June 6th is
Applesauce Cake Day
Drive-in Movie Day *
National Higher Education Day *
National Yo-Yo Day *
Russian Language Day *
MORE! Diego Velázquez, Aleksandr Pushkin and Sarah Parker Remond, click
WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
North Korea –
Children’s Union Foundation Day
Russia – Pushkin’s Birthday *
South Korea – Hyun Choong II
Sweden – Nationaldagen *
On This Day in HISTORY
913 – Byzantine Emperor Alexander III dies at age 42 of exhaustion after playing tzykanion (polo) and is succeeded by his 8-year-old nephew Constantine VII
1523 – Gustav Vasa, the Swedish regent, is elected King of Sweden, ending the Kalmar Union of Denmark, Norway and Sweden; celebrated as Nationaldagen * in Sweden
1586 – After the English and the Dutch rebels sign the Treaty of Nonsuch, forming an alliance in 1565, King Philip II of Spain declares war on England; Sir Francis Drake leaves quickly on an expedition to attack Spanish colonies; on June 6, his ships raid the fort of San Augustín in Spanish Florida
Sir Francis Drake’s fleet attacking St. Augstin, Spanish Florida – 1586
1599 – Diego Velázquez born, leading 17th-century painter of Spain’s Golden Age
Las Meninas, by Diego Velázquez (Prado)
1606 – Pierre Corneille, influential 17th century French dramatist; Le Cid
1644 – The Qing dynasty Manchu forces led by the Shunzhi Emperor capture Beijing during the collapse of the Ming dynasty
1654 – Queen Christina abdicates the Swedish throne and is succeeded by her cousin Charles X Gustav, in part because she wants to convert to Roman Catholicism
1755 – Nathan Hale born, American Revolutionary War soldier/spy; captured by the British and hanged; famous for his last words, reported as: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”
1756 – John Turnbull born, American artist, noted for paintings of significant events in American history; Declaration of Independence
1799 – Aleksandr Pushkin * born – Russia’s premiere Romantic author and poet; founder of modern Russian literature
1808 – Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoléon, who had been happy as King of Naples and Sicily, reluctantly becomes King of Spain and the Indies; he is unpopular with the Spanish, who revolt against French rule, sparking the Peninsular War
1822 – Alexis St. Martin, employed by the American Fur Company on Mackinac Island, is accidentally shot by a shotgun loaded with buckshot; Army surgeon William Beaumont treats his wounds, not expecting him to live, but St. Martin survives, even with a fistula (hole) in his stomach that never fully heals. Dr. Beaumont hires him as a handyman, but is soon making observations and conducting experiments on his stomach, discovering stomach acid, and that digestion is primarily a chemical process; Beaumont publishes an account of his work, Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice, and the Physiology of Digestion, in 1833, becoming the “Father of Gastric Physiology”
1826 – Sarah Parker Remond born, African-American abolitionist, inspiring orator, American Anti-Slavery Society agent in England during Civil War, gathers support for anti-slavery cause and the Union Army, later moves to Italy and becomes a physician
1841 – Eliza Orzeszkowa born, Polish author and Nobel Prize nominee, worked to improve social conditions in Poland
1842 – Steele MacKaye born, first American actor to play Hamlet on the London stage, co-founder of the Lyceum Theatre School, which becomes the American Academy of Dramatic Arts; invents a folding theatre seat and flame-resistant stage curtains; establishes New York’s St. James and Lyceum Theatres
1844 – The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in London
1844 – The Glaciarium opens, world’s first mechanically frozen ice rink
1875 – Thomas Mann born, German author and critic, 1929 Nobel Prize laureate
1892 – Donald F. Duncan Sr. born, founder of the Duncan Toys Company, best known as the biggest commercially successful manufacturer of the Yo-Yo
1894 – Governor Davis H. Waite orders the Colorado state militia to protect and support the miners engaged in the Cripple Creek miners’ strike, a victory for the union, and the only time in U.S. history that a state militia is called out in support of striking workers
1898 – Ninette de Valois born, English ballerina, choreographer/director, founder of The Royal Ballet, and the Royal Ballet School in Great Britain
1903 – Aram Khachaturian born, Armenian composer and conductor
1918 – The U.S. Marine Corps suffers its worst single day’s casualties during the Battle of Belleau Wood
1921 – London’s Southwark Bridge is opened by King George V and Queen Mary
