On This Day in History May 6

May 6 – Events:

  • 1527 – Spanish and German troops sack Rome; some consider this the end of the Renaissance. 147 Swiss Guards, including their commander, died fighting the forces of Charles V during the Sack of Rome in order to allow Pope Clement VII to escape into Castel Sant’Angelo.
  • 1536 – King Henry VIII orders translated Bibles be placed in every church.
  • 1542 – Francis Xavier reached Old Goa, the capital of Portuguese India at the time.
  • 1604 – Leon VII Spanish poet’s first poem is published: La Cocina
  • 1682 – Louis XIV of France moves his court to Versailles.
  • 1757 – Battle of Prague – A Prussian army fought an Austrian army in Prague during the Seven Years’ War.
  • 1816 – The American Bible Society is founded in New York City.
  • 1835 – James Gordon Bennett, Sr. publishes the first issue of the New York Herald.
  • 1840 – The Penny Black postage stamp is valid for use in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • 1857 – The British East India Company disbands the 34th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry whose Sepoy Mangal Pandey had earlier revolted against the British and is considered to be the First Martyr in the War of India’s Independence.
  • 1860 – Giuseppe Garibaldi’s Mille set sail from Genoa to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Arkansas secedes from the Union.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville ends indefinitely, with a defeat of the Army of the Potomac under General Joseph Hooker by Confederate troops under Stonewall Jackson.
  • 1877 – Chief Crazy Horse of the Oglala Sioux surrenders to United States troops in Nebraska.
  • 1882 – The Congress of the U.S.A. pass the Chinese Exclusion Act.
  • 1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris.
  • 1910 – George V becomes King of the United Kingdom upon the death of his father, Edward VII.
  • 1935 – New Deal: Executive Order 7034 creates the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
  • 1937 – Hindenburg disaster: The German zeppelin Hindenburg catches fire and is destroyed within a minute while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Thirty-six people are killed.
  • 1940 – John Steinbeck is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath.
  • 1941 – At California’s March Field Bob Hope performs his first USO show.
  • 1942 – World War II: On Corregidor, the last American forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese.
  • 1945 – World War II: Axis Sally delivers her last propaganda broadcast to Allied troops (first was on December 11, 1941).
  • 1945 – World War II: The Prague Offensive, the last major battle of the Eastern Front, begins.
  • 1954 – Roger Bannister becomes the first person to run the mile in under four minutes.
  • 1960 – More than 20 million viewers watch the first ever televised royal wedding service when Princess Margaret marries Anthony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey.
  • 1962 – St. Martín de Porres becomes canonized by Pope John XXIII.
  • 1966 – Myra Hindley and Ian Brady are sentenced to life imprisonment for the Moors Murders in England.
  • 1976 – An earthquake strikes Friuli, causing 989 deaths and the destruction of entire villages.
  • 1981 – A jury of architects and sculptors unanimously selects Maya Ying Lin’s design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from 1,421 other entries.
  • 1983 – The Hitler diaries were revealed as a hoax when experts examined the books and concluded that they were fake.
  • 1988 – An airplane going from Namsos to Brønnøysund in Norway crashes into the side of the Torghatten mountain, killing all 36 passengers and crew.
  • 1994 – Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and French President François Mitterrand officiate at the opening of the Channel Tunnel.
  • 1994 – Former Arkansas state worker Paula Jones files suit against President Bill Clinton, alleging he’d sexually harassed her in 1991.
  • 1996 – The body of former CIA director William Colby is found washed up on a riverbank in southern Maryland, eight days after he disappeared.
  • 1997 – The Bank of England is given independence from political control, the most radical shake-up in the bank’s 300-year history.
  • 2001 – During a trip to Syria, Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope to enter a mosque.
  • 2002 – Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is shot and killed by an animal rights activist.

May 6 – Birthdays:

