What happened in June? A daily overview

01 June

On 1st June 1946 Britain introduced the Television License at a cost of £2 each. Today the cost of a license is £135.50 for colour and £45.50 for black and white. The Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1949 (and then amended in 1967) states that anyone who possess a television set as a means of receiving broadcasted transmissions must obtain a licence. All televisions in homes must be licensed. Televisions on college campuses must be licensed. Televisions in hotels must be licensed. Televisions in cars need a separate licence. This work is done by the Television Licensing Agency (TVLA). Read more

02 June

On 2nd June 1953, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place, and the whole country joined in celebration. The massed London crowds refused to be down-hearted by the weather, and most of them had spent the night before on the crowded pavements, waiting for this special day to begin. And for the first time ever, the ordinary people of Britain were going to be able to watch a Monarch’s Coronation in their own homes. It was announced earlier in the year that the crowning of the queen would be televised, and the sales of TV. sets rocketed. Read more

03 June

On 3rd June 1978 the Guinness Book of Records entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most-stolen book from British libraries. The McWhirter twins set up the Guinness Book of Records in the mid-1950s. Ross became an outspoken critic of the IRA and was shot dead by the group after offering a large reward for information leading to the capture of IRA bombers. The brothers were vocal on a number of issues and founded a group, the Freedom Association, which campaigned strongly against British involvement in the European Union. However, it was the Guinness Book of Records that gave them worldwide fame and by 1999 the book had been translated into 37 languages and sold more than 87 million copies. Read more

04 June

On June 4th 1989, Tiananmen Square became the scene of a massacre at the hands of the 27th and 28th Armies of the People's Liberation Army. The exact number of killed and injured will never be known, although a People's Liberation Army defector later produced a memo circulated among senior officers which stated more than 3,700 were killed, not including those who were denied medical treatment or those who were simply made to disappear during the purge that followed. The Chinese Red Cross estimated more than 5,000 people were killed and more than 30,000 were injured. Read more

05 June

On 5th June 1916, Lord Horatio Kitchener was drowned when the HMS Hampshire on which he was traveling to Russia, was struck a mine off the Orkneys. In 1898 Kitchener became a national hero when he successfully led the British Army in the fight to win back the Sudan. As a result of his victory at Omdurman he was granted the title Lord Kitchener. With the help of a war poster that featured Kitchener and the words: 'Join Your Country's Army', over 3,000,000 men volunteered in the first two years of the war. Read more

06 June

By nightfall on June 6th 1944-D-Day, Hitler's Atlantic Wall on the coast of Normandy had been breached. The Allies, at a cost of 9,500 casualties compared with 4-10,000 Germans, were ashore in Fortress Europe. But their position remained precarious; the beachheads had less depth than had been hoped for, and British and US forces had not yet linked up. Supplies and reinforcements were not coming ashore as rapidly as had been planned, and the initially slow and piecemeal enemy reaction could not be expected to remain so favorable. The Allies had to link up and expand their currently insecure toeholds into something more substantial as rapidly as possible. For Germany, the result of the first day of fighting had been disappointing, but was not viewed as disastrous. Read more

07 June

On 7th June 1982 Priscilla Presley, opens Graceland to the public, after spending Elvis's last $500,000 on it's refurbishment. The mansion was built in 1939 in the southern colonial style by Dr and Mrs Thomas D Moore. It was named after Mrs Moore Great Aunt Glace. Glacelands sits in a 14 acres of hilly woodland south of Memphis, on what was Highway 51 South. It is now called Elvis Presley Boulevard ( changed in June 1971). It cost Elvis $102,500. Read more

08 June

On this day, June 8, 793, Vikings attacked the church on Lindisfarne island. The raiders hacked the monks to death or dragged them into the sea and drowned them. They were after the unguarded treasures of Lindisfarne's rich and beautiful sanctuaries. On the island were golden crucifixes and coiled shepherd's staves. There were silver plates for the bread and wine of mass, and ivory chests in which reposed the relics of saints. The chapel walls hung with shimmering tapestries and in the writing room one could find some of the most beautiful illuminated manuscripts ever made. When the Vikings left, all of this was either destroyed or bagged in the bottom of their boats. The monks lay dead around their altars. Read more