1925 – Maxine Kumin born, American poet and author, Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1981-82)
1932 – Revenue Act of 1932 establishes the first U.S. gas tax, one cent per gallon sold
1933 – Drive-in Movie Day * is the anniversary of the opening first drive-in theater, Hollingshead’s Drive-In in Camden, New Jersey
1934 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Securities Act of 1933 into law, establishing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
1939 – Marian Wright Edelman born, lawyer and activist, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund
1942 – During the Battle of Midway, U.S. Navy dive bombers sink four Japanese carriers and the cruiser Mikuma
1944 – D-Day * – the landing of Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, Operation Overlord, a huge amphibious assault, marking the beginning of the final phase of WWII in Europe
1954 – In Moscow, a ceremony is held for the monumental sculpture of Yuriy Dolgorukiy, claimed as the city’s founder in 1147, although evidence points to a settlement there at least 200 years earlier
1962 – The Beatles record “Love Me Do” during their first recording session at Abbey Road Studios
1965 – The Rolling Stones release “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in the U.S.
1971 – The Soviet Soyuz 11 is launched, the only manned mission to board the world’s first space station, Salyut 1
1978 – California voters overwhelmingly approve Proposition 13, a ballot measure for major cuts in rapidly escalating property taxes, a major revenue source for public schools; California currently ranks 41st in the nation in quality of public education
1982 – The Lebanon War begins as forces under Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invade southern Lebanon in “Operation Peace for the Galilee”
1982 – The “Peace Sunday: We Have a Dream” rally at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl
1985 – The body of “Wolfgang Gerhard” is exhumed in Brazil; tests prove it is Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s infamous “Angel of Death”
1990 – The first National Yo-Yo Day * is launched by Daniel Volk, the “Yo-Yo Man” in honor of Donald F. Duncan’s birthday
1995 – Pink Floyd releases its two-CD album Pulse in the U.S.
2004 – Tamil is established as a “classical language” by the President of India, Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, in a joint sitting of the two houses of the Indian Parliament.
2005 – In Gonzales v. Raich, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a federal law banning cannabis, including medical marijuana
2010 – UNESCO establishes Russian Language Day * on the anniversary of Aleksandr Pushkin *, the “Father of modern Russian Literature,” as one of the International Mother Language Days which celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity and promote equal use of the six UN official working languages throughout the organization
2015 – The first National Higher Education Day *
2016 – U.S. media reports Hillary Rodham Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, the first female nominee of a major party in the 240-year history of America
This is a somber day for me; a day of remembrance. It is D-Day. Operation Overlord began shortly before dawn, June 6, 1944. The beaches along the coast of Normandy were code named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Sword, and Juno. Those beaches were the scene of unimaginable horror at this moment in time 73 years ago.
I knew people who were there. If you do happen to know a survivor from either side of the conflict, never ask what it was like.
First, they don’t want to relive it; and second, you don’t really want to know. Really.
Private Bill Millin was Lord Lovat’s piper. Lord Lovat had the rank equivalent of Brigadier General, but he lead from the front. He ordered Private Bill Millin to pipe the Highlanders ashore at Sword beach. Private Millin marched back and forth on the beach, armed only with his bagpipes amidst a hail of gunfire and artillery shells. Later, he led the troops across the infamous Pegasus Bridge.
One might say that both Lord Lovat and Private Bill Millin were about as badass as you can get, but they were just two among thousands.
Private Bill Millin is seen in the opening photograph. This is a rare photo, catching a bit of history at the exact critical moment in time. He is in the right foreground, still on the Higgins Boat, about to air up his pipes and wade ashore. You can see part of his pipes in the photo.
Bagpipes are the only musical instrument in history to have been determined by law to be a ‘weapon of war.’
Thanks Chuck for the additional information, and the film clip.