Tomorrow, June 2nd, will mark sixty-seven years since a young Princess was crowned Queen in London, England, in 1953. Elizabeth II was following in the path of her illustrious ancestors.
Exactly 462 years earlier in 1491, one of her ancestors, King Henry VIII, known primarily for the number of wives he had, was born that month.
June is usually associated with weddings and brides and Henry VIII certainly had his share of both but, during the past two hundred years, a number of notable people have also been born or died on June 2nd. Here are just a few:
- In 1840 Thomas Hardy, English poet and author, was born on this date, as was gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in 1890.
- And in the year 1901 on June 2, producer Mike Todd, known best as one of Elizabeth Taylor’s many husbands, was born.
- Three years later on this date in 1904, Johnny Weissmuller, the actor whose portrayal of Tarzan made him famous, was also born.
- June 2 1936, marked the birth of actress Sally Kellerman, and two actors shared this birth date – Stacy Keach (1941) and Jerry Mathers – Leave it To Beaver (1948).
- In 1925 New York Yankee Lou Gehrig began a 2,130 consecutive winning-game streak. Oddly enough he died on the same date—June 2— in 1941 age 37, of a rare disease which thereafter was named for him.
- Two famous actors also died on June 2; Leslie Howard in 1943, whose aeroplane was shot down during World War II, and Rex Harrison, at age 82 in 1990, of cancer.
A number of interesting events have also happened through the years on June 2, including the beginning of the P.T. Barnum Circus tour through the United States in 1835.
In 1886 President Grover Cleveland was the first president to marry during his presidency when he wed Frances Folsom on June 2 that year.
In 1924, U.S. Citizenship was granted to all First Nations people on June 2, and forty years later in 1964 the Rolling Stones made their first United States tour starting in Lynn, Massachusetts.
A member of the Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman, was married on this date to Mandy Smith in 1989. On that same day, in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, a hunger strike began by students demonstrating for democracy. When over 100,000 citizens tried to protect the students from the Chinese soldiers marching on the Square, a massacre resulted two days later on June 4th.
In the Bahamas when June 2 falls on a Friday it is called labor day, and is celebrated in New Zealand as the Queen’s birthday when it falls on a Monday. In Western Australia it is known as Foundation Day, also celebrated when it occurs on a Monday.
In England, the Trooping of the Color is held that day to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday—although her actual birth date is in April. This year the Trooping of the Color has been cancelled for the first time in history because of COVID 19.
In religious history, James A. Healy was consecrated bishop over the Diocese of Maine, on June 2 1875, which made him the first African-American bishop in the history of the American Catholic Church.
So, on June 2 1953, when a future Queen was crowned in England, it was also a date when many other important events, births and deaths have occurred throughout time around the world.
And this year there won’t be as many June brides as usual able to celebrate large nuptials.
Like me, do you find it interesting to ponder on dates in history? Just something else I’ve been doing during lock down!