09 June

By his death on 9th June 597 St. Columba had succeeded in making Iona the centre of a church that was increasing in size very quickly. Columba was a monk at the monastery of Moville in Ireland. For disobeying the abbott at the monastery of Moville in Ireland by making a copy of the manuscript of the Four Gospels he was sentenced to white martyrdom. This meant he must leave Ireland and win 2000 souls. Columba took some men with him and sailed for Scotland. He reached the island now off Southend on the Mull of Kintyre but he found that when he climbed to the top of the hill he could still see Ireland. As a result he sailed on to Iona and formed the monastery that is now so famous. Read more

10 June

On 10th June 1989, after an era of 157-years, Great Britain's last lightship was towed away from its position north-west of the Channel Island of Guernsey. Today, lighthouses and all lightships around the British Isles are automated, so the days of men working for months in these isolated stations are mostly over. Light ships can still be seen, now working automatically. But many have been replaced by Large Automatic Navigation Buoys. Read more

11 June

The Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute Concert, held on June 11th 1988 in Wembley Stadium in London, was watched not only by a capacity audience of 72,000 but also on television, by close on a billion people in over 60 countries of the world. The organisers, Jerry Dammers and Dali Tambo, invited a host of artists to take part in a Freedom Festival on Clapham Common, in London. The march to Clapham Common before the concert was supported by 100,000 people representing almost all sections of British society. At the height of the afternoon, 250,000 were gathered on the great green Common to listen to the artists express their solidarity with the people of Namibia and South Africa through their words and music. Read more

12 June

This model of pocket knife, with only two springs for six blades, was the basic model for what is now universally known as the Swiss Army knife. It was patented on June 12, 1897. Although the Officer’s Knife did not become part of the Swiss Army’s official equipment, it rapidly became a favourite. Army officers bought the knife themselves at cutlery stores. The knife is now available is more than 100 different variations and combinations. The flagship is the Swiss Champ, which has 33 features, 64 individual parts and requires 450 steps to produce. Read more

13 June

On 13th June 1981 a 17-year-old man was arrested for shooting a replica gun at the Queen as she rode past crowds on horseback at the Trooping of the Colour ceremony. He fired six blank cartridges before being overcome by a Guardsman and police.Marcus Simon Serjeant was jailed for five years under the 1842 Treason Act, a law not used since 1966. The former air cadet, from Folkestone, Kent, was found guilty of wilfully discharging at the person of Her Majesty the Queen a blank cartridge pistol, with intent to alarm her. He served more than three years in jail, before being released in October 1984. Read more

14 June

On this day in 1946 John Logie Baird died. The television pioneer created the first televised pictures of objects in motion (1924), the first televised human face (1925) and a year later he televised the first moving object image at the Royal Institution in London. In 1936, the British Broadcasting Corporation adopted television service using the electronic television technology of Marconi-EMI (the world's first regular high resolution service - 405 lines per picture), it was that technology that won out over Baird's system. Read more

15 June

On 15th June 1844, Charles Spencer Goodyear received U.S. Patent No. 3633 for vulcanization, a rubber-curing process named after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. While working at a factory in Woburn, Massachusetts, Goodyear combined natural rubber and sulphur over an open flame. Although most of the mixture burned, the edges were perfectly cured. Goodyear's use of sulphur to cross-link polymer molecules revolutionized the rubber industry, but failed to make him a wealthy man. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company bears the inventor's name, but was founded nearly 40 years after Charles Goodyear died penniless. Although Goodyear didn't live long enough to travel in an automobile with vulcanized rubber tires, his journey aided industry in the nineteenth century. Read more

