From the D-Day invasion to royal coronations and world-changing inventions, many significant historical events have occurred during the month of June.

Keep reading to discover some of the most famous historic events that have happened this month…

23 historic events that happened in June

23 historic events that happened in June

1st June, 1843

Female anti-slavery activist and women’s rights advocate Isabella Baumfree changed her name to Sojourner Truth.

Having been born into slavery, Baumfree escaped in 1826 after her master broke his promise to grant her freedom. She devoted her life to campaigning for the abolition of slavery and equal rights.

Baumfree changed her name to Sojourner Truth because she believed it was her religious obligation to preach the gospel and speak out against slavery and inequality. She’s best known for the famous phrase ‘Ain’t I a Woman?’ in the speech that she’s believed to have delivered at a women’s convention in Ohio in 1851.

1st June, 1946

For the first time, television licenses were issued in Britain. They cost £2.

Only 14,500 television licences were sold in 1947, but by 1950 that had increased to 344,000. Today, it’s about 24 million.

2nd June, 1875

While working in a room with their experimental telegraphic device, inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Watson made the first sound transmission.

Watson had inadvertently plucked a reed around the pole of an electromagnet, which produced a sound that Bell heard on a second device in a different room. This led Bell to switch his focus from improving the telegraph to discovering how to make voice transmissions. He and Watson spent the next few months creating a transmitter that could produce audible frequencies.

On March 10, 1876, Bell spoke through the new instrument to Watson in the next room, saying “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.”

2nd June, 1953

Elizabeth II’s coronation took place in Westminster Abbey. In typical British style, it poured with rain the whole day. But that didn’t stop people from celebrating all over the country with street parties.

It was also the first time that ordinary British people were able to watch a monarch’s coronation from the comfort of their own homes. When it had been announced earlier in the year that the coronation would be televised, TV set sales rocketed.

5th June, 1832

In Paris’ Tuileries garden, young writer Victor Hugo hid behind a pillar after hearing gunshots and witnessed the king’s soldiers shoot republican rebels.

This moment stayed with Hugo for the rest of his life and around 13 years later, he began writing a novel: Les Misérables.

5th June, 1968

Not long after midnight, Senator Robert Kennedy was shot several times by 24-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy was pronounced dead a day later.

Sirhan confessed to his crime and received a death sentence on 3rd March, 1969. Though, since the California State Supreme Court invalidated all death sentences in 1972, Sirhan continues to spend the rest of his life in prison and has since said that he believed Kennedy was largely responsible for the oppression of Palestinians.

6th June, 1944

The D-Day invasion of Normandy by Allied troops took place to liberate German-occupied France and Western Europe.

Code-named ‘Operation Neptune’, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. Over 7,000 ships sailed into Normandy carrying more than 132,000 ground troops; as well as a further 11,000 planes and 18,000 paratroopers. Sadly, it’s believed there were around 10,250 Allied casualties on the day, with 4,440 men killed.

By nightfall on 6th June, the Allies had taken all five Normandy beaches and could begin their advance into France.

This year marks D-Day’s 80th Anniversary and events will be taking place across the UK to remember this momentous event, honour those who lost their lives, and celebrate ideals of peace and hope.

9th June, 68 AD

Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide at the age of 30 after being declared an enemy of the state by the Roman senate. He’s considered one of history’s greatest criminals – accused of killing his stepbrother, his mother, and his wife, as well as persecuting Christians and instigating the Great Fire of Rome.

So afraid of death, Nero ordered one of his freedmen, Epaphroditus, to help drive the knife through his neck. As the last member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Nero’s death led to a brief period of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors.

9th June, 68 AD

10th June, 1720

The first paste-style mustard was marketed in England by Mrs Clements. Mustard had been sold in balls until Mrs Clements invented a method of drying the seeds so that they could be made into a powder.

Historians believe that the Romans were likely to have been the first to experiment with the preparation of mustard as a condiment, but mustard seeds were first introduced to the UK in the 12th century. They were originally ground down and used to disguise the flavour of rotten meat.

11th June, 1184 BC

According to calculations by Eratosthenes (a Greek scholar from the third century BC), the ancient city of Troy was sacked and burned during the Trojan War (a legendary conflict between the Greeks and the people of Troy after a Trojan prince called Paris took Helen from her husband Menelaus, King of Sparta).

