This Day in History – April 6

Today is the 96th day of 2021. There are 269 days left in the year.


2009: Rescue workers using bare hands and buckets search frantically for students believed buried after Italy’s deadliest earthquake in nearly three decades strikes the central city of L’Aquila, killing more than 150 people, injuring 1,500 and leaving thousands homeless.



1327: Italian poet Petrarch first sees and loves “Laura” in the Church of St Clare at Avignon, and will write poems about her until his death.

1593: Henry Barrow, a Puritan, is executed for slandering England’s Queen Elizabeth I.

1648: Naples is restored to Spanish rule after a revolt the year before.

1652: Jan van Riebeeck, representing the Dutch East India Company, arrives in Table Bay to build the first colonial settlement in what became South Africa.

1793: Committee of Public Safety is established in France with dictatorial powers, dominated by G J Danton.

1830: The first Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) is organised by Joseph Smith in Seneca, New York.

1897: Sultan of Zanzibar abolishes slavery.

1909: US explorer Robert E Peary and Matthew Henson reach the North Pole with a team of Inuit guides, making them the first modern team ever to reach the world’s northernmost point. Henson was the first African American to reach to the North Pole.

1917: United States declares war on Germany, entering World War I.

1945: Sarajevo is liberated from Nazi occupation by Tito’s partisans; US naval forces score major victory over Japanese at Kyushu in World War II.

1972: Egypt breaks ties with Jordan because of Jordanian King Hussein’s proposal for new Palestine State.

1992: The European Community recognises Bosnia as an independent country while Serb artillery pounds Sarajevo, the capital.

1994: The presidents of Rwanda and Burundi are killed in a plane crash in Rwanda, setting off the slaughter of 500,000 Rwandans, mostly minority Tutsis, over the next three months.

1995: The first genocide trials begin in Kigali, Rwanda, against some of the 30,000 majority Hutus accused of killing Tutsis.

2012: Al-Qaeda militants and other Islamist fighters descend on northern Mali in the chaotic aftermath of a military coup, creating a potential haven for terrorists in a part of the Sahara bristling with heavy weapons looted from Libya.

2013: Iran and six world powers fail to reach an agreement on how to reduce fears that Tehran might use its nuclear technology to make weapons.

2014: The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group says the Government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is no longer in danger of falling.



Gustave Moreau, French artist (1826-1898); Anthony Fokker, Dutch aircraft designer (1890-1939); Andre Previn, German-born composer-conductor-pianist (1929-2019); Zach Braff, US actor (1975- ); Paul Rudd, US actor (1969- ).

– AP

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