  • 1397 – Sejong the Great of Joseon, ruler of Korea (d. 1450)
  • 1501 – Pope Marcellus II (d. 1555)
  • 1574 – Pope Innocent X (d. 1655)
  • 1638 – Henry Capell, 1st Baron Capell, First Lord of the British Admiralty (d. 1696)
  • 1713 – Charles Batteux, French philosopher (d. 1780)
  • 1758 – André Masséna, French marshal (d. 1817)
  • 1758 – Maximilien Robespierre, French Revolutionary (d. 1794)
  • 1769 – Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany (d. 1824)
  • 1769 – Jean Nicolas Pierre Hachette, French mathematician (d. 1834)
  • 1797 – Joseph Brackett, American religious leader and composer (d. 1882)
  • 1800 – Roman Sanguszko, Polish aristocrat and general (d. 1881)
  • 1856 – Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist (d. 1939)
  • 1856 – Robert Peary, American explorer (d. 1920)
  • 1861 – Motilal Nehru, Indian freedom fighter (d. 1931)
  • 1868 – Gaston Leroux, French writer (d. 1927)
  • 1868 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (d. 1918)
  • 1871 – Victor Grignard, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1935)
  • 1871 – Christian Morgenstern, German author (d. 1914)
  • 1872 – Willem de Sitter, Dutch scientist (d. 1934)
  • 1879 – Bedrich Hrozny, Czech orientalist (d. 1952)
  • 1880 – Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, German painter (d. 1938)
  • 1882 – Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany (d. 1951)
  • 1895 – Fidél Pálffy, Hungarian Nazi (d. 1946)
  • 1895 – Júlio César de Mello e Souza, Brazilian writer (d. 1974)
  • 1895 – Rudolph Valentino, Italian actor (d. 1926)
  • 1897 – Paul Alverdes, German writer (d. 1979)
  • 1899 – Billy Cotton, British entertainer (d. 1969)
  • 1902 – Harry Golden, American journalist (d. 1981)
  • 1902 – Max Ophüls, German-born director (d. 1957)
  • 1903 – Toots Shor, New York restaurateur (d. 1977)
  • 1904 – Raymond Bailey, American actor (d. 1980)
  • 1904 – Moshe Feldenkrais, Ukrainian-born founder of the Feldenkrais method (d. 1984)
  • 1904 – Harry Martinson, Nobel laureate (d. 1978)
  • 1906 – Enrique Laguerre, Puerto Rican writer (d. 2005)
  • 1909 – Loyd Sigmon, American amateur (“ham”) radio broadcastor (d. 2004)
  • 1913 – Carmen Cavallaro, American pianist (d. 1989)
  • 1913 – Stewart Granger, English film actor (d. 1993)
  • 1915 – Orson Welles, American director (d. 1985)
  • 1915 – Theodore White, American writer (d. 1986)
  • 1916 – Robert H. Dicke, American physicist (d. 1997)
  • 1917 – Kal Mann, American lyricist (d. 2001)
  • 1920 – Ross Hunter, American film producer (d. 1996)
  • 1920 – Kamisese Mara, 1st Prime Minister of Fiji and President of Fiji (d. 2004)
  • 1921 – Erich Fried, German author (d. 1988)
  • 1922 – Camille Laurin, Quebec psychiatrist and politician (d. 1999)
  • 1922 – Otmar Suitner, Austrian conductor
  • 1923 – Vladimir Etush, Russian actor
  • 1924 – Denny Wright, British guitarist (d. 1992)
  • 1924 – Patricia Kennedy Lawford, American socialite (d. 2006)
  • 1926 – Gilles Grégoire, Quebec politician, co-founder of the Parti Québécois (d. 2006)
  • 1928 – Robert Poujade, French politician
  • 1929 – Paul Lauterbur, Nobel laureate
  • 1931 – Willie Mays, American baseball player
  • 1934 – Richard Shelby, American politician
  • 1936 – Bernard Lemaire, French Canadian businessman (Cascades)
  • 1937 – Rubin Carter, American boxer
  • 1938 – Jean Garon, Quebec economist and politician
  • 1938 – Larry Gogan, Irish radio personality
  • 1942 – Rin Kaiho, professional Go player
  • 1943 – Andreas Baader, leader of the German organization Red Army Faction (d. 1977)
  • 1944 – Anton Furst, American production designer (d. 1991)
  • 1944 – Masanori Murakami, First Japanese baseball player in major leagues
  • 1945 – Jimmie Dale Gilmore, American musician
  • 1945 – Bob Seger, American singer
  • 1947 – Martha Nussbaum, American philosopher
  • 1947 – Alan Dale, New Zealand actor
  • 1948 – Mary MacGregor, American singer
  • 1951 – Samuel Doe, President of Liberia (d. 1990)
  • 1952 – Christian Clavier, French actor
  • 1952 – Michael O’Hare, American actor
  • 1953 – Tony Blair, former British prime minister
  • 1953 – Michelle Courchesne, Quebec politician
  • 1953 – Graeme Souness, Scottish footballer/manager
  • 1954 – Dora Bakoyannis, Greek politician
  • 1955 – Tom Bergeron, American game show host
  • 1958 – Lolita Flores, Spanish singer and actress
  • 1960 – Roma Downey, Northern Irish actress
  • 1960 – John Flansburgh, American musician
  • 1960 – Anne Parillaud, French actress
  • 1960 – Phyllis Treigle, American soprano
  • 1961 – George Clooney, American actor
  • 1964 – Dana Hill, American actress (d. 1996)
  • 1968 – Lætitia Sadier, French singer (Stereolab)
  • 1969 – Jim Magilton, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1971 – Chris Shiflett, Guitarist for Foo Fighters
  • 1972 – Martin Brodeur, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1977 – David Connolly, England-born Irish footballer
  • 1977 – Marc Chouinard, French Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1978 – John Abraham, American football player
  • 1978 – Fredrick Federley, Swedish politician
  • 1978 – Alexander Fedorov, Russian bodybuilder
  • 1979 – Nikki Hayes, Irish radio personality
  • 1980 – Scott Colton, American professional wrestler
  • 1980 – Kate Lawler, English reality TV star
  • 1980 – Mario Stojic, Croatian basketball player
  • 1980 – Ricardo Oliveira, Brazilian footballer
  • 1980 – Taebin, Korean singer (1TYM)
  • 1980 – Kelly van der Veer, Dutch reality TV star
  • 1981 – Matthew Leone, bassist of Madina Lake
  • 1981 – Nathan Leone, lead singer of Madina Lake
  • 1981 – Mark O’Connell (drummer), American drummer (Taking Back Sunday)
  • 1985 – Chris Paul, American basketball player
  • 1986 – Cindy Daniel, Quebec singer
  • 1987 – Moon Geun-young, South Korean actress

