This Day in History – May 6

Today is the126th day of 2021. There are 239 days left in the year.


1937: The hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg burns and crashes in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 35 of the 97 people on-board and a navy crewman on the ground.



1527: Unpaid troops of the Holy Roman Emperor attack Rome for plunder, forcing the pope to flee. Some scholars date the end of the Renaissance in Italy to the ensuing sack of the city.

1576: Fifth War of Religion in France ends by Peace of Monsieur.

1757: Prussia’s King Frederick II defeats Holy Roman Empire forces at Prague.

1839: Britain’s House of Commons passes Bill to suspend Jamaica’s Constitution after riots due to emancipation of slaves.

1882: United States bans Chinese immigrants for 10 years.

1889: The Paris Exposition formally opens, featuring the just-completed Eiffel Tower.

1910: Britain’s Edwardian era ends with the death of King Edward VII; he is succeeded by George V.

1913: Montenegro’s King Nicholas yields Scutari to Central Powers until Albanian government is created.

1935: The Works Progress Administration begins operating under an executive order signed by President Franklin D Roosevelt.

1941: Josef Stalin assumes the Soviet premiership, replacing Vyacheslav M Molotov.

1942: During World War II some 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrender to Japanese forces.

1954: Englishman Roger Bannister becomes the first to run a mile in less than four minutes during a track meet in Oxford, with a time of 3:59:4.

1960: Britain’s Princess Margaret marries Anthony Armstrong Jones, a commoner, at Westminster Abbey. They divorce in 1978.

1972: Fighting breaks out between South Yemen and Oman.

1978: UN Security Council condemns South Africa for invading Angola and demands withdrawal.

1981: Yale architecture student Maya Ying Lin is named winner of a competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

1989: Chinese students in Tiananmen Square send new appeal to Government for dialogue on their demands for democracy. In June, the protests are brutally put down by the army.

1991: Yugoslav army goes on combat alert after Croatian protesters attack soldiers in port city of Split.

1993: Space shuttle Columbia and its seven-man crew land in the California desert after a 10-day German laboratory research mission.

1994: Former Arkansas state worker Paula Jones files lawsuit against US President Bill Clinton, alleging he had sexually harassed her in 1991; Queen Elizabeth II and President Francois Mitterrand open the Channel Tunnel linking France and Britain.

1995: Presidents, prime ministers, kings and other officials of 54 nations attend a service of reconciliation at St Paul’s Cathedral in London marking the 50th anniversary of V-E Day, when Germany surrendered and World War II ended in Europe.

1996: The body of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William E Colby is found washed up on a riverbank in southern Maryland, eight days after he disappeared.

1997: Zaire’s President Mobutu Sese Seko leaves the rebel-threatened capital and flees to Gabon to meet African leaders; haemophiliacs who contracted AIDS between 1978 and 1985 from tainted blood products accept a US$600-million settlement from four US health care companies.

1998: Jakarta’s stock market slides as anger over Government-ordered price increases explodes into a third day of riots.

1999: Scotland chooses its first parliament in three centuries, and Wales elects an assembly. Labour party wins the most votes, but not a majority.

2000: The outlawed Irish Republican Army announces that it will soon begin disarming – a hugely significant and long-awaited breakthrough in the effort to revive the Northern Ireland peace process.

2001: Pope John Paul II, during a visit to Syria, becomes the first pope to enter a mosque as he calls for brotherhood between Christians and Muslims. American businessman Dennis Tito ends the world’s first paid space vacation as he returns to Earth aboard a Russian capsule.

2002: US President George W Bush notifies UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that he will remove the US signature on a treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) and says the ICC should not expect any cooperation from Washington.

2006: A British military helicopter apparently hit by a missile crashes in Basra, Iraq, killing four crew members. Barbaro wins the Kentucky Derby.

2015: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu completes formation of a new governing coalition.



Maximilien Robespierre, Jacobin leader in French Revolution (1758-1794); Robert E Peary, US explorer (1856-1920); Sigmund Freud, Austrian father of psychoanalysis (1856-1939); Rudolph Valentino, Italian-born movie star (1895-1926); Orson Welles, US actor-director (1915-1985); Bob Seger, US singer (1945- ); George Clooney, US actor (1961- ); Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays (1931- ); former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (1953- ); TV personality Tom Bergeron (1955- ); actress Roma Downey (1960- ); American actress Gabourey Sidibe (1983- )


– AP

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