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On this day in history - June 2

What Happened On This Day – June 2

  • 1979 Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit a communist country

    Millions of spectators lined the streets of Warsaw as the Pope began his nine-day tour of his native Poland.

  • 1967 Benno Ohnesorg is killed

    A police officer shot the unarmed German student at a demonstration against the state visit of the controversial Shah of Iran. It later ruled that the shooting was not an act of self-defense. The event was pivotal for the foundation of the terrorist organization “Movement 2 June”.

  • 1953 Queen Elizabeth II is crowned

    The coronation in London's Westminster Abbey was the first televised major international event in history. Elizabeth's accession to the throne followed the death of her father, King George VI, 16 months previously.

  • 1946 Italy becomes a parliamentary republic

    The transition from a monarchy to today's Italian Republic was effected by the favorable outcome of a referendum, in which 89 percent of Italians, also including women for the first time, took part.

  • 1847 Felix Mendelssohn's Wedding March is used at a wedding for the first time

    Dorothy Carew and Tom Daniel were the first to use the iconic piece for their wedding ceremony. The event that made the work world famous was the wedding of Victoria, Princess Royal and Prince Frederick William of Prussia in 1858.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
June 2

  • 1965 Steve Waugh

    Australian cricketer

  • 1965 Mark Waugh

    Australian cricketer, journalist

  • 1956 Mani Ratnam

    Indian director, producer, screenwriter

  • 1857 Edward Elgar

    English composer

  • 1740 Marquis de Sade

    French author, politician

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
June 2

  • 2013 Mandawuy Yunupingu

    Australian singer-songwriter, guitarist

  • 2008 Bo Diddley

    American singer-songwriter, guitarist

  • 1987 Andrés Segovia

    Spanish guitarist

  • 1941 Lou Gehrig

    American baseball player

  • 1882 Giuseppe Garibaldi

    Italian military, politician