May 6 – Deaths:

  • 680 – Muawiyah I, caliph (b. 602)
  • 1502 – James Tyrrell, alleged murderer of the Princes in the Tower (executed)
  • 1596 – Giaches de Wert, Flemish composer (b. 1535)
  • 1620 – Hayyim ben Joseph Vital, Palestinian-born Kabbalist (b. 1543)
  • 1631 – Robert Bruce Cotton, English politician
  • 1638 – Cornelius Jansen, French bishop and religious reformer (b. 1585)
  • 1708 – François de Laval, first bishop of New France (b. 1623)
  • 1757 – Maximilian Ulysses Count Browne, Austrian field marshal (b. 1705)
  • 1757 – Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, British politician (b. 1683)
  • 1757 – Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin, Prussian field marshal (b. 1684)
  • 1840 – Francisco de Paula Santander, Colombian president and independence leader (b. 1792)
  • 1859 – Alexander von Humboldt, German naturalist and explorer (b. 1769)
  • 1862 – Henry David Thoreau, American author and philosopher (b. 1817)
  • 1877 – Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Finnish poet (b. 1804)
  • 1902 – Bret Harte, American author (b. 1836)
  • 1910 – King Edward VII of the United Kingdom (b. 1841)
  • 1919 – L. Frank Baum, American writer (b. 1856)
  • 1939 – Konstantin Somov, Russian writer (b. 1869)
  • 1949 – Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1862)
  • 1951 – Élie Cartan, French mathematician (b. 1869)
  • 1952 – Maria Montessori, Italian educator (b. 1870)
  • 1961 – Lucian Blaga, Romanian poet, playwright, and philosopher (b. 1895)
  • 1963 – Theodore von Kármán, Hungarian-born physicist (b. 1881)
  • 1967 – Zhou Zuoren, Chinese writer (b. 1885)
  • 1970 – Aleksandr Rodzyanko, Russian general (b. 1879)
  • 1973 – Ernest MacMillan, Canadian orchestra conductor and composer (b. 1893)
  • 1975 – József Mindszenty, Hungarian Catholic Cardinal (b. 1892)
  • 1983 – Kai Winding, American trombonist and jazz composer (b. 1922)
  • 1984 – Bonner Pink, Conservative Party politician
  • 1984 – Mary Cain, Mississippi newspaper editor and politician (b. 1904)
  • 1985 – Julie Vega, Filipino child actress and singer (b. 1968)
  • 1987 – William Casey, American Central Intelligence Agency director (b. 1913)
  • 1989 – Earl Blaik, Former American football coach (b. 1897)
  • 1990 – Charles Farrell, American actor (b. 1901)
  • 1991 – Wilfrid Hyde-White, English actor (b. 1903)
  • 1992 – Marlene Dietrich, German actress (b. 1901)
  • 1993 – Ann Todd, English actress (b. 1909)
  • 1995 – Noel Brotherston, Northern Irish footballer (b. 1956)
  • 1995 – Hilda Toledano (b. 1907)
  • 2002 – Otis Blackwell, American pianist, singer and songwriter (b. 1932)
  • 2002 – Pim Fortuyn, Dutch politician (b. 1948)
  • 2003 – Art Houtteman, baseball player (b. 1927)
  • 2004 – Philip Kapleau, American Zen teacher (b. 1912)
  • 2004 – Barney Kessel, American jazz guitarist (b. 1923)
  • 2006 – Lillian Asplund, last American RMS Titanic survivor (b. 1906)
  • 2006 – Shigeru Kayano, Japanese Ainu activist (b. 1926)
  • 2006 – Grant McLennan, co-founder of Australian band The Go-Betweens (b. 1958)
  • 2006 – Lorne Saxberg, Canadian television journalist (b. 1958)
  • 2007 – Enéas Carneiro, Brazilian politician (b. 1938)
  • 2007 – Curtis Harrington, American film director (b. 1926)
  • 2007 – Ðorde Novkovic, Croatian songwriter (b. 1943)

May 6 – Holidays:

  • Feast days in the Roman Catholic Church:

o   Saint Justus

o   Saint Lucius of Cyrene

o   Saint Dominic Savio, patron saint of studying youth

o   Saint Evodius of Antioch

o   Saint Gerard of Lunel

o   Saint Henryk Kaczorowski

o   Saint Petronax of Monte Cassino

o   Saint Theodotus

o   St George’s Day — Ðurdevdan (Serbian), Gergyovden (Bulgarian), Giorgoba (Georgian)

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