Averill, New Zealand doctor and soldier (b. 1897).

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