The Greeks built a large, hollow wooden horse which they hid inside and used to infiltrate the city.

11th June, 1509

In a private ceremony at Greenwich Palace, 17-year-old King Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon. Catherine was previously married to Henry’s brother Arthur before he died – information that Henry would later use as grounds for divorce from Catherine.

Catherine was the first of Henry VIII’s six wives and the couple had one surviving daughter, Mary – later known as ‘Bloody Mary’.

11th June, 1987

Margaret Thatcher became the first British Prime Minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term. The conservatives beat Labour by 376 seats to 229.

The election also marked the first time black candidates were elected to the House of Commons.

13th June, 1922

The longest recorded attack of hiccups began. Charlie Osborne’s hiccups lasted for a striking 68 years.

Despite not being able to find a cure, Charles Osborne managed to lead a normal life in which he had two wives and fathered eight children.

14th June, 1645

After almost three years of fighting, the Parliamentarian New Model Army of 14,000 men took on King Charles I’s Royalist army of less than 9,000 men at the Battle of Naseby, Northamptonshire, during the English Civil War.

Naseby is regarded as the final key battle of the Civil War, after which it was mainly a case of clearing the remaining Royalist forces.

15th June, 1215

King John (who ruled England from 1199 until his death in 1216) and his barons gathered on the banks of the River Thames at Runnymede and signed the Magna Carta.

The Magna Carta was essentially a peace treaty between King John and his barons. It guaranteed the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, protect the freedom of the church, and uphold the nation’s laws.

By later generations, the Magna Carta was widely regarded as the beginning of the development of democracy in England.

15th june, 1215

18th June, 1815

British and Prussian forces led by Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher and the Duke of Wellington defeated Napolean at the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium.

The battle concluded a 23-year-long war, ended French attempts to dominate Europe, and marked the defeat of Napoleon, who’d conquered vast areas of Europe in the early-19th century.

19th June, 1917

During the third year of World War I, British King George V ordered the royal family to renounce all German names and titles and adopt the surname Windsor instead.

King George demonstrated solidarity and support for the British war effort throughout his reign, for example, by making several visits to survey the troops on the Western Front. During one visit in 1915, the King fell from his horse and broke his pelvis – an injury that would plague him for the rest of his life.

21st June, 1675

Construction began on St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

Wren’s initial design was influenced by Italian architecture and had been fiercely resisted by many clergymen who complained that it looked too Roman Catholic, as anti-Catholic feelings in England ran high at the time. As a result, Wren was forced to make some changes, which he remained disappointed by.

22nd June, 1814

The first-ever cricket match was played at England’s Lord’s Cricket Ground between the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and Hertfordshire.

MCC beat Hertfordshire by one inning and 27 runs.

26th June, 1483

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, began his rule over England as King Richard III after his nephew Edward V was dethroned.

Richard III was later killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 – marking the end of the Wars of the Roses and the beginning of the Tudor dynasty.

In 2012, an archaeological excavation on a car park in Leicester uncovered a skeleton which was later identified as that of Richard III.

26th June, 1483

28th June, 1838

Queen Victoria’s coronation took place when she was just 19 years old. The ceremony took five hours to complete and, due to a lack of rehearsal, suffered many mishaps. Famously, the coronation ring was painfully forced onto the Queen’s wrong finger!

Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840 and the couple had nine children together.

When Albert died in 1861, Victoria was so struck with grief that she wore mourning clothes for the rest of her life and refused to carry out public engagements for many years. As a result, she earnt the nickname: ‘The Widow of Windsor’.

29th June, 1613

London’s Globe Theatre was destroyed by flames after a theatrical cannon was fired to announce the King’s entrance in Shakespeare’s Henry V.

The cannon initially set fire to the thatch roof, but within minutes, the whole wooden structure was engulfed in flames. Luckily, there was only one casualty recorded.

30th June, 1894

Tower Bridge in London was officially opened by The Prince of Wales. Following the ceremony, the bascules were raised, allowing ships and boats to sail down the Thames.

 The construction of Tower Bridge took eight years to complete.

Final thoughts…

For more related content, head over to the history section of our website. Here, you’ll find everything from history-inspired days out to must-see history films and book recommendations.

Or, why not browse the upcoming history events on Rest Less Events? 

What’s your favourite historical event that happened in June? Which periods of history do you find the most interesting? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.