This Day in History — December 6

Today is the 340th day of 2022. There are 25 days left in the year.


1862: US President Abraham Lincoln orders the hanging of 39 Santee Sioux Indians.


1196: The Northern Dutch coast is flooded and is referred to as the “Saint-Nicolas Flood”.

1240: The Mongols, led by Batu Khan, occupy and destroy Kyiv after an eight-day siege; out of 50,000 people in the city only 2,000 survive.

1273: Philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas is thought to have a mystical experience in Naples and refuses to continue his work , stating, “I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me.”

1424: Don Alfonso V of Aragon grants Barcelona the right to exclude Jews.

1491: King Charles VIII of France marries Anna Duchess of Brittany, giving France control over Brittany

1534: Spanish conquistadors establish their presence in Quito, on the ruins of this Inca city in the Andes.

1630: Painter Peter Paul Rubens marries his second wife Helena Fourment, who is the inspiration for his voluptuous female figures, in Antwerp.

1648: Thomas Pride prevents 96 Presbyterians from sitting in the English Parliament

1723: Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI’s Pragmatic Sanction with the Diet of Hungary recognises The King’s daughters as successors.

1735: The first recorded appendectomy is performed by Claudius Amyand at St George’s Hospital in London.

1790: Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia.

1843: The Amsterdam-Utrecht railway opens.

1845: The Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity is founded at Yale College.

1849: Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery in Maryland for the second and final time.

1865: The 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution is ratified, abolishing slavery.

1873: The first international football game in the US is played in New Haven, Connecticut with the result being Yale 2, Eton (England) 1.

1876: The first crematorium in the US begins operation in Washington, Pennsylvania.

1877: The Washington Post publishes its first edition.

1884: Army engineers complete the construction of the Washington Monument when an aluminum capstone is set atop the structure in Washington, DC, making it the tallest human-built structure in the world (thus overtaking the Cologne Cathedral).

1892: Namesake of the siemens unit of electrical conductance and founder of Siemens AG, Werner von Siemens dies at age 75.

1897: London becomes the world’s first city to host licensed taxicabs.

1906: Self-government is granted in the Transvaal and Orange River colonies in what is now South Africa.

1907: The frontier between Uganda and East Africa is defined. An explosion in a coal mine in Monongah, West Virginia, kills more than 350 people, many of them young boys.

1912: China votes for universal human rights. A bust of Nefertiti is discovered during excavations at Tell el-Amarna, Egypt; the sculpture later went on display in a Berlin museum and became a source of controversy as an alleged plundered artefact.

1916: Bucharest, the capital of Romania, falls to German troops under General Mackensen.

1917: The Republic of Finland is proclaimed, following the Ukraine on 20 November. A collision between Belgian and the Mont Blanc French ammunition ships at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, takes 1,600 lives.

1921: The British government, Irish leaders Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, and others sign the Anglo-Irish Treaty, establishing the Irish Free State as an independent member of the British Commonwealth; the partition creates Northern Ireland.

1922: The first electric power line commercial carrier in New York, Utica, USA goes into operation.

1929: Women’s suffrage begins in Turkey.

1938: Actress Bette Davis divorces musician Harmon Nelson due to cruel and inhumane behaviour, after more than six years of marriage.

1940: Pietro Badoglio, the 41st prime minister of Italy, resigns as viceroy of Ethiopia.

1941: US President Franklin D Roosevelt appeals to Japan’s Emperor Hirohito for peace — one day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. He also authorises the Manhattan Project, which results in the creation of the atomic bomb.

1959: The UN General Assembly says Togoland should receive independence.

1966: Britain calls for UN sanctions against rebellious Rhodesia, including a ban on oil shipments.

1969: With 300,000 in attendance, violence at the free Altamont rock festival in Livermore, California, climaxes during the Rolling Stones’ appearance when a concertgoer is fatally stabbed by a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, which had been hired as security. Three others also perish in the melee.

1978: A referendum approves the constitution returning Spain to a democracy.

1984: The death toll rises to 1,600 due to a gas leak from a US-built pesticide plant in Bhopal, India.

1987: The Bangladesh Government dissolves parliament amid the Opposition’s campaign to topple President Hussain Mohammad Ershad’s Administration.

1988: Actor and comedian Robin Williams divorces Valerie Velardi after 10 years of marriage.

1990: General Hussain Mohammad Ershad, who ruled Bangladesh for nine years after coming to power in a coup, steps down at the height of a pro-democracy movement. Regarded as Malaysia’s founding father and the architect of both Malayan independence and the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman dies at the age of 87.

1992: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice catches an NFL record 101st touchdown in a 27-3 win over Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park. The Babri Masjid (“Mosque of Babur”) in Ayodhya is destroyed by Hindu fundamentalists, leading to the Hindu-Muslim riots throughout India.

1998: Six years after staging a bloody coup attempt, former Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chavez is elected president of Venezuela, dealing a blow to the establishment that ruled the country for 40 years.

2006: After decades of dictatorship and wars, Congo swears in its first freely elected president since 1960, installing Joseph Kabila, the son of a rebel leader, who promises a new era of order. NASA reveals photographs taken by the Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars

2008: Amsterdam unveils plans to close brothels, sex shops and marijuana cafés in its ancient city centre as part of a major effort to drive organised crime out of the tourist haven.

2009: Delegates converge for the grand finale of two years of tough, sometimes bitter, negotiations on a climate change treaty as UN officials calculated that pledges offered in the last few weeks to reduce greenhouse gases put the world within reach of keeping global warming under control.

2010: A French court convicts Continental Airlines and one of its mechanics of manslaughter for setting off a chain of events that sent a supersonic Concorde crashing into a hotel outside Paris a decade before, killing 113 people and marking the beginning of the sleek jet’s demise.


Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac, French physicist and chemist (1778-1850); Robert -Houdin, French magician (1805-1871); Joyce Kilmer, US poet (1886-1918); Ira Gershwin, US lyricist of Broadway musicals and films (1896-1983); Alfred Eisenstaedt, German and one of the first and most important photojournalists (1898-1995); Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish economist and sociologist, Nobel laureate (1898-1987); James Braddock, US boxer (1905-1974); Dave Brubeck, US jazz pianist (1920-2012); Peter Handke, Austrian novelist and playwright (1942- );

— AP

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