This Day in History - June 2
In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is crowned in Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.

Today is the 153rd day of 2023. There are 212 days left in the year.


1953: Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is crowned in Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.


637: Arab Muslim army vanquishes Persians at battle of Al-Qadisiyya, opening Persia to Arab conquest.

1815: Napoleon Bonaparte issues a liberal constitution in France.

1851: Maine becomes the first US state to enact a law prohibiting alcohol.

1863: During the Civil War, Union Major General William T Sherman writes a letter to his wife, Ellen, in which he commented, "Vox populi, vox humbug" (The voice of the people is the voice of humbug).

1881: US President James Garfield is shot by a disappointed office seeker and dies 80 days later

1886: President Grover Cleveland, 49, marries Frances Folsom, 21, in the Blue Room of the White House. (To date, Cleveland is the only president to marry in the executive mansion.)

1897: Mark Twain, 61, is quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London that "the report of my death was an exaggeration".

1917: Brazil declares war against Germany and seizes German ships.

1924: Congress passes, and President Calvin Coolidge signs, a measure guaranteeing full American citizenship for all Native Americans born within US territorial limits.

1941: Baseball's "Iron Horse", Lou Gehrig, dies in New York of a degenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; he was 37.

1949: Transjordan is renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

1955: Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agree to thaw relations between their countries.

1964: The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed.

1965: Almost 200 miners are killed in coal mine explosion near Fukuoka, Japan.

1966: US space probe Surveyor 1 lands on the moon and begins transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.

1974: Jigme Singye Wangchuk is crowned King of Bhutan at age 18, becoming the youngest monarch in the world.

1976: Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles is mortally injured by a bomb planted underneath his car; he dies 11 days later. (Prosecutors believed Bolles was targeted because he had written stories that upset a liquor wholesaler; three men were convicted of the killing.)

1979: Pope John Paul II arrives in his native Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country.

1981: The Japanese video arcade game Donkey Kong is released by Nintendo.

1983: Half of the 46 people aboard an Air Canada DC-9 are killed after fire broke out on board, forcing the jetliner to make an emergency landing at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

1984: India's army takes control of strife-torn Punjab State on eve of a new, massive civil disobedience campaign by Sikh militants.

1986: For the first time, the public could watch the proceedings of the US Senate on television as a six-week experiment began.

1987: US President Ronald Reagan announces he is nominating economist Alan Greenspan to succeed Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

1992: In a referendum, Danes reject the Maastricht treaty on a strongly united European Union.

1996: Hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu makes his first speech since winning the Israeli election and pledges to continue peace talks with the Palestinians.

1997: Timothy McVeigh is convicted of murder and conspiracy in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. (McVeigh is executed in June 2001.)

1998: Space shuttle Discovery blasts into orbit from Cape Canaveral on NASA's last mission to ailing Russian space station Mir.

2000: South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission grants amnesty to apartheid death squad commander Eugene de Kock and other former police in the killings of 14 people.

2001: The Colombian Government and leftist guerrillas agree to swap sick prisoners in the first major breakthrough since peace talks began more than two years ago.

2002: Irish rock star Bono and US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill end 12-day tour of Africa, raising awareness of the problems faced by the world's poorest continent.

2003: Mars Express, a European Space Agency craft carrying an unmanned British-built probe to the planet Mars, is launched aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

2004: Former rebel commanders capture a strategic town in eastern Congo, setting off a crisis that threatens the Central African country's fragile transitional government and a peace agreement that ended five years of civil war.

2005: Israel releases hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, fulfilling a months-old pledge officials hope will help bolster Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and his moderate allies.

2007: US authorities break up a suspected Islamist terrorist cell planning an attack to destroy John F Kennedy Airport in New York, kill thousands of people and trigger an economic catastrophe by blowing up a jet fuel artery that runs through populous neighbourhoods.

2008: Nepal's deposed king agrees to peacefully leave the royal palace in Katmandu and live as a common citizen after the Himalayan nation declared itself a republic the previous week.

2009: Brazilian military planes find a 3-mile (5-kilometre) path of wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean, confirming that an Air France jet carrying 228 people crashed in the sea.

2010: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects international criticism of a deadly raid against a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza earlier this week, saying the blockade of the Palestinian territory is needed to prevent missile attacks against Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

2012: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop the killing of protesters during the uprising that ousted him.

2013: Syrian rebels and Hezbollah guerrillas battle in their worst clashes yet inside Lebanon, a new sign that the civil war in Syria is increasingly destabilising its fragile neighbour.

2014: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swears in a national unity government, formally ending a crippling seven-year split with his Islamic Hamas rivals.

2015: President Barack Obama signs the USA Freedom Act, extending three expiring surveillance provisions of the 9/11-era USA Patriot Act. FIFA President Sepp Blatter announces his resignation as head of soccer's governing body just four days after being re-elected to the post amid a widening corruption scandal.


Jan Sobieski, king of Poland (1624-1698); Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade, French writer (1740-1814); "Count" Alessandro Cagliostro, Italian charlatan (1743-1795); Ion Bratianu, Romanian statesman (1821-1891); Thomas Hardy, English writer (1840-1928); Wayne Brady, actor-comedian (1972- )

– AP

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