This Day in History — June 4Thursday, June 04, 2020
Today is the 156th day of 2020. There are 210 days left in the year.
2001: Nepal's Crown Prince Dipendra dies. Three days earlier he shot the king, queen and seven members of the royal family before turning the gun on himself.
1783: The Montgolfier brothers fly a hot-air balloon with no passengers in it publicly, for the first time, on a 10-minute flight from the marketplace in their hometown of Annonay, France.
1805: United States concludes a favourable peace treaty with the pirates of Tripoli.
1859: Austrians are defeated at Magenta by French, who free Milan in Italy.
1878: Turkey turns Cyprus over to the British.
1896: Henry Ford makes a successful pre-dawn test run of his horseless carriage, called a quadricycle, through the streets of Detroit.
1940: The Allied evacuation from Dunkirk, France, is completed. In a week, a flotilla of navy and civilian ships saved 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops from the invading Germans.
1942: Battle of Midway begins in the Pacific with US ships inflicting the first decisive defeat of Japanese.
1943: Troops march into Buenos Aires and overthrow Government of Argentine President Ramon Castillo.
1944: Allied forces enter Rome in World War II.
1954: French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc initial treaties in Paris granting “complete independence” to Vietnam.
1956: Egypt announces it will not extend Suez Canal Company's concession after expiration in 1959, leading to Suez Crisis.
1970: Kingdom of Tonga in Pacific becomes member of British Commonwealth.
1974: Death toll from smallpox is listed as at least 10,000 in Indian state of Bihar, one of the worst epidemics since vaccination began.
1984: Indian troops attack the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out occupying militants. About 1,200 people die in the fighting, and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is killed in reprisal by her Sikh bodyguards four months later.
1989: First partially free parliamentary elections in Poland in nearly 50 years end Moscow-imposed communist rule.
1992: Russia and other former Soviet republics pledge to slash tanks and other weapons in a landmark arms control accord.
1993: The UN Security Council authorises the United States and its allies to use air strikes against Serbian forces besieging six Muslim enclaves in Bosnia.
1994: Five Iraqis and a Kuwaiti are sentenced to death in Kuwait for plotting to kill former US President George H W Bush with a car bomb during his visit to Kuwait in 1993.
1997: The UN Security Council extends the programme that allows Iraq to sell oil to buy food, medicine and other civilian supplies.
2000: A 7.9-magnitude earthquake and strong aftershocks kill more than 100 people on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Several thousand are injured or left homeless.
2002: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says that shortly before September 11, 2001, Egyptian intelligence officials warned the United States that al-Qaeda was planning an attack on an American target.
2003: The Special Court for Sierra Leone, set up to try war crimes suspects from the country's civil conflict, make public a 17-count indictment against Charles Taylor, the president of neighbouring Liberia.
2004: UN peacekeepers take control of a strategic eastern Congolese city as renegade soldiers withdraw and President Joseph Kabila attempts to calm the nation after the largest and most violent protests since he took office.
2005: Opposition parties in Azerbaijan muster their biggest rally in years, bringing about 10,000 protesters into the streets of the capital, Baku, to call for free elections after authorities back down and give them permission to hold a demonstration.
2006: Top US military officer General Peter Pace pledges a thorough investigation into the alleged 2005 massacre of Iraqi citizens in Haditha by Marines, acknowledging that the allegations have raised concerns among Iraqi officials and in the United States.
2007: Former Liberian President Charles Taylor boycotts opening of his war crimes trial at The Hague. Court rules that the trial continue despite his boycott.
2008: The US military orders navy ships loaded with relief aid off Myanmar's coast to leave the area after the country's xenophobic junta refused to let them help survivors of a devastating cyclone the previous month.
2009: Invoking the Quran and his rarely used middle name, Barack Hussein Obama declares in Cairo that the United States has a common cause with Islam and never will be at war with the faith — an overture intently watched by the Muslim world and welcomed in unlikely quarters.
2010: South Korea officially refers North Korea to the UN Security Council over the sinking of a navy ship that killed 46 sailors, taking its strongest step ever toward making the communist North face international punishment.
2011: An al-Qaeda leader sought in the 2008 siege in Mumbai, India, and rumoured to be a long-shot choice to succeed Osama bin Laden, is believed killed in a US drone attack as he met with other militants in an apple orchard in Pakistan.
2012: A Canadian porn actor suspected of killing and dismembering a Chinese student and mailing his body parts to Canada's top political parties is arrested in a café in Berlin while reading about himself on the Internet.
2013: France says it has confirmed that the nerve gas sarin was used “multiple times and in a localised way” in Syria, including at least once by the regime, the most specific claim by any Western power about chemical attacks in the country's civil war.
2014: Syrian President Bashar Assad is re-elected in a landslide, capturing another seven-year term in the middle of a bloody uprising against his rule that has devastated the country.
England's King George III (1738-1820); Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, Finnish marshal and statesman (1867-1951); Modibo Keita, president of Mali (1915-1977); Robert Merrill, US opera singer (1919-2004); Dennis Weaver, US actor (1924-2006); Bruce Dern, US actor (1936- ); Angelina Jolie, US actress (1975-); Noah Wyle, US actor (1971- ); Russell Brand, British actor/comedian (1975- ).