16 June

On 16 June 1824 a London vicar, Arthur Broome called a meeting at Old Slaughters Coffee House in the City with the intention of launching a Society for the purpose of preventing cruelty to animals. Among those present were the MPs William Wilberforce and Richard Martin. After campaigning to end slavery in the British colonies, Wilberforce had turned his attention to the plight of animals. The RSPCA has come a long way since its early beginnings. Cock-fighting and bull-baiting were of course abolished in the 19th century, but animals face many problems in the modern world. Read more

17 June

The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor on June 17th 1885 on board the French frigate `Isere` which transported the Statue of Liberty from France to the United States. In transit, the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. The Statue was re-assembled on her new pedestal in four months. The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution. Over the years, the Statue of Liberty has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friendship Read more

18 June

On the 18th June 1984 5,000 miners clashed with a similar number of police officers in an attempt to stop supplies leaving the Orgreave coking plant in south Yorkshire. This was Perhaps the most public demonstration of violence to take place during the miners strike and was named the 'Battle of Orgreave' The Miners Strike saw a level of military-style policing that was at that time unprecedented in an industrial dispute. Throughout out the strike pit villages were occupied by police, pickets were turned back by police roadblocks, pickets met mass assault and arrest. By the end of the strike 11,000 miners had been arrested and 152 gaoled. Read more

19 June

The Metropolitan Police Act came into force on 19th June 1829 after Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel had eventually persuaded Parliament of the importance of a new police force for London so that rampant crime and disorder could be controlled. The City of London was excluded, partly because they already had an early form of organised uniform patrol. The new headquarters was established at 4 Whitehall Place, and the back entrance, used by visitors to the Commissioners, was in Scotland Yard. This eventually led to the headquarters name of Scotland Yard. Read more

20 June

Victoria became queen on 20 June, 1837, with the death of her uncle, King William IV. She was 18 years old. Queen Victoria is the longest reigning British Monarch. Her long reign saw many changes to society; science and technology were encouraged and supported; her many children and their foreign marriages brought Britain connections with virtually every European monarchy, while the British empire reached its grandest scale. It was also a largely peaceful reign. Although there were conflicts in the Empire, British forces were only involved in one European conflict, the Crimean War (1854-56). Read more

21 June

The battle's great claim to a place in British military history is that it was here that the first Victoria Cross (VC) was won - Britain's highest medal for bravery at war. On this day the first Victoria Cross (the VC is Britains highest medal for bravery at war), was won by Charles Davis Lucas, a 20 year old Irish Mate on board HMS Hecla. On 21 June 1854 the ship was bombarding Bomarsund and the fire was returned from the shore. A live shell landed on Hecla's upper deck, with its fuse still hissing. All hands were ordered to fling themselves flat on the deck, but Mr. Lucas ran forward and hurled the shell into the sea. Thanks to his action no one was killed or seriously wounded. Charles Lucas later achieved the rank of Rear-Admiral in the Navy. Read more

22 June

Checkpoint Charlie was removed on June 22, 1990. The former Allied guardhouses are now located in the Allied Museum. A copy of the American guardhouse was errected on the original place on August 13, 2000. The East German watch tower at Checkpoint Charlie was demolished by the property owner Checkpoint Charlie Service Company on December 9, 2000. Checkpoint Charlie was the monitoring tower used to control the area around the Berlin Wall that divided the city during the Cold War. Read more

23 June

Kate `KT` Tunstall the Scottish singer and songwriter was born in Edinburgh on June 23, 1975 and was subsequently adopted at birth. Her birth mother is half Chinese and her father, whom she never met, is Irish. Her adoptive father was a physics lecturer at the University of St Andrews, and her adoptive mother a school teacher. She broke into the public eye with a performance on Later With Jools Holland of her song 'Black Horse And The Cherry Tree'. She has enjoyed commercial and critical success since, selling over 4 million albums and picking up three BRIT Awards and a Grammy nomination. Read more

