On this day - June 6

2011-06-06 07:28

Today is Monday, June 6, the 157th day of 2011. There are 208 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1488 - Portuguese explorer and navigator Bartholomew Diaz erects a padrao -- that of St Philip - at Cape Maclear, west of Cape Point. (No trace of the cross has been found.)

1520 - England's King Henry VIII and France's King Francis I sign treaty ending French interference in Scotland.

1523 - Gustav Vasa is crowned king of Sweden, establishing Swedish independence from Denmark.

1652 - The first white child, the son of Willem Barends Wijlant, is born in South Africa. (The Wijlants were among the settlers who arrived with Jan van Riebeeck aboard the Dromedaris at Table Bay two months previously.)

1654 - Sweden's Queen Christina abdicates, shocking Europe, and is succeeded by Charles X. She later moves to Rome and becomes a patroness of the arts.

1660 - Peace of Copenhagen ends a generation of war between Sweden and Denmark and fixes the borders the way they are today, with Denmark regaining Fyn and Bornholm from Sweden.

1797 - Napoleon Bonaparte forms Ligurian Republic in Genoa.

1860 - Volunteers and Sicilians under Giuseppe Garibaldi seize Palermo from Neapolitan forces.

1871 - Alsace is annexed to Germany after French army is defeated in Franco-Prussian War.

1884 - By Treaty of Hue, emperor of Vietnam recognises French protectorate.

1898 - Jacobus Johannes (Jim) Fouche, a future president of South Africa, is born at Wepener in the Free State.

1944 - "D-Day:" Allied troops land on beaches in Normandy, France.

1944 - The 6th South African Division enters Rome in World War II and is given an overwhelming reception by Italians who shower the Springboks with flowers.

1964 - Malawi gains independence from Britain with Kamuzu Banda as prime minister.

1967 - Egyptians close Suez Canal during Six-day Arab-Israeli War. It remains closed to international shipping for eight years.

1972 - Coal mine explosion in Rhodesia kills 431 workers.

1973 - West Germany completes ratification of treaty to normalise its relations with East Germany.

1982 - Israel invades Lebanon with 60 000 troops to drive out PLO.

1985 - Israel withdraws bulk of its troops from Lebanon after three-year occupation, but retains border strip.

1988 - War between guerrillas and Afghan government forces enters new stage as Soviet troops proceed with their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

1989 - Govan Mbeki, the highest-ranking ANC member at liberty in South Africa, visits Nelson Mandela at the Victor Verster prison. The two men were convicted together in 1964.

1990 - Three men, including a high-ranking member of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), are arrested in connection with the attack on Melrose House in Pretoria the previous month.

1991 - Zimbabwe formally requests a renewal of its 27-year-old trade agreement with South Africa after it had previously supported sanctions against the country.

1993 - At least 460 refugees, most of them women and children, are massacred in Liberia, allegedly by rebels led by faction leader Charles Taylor.

1994 - An earthquake in Colombia sets off a landslide that buries several villages, killing as many as 1,000 people and leaving thousands more homeless.

1995 - The South African Constitutional Court unanimously rules that the death penalty is incompatible with the right to life enshrined in the Bill of Rights, the core of the Interim Constitution.

1996 - Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz resigns paving the way for the first Islamic-led government in history of modern Turkey.

1997 - German authorities decide to place the Scientology movement under surveillance for one year, claiming the group is aiming to undermine democratic society.

1998 - With a border dispute escalating into bombing raids, hundreds of foreigners scramble out of Eritrea, fearing with Ethiopia.

1999 - Nato announces it will intensify its air campaign against Yugoslavia after talks on the Kosovo peace plan collapse. The Yugoslavs sought to delay the entry of a Nato peacekeeping force.

2000 - A former doomsday cult leader is sentenced to life in prison for the 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subways that killed 12 people and sickened thousands.

2001- Russian lawmakers defy public opposition and pass a law allowing nuclear waste to be imported and stored indefinitely. Proponents argue the move will earn billions of dollars, and promise to use some of that money to clean up pollution.

2002 - Deliberations begin in the trial of accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP. The firm is accused of obstructing justice by shredding files of international energy-trading firm Enron Corp. Accounting fraud led to Enron's collapse in December 2001.

2003 - A female suicide bomber kills herself and at least 17 others as she tries to board a bus in Russia's North Ossetia republic, which shares a border with the rebellious republic of Chechnya.

2005 - The International Criminal Court announces the investigation of alleged war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region, where an estimated 180 000 people have died and 2 million have been displaced since the conflict began in 2003.

2006 - Haiti's president, Rene Preval, appoints a coalition government in an effort to unite the impoverished nation two years after a bloody revolt toppled the last elected president.

2007 - Three gunmen kill Zakia Zaki, owner and manager of Peace Radio in Afghanistan since its opening after the fall of the Taliban, in her house in front of her 8-year-old son.

2008 - Bombs rip through two buses in Sri Lanka, including one packed with commuters near the country's heavily fortified capital, officials say. At least 23 people were killed and 67 wounded.

2009 - President Barack Obama honours valiant dead and the improbability of their D-Day victory, commemorating the 65th anniversary of the decisive World War II invasion even as he remakes wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and tries to thwart nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea.

2010 - The Vatican says that the international community is ignoring the plight of Christians in the Middle East, and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and political instability in Lebanon have forced thousands to flee the region.

Today's Birthdays:

Thomas Mann, German novelist (1875-1955); Sukarno, Indonesia's first president (1901-1970); Aram Khachaturian, Soviet composer (1903-1978); Levi Stubbs, lead singer with The Four Tops (1936--); Robert Englund, U.S. actor, in "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies (1949--); Harvey Fierstein, U.S. actor (1954--); Sandra Bernhard, U.S. actress/comedian (1955); Bjorn Borg, Swedish tennis player (1956--).

Thought For Today:

All the historical books which contain no lies are extremely tedious -Anatole France, French writer (1844-1924). - Sapa-AP

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