On this day - June 2

2011-06-02 07:25
Today is Thursday, June 2, the 153rd day of 2011. There are 212 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

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.

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

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

1924 - US Congress confirms citizenship of all Native Americans.

1946 - In a referendum, Italians choose a republic over the Savoy monarchy.

1949 - Transjordan is renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

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

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

1964 - The Palestine Liberation Organisation is formed.

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

1966 - Indonesia and Malaysia agree to end five years of hostilities.

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

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

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

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

1990 - Liberia's President Samuel Doe appeals for international help to end a rebel invasion and promises not to seek re-election in an effort to appease rebels.

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

1995 - A US F-16 fighter jet is shot down over the Serb stronghold of Banja Luka. The pilot hides and is rescued by a helicopter team six days later.

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

1997 - Timothy J McVeigh, a US Army veteran, is convicted of the Oklahoma City bombing that took 168 lives in 1995. He is later sentenced to death and executed.

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

1999 - The African National Congress wins resoundingly in South Africa's second post-apartheid elections.

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.

2006 - Five thousand Somalis denounce the United States and call for Islamic law at a protest in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, where Islamic militias were battling a secular alliance that the Islamists accused the US of backing.

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 last week declared itself a republic.

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

Today's Birthdays:
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); Constantine II, exiled King of Greece (1940--); Charlie Watts, English drummer with the Rolling Stones (1941--); Dana Carvey, actor/comedian (1955--); Lasse Hallstrom, Swedish director (1946--).

Thought For Today:
Experience isn't interesting till it begins to repeat itself - in fact, till it does that, it hardly is experience – Elizabeth Bowen, Irish-born author (1899-1973).

Sapa-AP

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