24 June

On June 24th 1314 Robert the Bruce defeated the English army under King Edward at the battle of Bannockburn. The war dragged on until the peace treaty was signed in 1328 recognising Bruce as King Robert I and Scotland as an independent Kingdom. The Battle of Bannockburn was fought over the course of two days on June 23-24, 1314. It pitted some 10,000 Scots -- 6-7,000 heavy infantry, 500 light cavalry and 3,000 irregulars (the 'wee folk,' lightly-armed, poorly-trained troops and camp followers) -- led by their king, Robert the Bruce against nearly 20,000 English (16-17,000 heavy infantry and archers, plus 2,500 heavy cavalry), commanded by King Edward II, in what proved to be the most critical battle in the War of Scottish Independence. Read more

25 June

On June 25, 1876, George Armstrong Custer and the 265 men under his command lost their lives in the Battle of Little Big Horn, often referred to as Custer's Last Stand. Custer's troops charged the Indians from the north. Quickly encircled by their enemy, Custer and more than 200 of his soldiers were killed in less than an hour. The Indians retreated two days later when the troops Custer had been ordered to wait for arrived. The Battle of Little Big Horn was a short-lived victory for the Native Americans. Federal troops soon poured into the Black Hills. While many Native Americans surrendered, Sitting Bull escaped to Canada. Read more

26 June

According to legend on this day in 1284, the town of Hamelin is suffering from a terrible plague of rats. At last, the Mayor promises 1000 florins to the one who can put an end to the plague. A stranger shows up and says he can rid Hamelin of the rats. The stranger starts to play a soft tune on a flute, luring all the rats out of the houses and barns towards the river Weser, where they drown. The Mayor refuses to pay the piper. But the piper returns on a Sunday morning, when all the grown-ups are at church. This time, all the children follow him, as he walks out of the gate to the mountains. Acave opens in the mountain. The piper walks into the mountain, followed by the children, and the cave closes. The children were never seen again in Hamelin. Read more

27 June

Gyles Brandreth had brought together 100 players to play in the first ever National Scrabble Championship on the 27th of June 1971 and with help from Leonard Hodge, who worked for J W Spear & Sons and co-organised this event, Mike and Reg sought permission to write to the participants and invite them to form the `Greater London Scrabble League`. Scrabble was invented by an unemployed American architect named Alfred Mosher Butts, who started tinkering with a word game in 1933. Originally called Lexico, Butts gradually developed the game over the next five years. Read more

28 June

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, on 28 June 1914, set in train a series of diplomatic events that led inexorably to the outbreak of war in Europe at the end of July 1914. Ferdinand - and his wife Sophie - were killed by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip while on a formal visit to Sarajevo. Princip shot Ferdinand at point blank range while the latter was travelling in his car from a town hall reception, having earlier that day already survived one assassination attempt. Read more

29 June

On 29th June 1966, the first one million Barclaycards were issued by Barclays Bank to selected customers. Barclaycard had the market to themselves for six years, as it wasn't until 1972 that Access (remember `your flexible friend`) was launched by Lloyds, NatWest and Midland. Barclaycard was not the first plastic card in Britain, far less the rest of the world. In the 1920s and 1930s, the forerunners of credit cards (so-called ‘metal money’) were launched in the United States to allow travellers to pay for gasoline, rail and air travel. The real breakthrough, however, came in 1950, when the Diners Club card was launched as a convenient way to pay for meals. Read more

30 June

A burning car loaded with gas cylinders was driven at the main terminal building at Glasgow's international airport at 1515 BST on 30th June 2007. The Jeep Cherokee trailing a cascade of flames rammed into Glasgow airport , shattering glass doors just yards from passengers at the check-in counters. Two men were arrested at the scene. One of the men, later named as Kafeel Ahmed, had serious burns and was taken to hospital, where he is in a critical condition. The other was later named as Iraqi doctor Bilal Abdullah. Read more