This Day in History - June 5
The first recognised cases of what eventually became known as AIDS are reported in five California, USA, gay men on this day, 1981, by the Centers for Disiease Control and Prevention, which said the men were suffering from a rare pneumonia found in patients with weakened immune systems.

Today is the 156th day of 2023. There are 209 days left in the year.


2007: Pipeline diggers unearth a mass grave believed to contain thousands of Jews slaughtered in Ukraine during World War II.


1723: Social philosopher and political economist Adam Smith, a towering figure in the history of economic thought, is baptised in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland.

1783: Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier demonstrate their hot-air balloon.

1794: Congress passes the Neutrality Act prohibiting Americans from enlisting in the service of a foreign power.

1849: The absolute monarchy in Denmark is abolished and replaced by a new constitutional monarchy with a Parliament, freedom of the press and religion, and the right to hold meetings and form associations.

Renowned Jamaican sociologist Orlando Patterson is born this day, 1940..

1885: The British establish a protectorate over the Niger River region, now Nigeria.

1915: Danish women win voting rights.

1917: About 10 million American men between the ages of 21 and 31 begin registering for the draft in World War I.

1933: The USA goes off the gold standard.

1950: The US Supreme Court, in Henderson v United States, strikes down racially segregated railroad dining cars.

1967: Israel launches air strikes on Egypt, destroying most of that country's air force on the ground and giving rise to the six-day Middle East War; Syria, Jordan and Iraq enter the conflict.

1968: US Senator Robert F Kennedy is shot and mortally wounded just after claiming victory in California's Democratic presidential primary; gunman Sirhan Bishara Sirhan is immediately arrested.

1975: The Suez Canal in Egypt reopens to international shipping for the first time since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

1981: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that five gay men in California are suffering from a rare pneumonia found in patients with weakened immune systems — the first recognised cases of what becomes known as AIDS.

1984: Indira Gandhi orders an attack on Sikh's holiest site, the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

1985: Steve Cauthen wins aboard Slip Anchor at Epsom Downs to become the only jockey to win both the Kentucky Derby (1978) and The Derby.

1986: A federal jury in Baltimore convicts Ronald W Pelton of selling secrets to the Soviet Union; Pelton is sentenced to three life prison terms plus ten years.

1987: Nightline presents its first Town Meeting with the topic being AIDS; the show runs until 3:47 am.

1988: Australian Kay Cottee becomes the first woman to sail alone, non-stop, around the world. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates its 1,000th anniversary.

1995: Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic says he has convinced Bosnian Serbs to release the 235 United Nations personnel held hostage in Bosnia after air strikes against the Serbs; the hostages are later gradually released.

1996: In their first exchange, new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat that there will "never" be a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital.

1997: Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Harold J Nicholson is sentenced to 23 1/2 years in prison for selling defence secrets to Russia after the Cold War.

1999: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Yugoslav officers meet for the first time in Macedonia to discuss the withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo.

2000: Rebels on one side of an ethnic conflict in the Solomon Islands capture the prime minister, put up roadblocks around the capital, and overrun key installations while the rest of the Government remains in power.

2002: A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a car packed with explosives alongside a bus at Megiddo Junction in northern Israel, killing himself and at least 17 Israelis, including 13 soldiers. Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart is abducted from her Salt Lake City home; she is found alive by police in a Salt Lake suburb in March 2003 and her kidnappers, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, are given prison sentences.

2004: Ronald Reagan, who devoted his presidency to winning the Cold War, dies after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

2005: Kurdish rebels ambush a Turkish commando unit overnight, killing four soldiers and wounding one in south-eastern Turkey as the rebel command threatens to escalate violence across the country.

2006: Islamic militants with alleged links to al-Qaeda seize control of Somalia's capital, unifying the city for the first time in 16 years and posing a direct challenge to the UN-backed Government.

2008: The United Arab Emirates announces it will name an ambassador to Baghdad, the first Arab country to restore full diplomatic ties to Iraq since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.

2010: Researchers score the first big win against melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — with an experimental drug that significantly improved survival in a major study of people in the very advanced stages of the disease.

2012: A US drone strike in north-west Pakistan kills al-Qaeda's second in command, the most significant victory up to this time in the controversial bombing campaign, and the biggest setback to the terror network since the death of Osama bin Laden.

2016: David Gilkey, a veteran news photographer and video editor for National Public Radio (NPR), and Afghan journalist Zabihullah Tamanna are killed in an insurgent ambush while on assignment. Novak Djokovic becomes the first man in nearly a half-century to win four consecutive major championships, and finally earns an elusive French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam, beating Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.


Elena Cornaro Piscopia, Italian philosopher, mathematician, and first woman to receive an academic degree and a PhD from a university (1646-1684); Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary (1878-1923); John Maynard Keynes, British economist (1883-1946); Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet (1898-1936); Joe Clark, Canadian politician who, in 1979, became that country's youngest prime minister (1939- ); Orlando Patterson, renowned Jamaican sociologist (1940- ); Brian McKnight, US singer (1969- ); Breonna Taylor, American victim of police brutality (1993-2020)

— AP/ Jamaica Observer

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