Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 6 February
1685: The “merry monarch” Charles II died. His last words to his brother James were: “Don’t let poor Nellie starve,” – a reference to his favourite mistress Nell Gwynne.
1788: Massachusetts became the sixth United States state to join the union.
1817: The Argentine San Martin crosses the Andes with an army in order to liberate Chile from Spanish rule.
1838: Sir Henry Irving, English actor, was born in Somerset. He was the first actor to be knighted.
1900: The international arbitration court at The Hague was created.
1918: The Representation of the Peoples Act received Royal Assent, granting the vote to women over 30.
1927: A ten-year-old violinist in short trousers, Yehudi Menuhin, caused a sensation in Paris when he performed Symphonie Espagnole.
1942: The United Kingdom declared war on Thailand.
1952: Princess Elizabeth, 25, acceded to the throne on the death of her father, George VI.
1958: Eight Manchester United footballers – Busby’s Babes – were among those killed when their aircraft crashed in thick snow at Munich Airport, West Germany.
1964: France and Britain agreed to build a Channel tunnel.
1978: One of the worst blizzards to hit New England struck the region, with sustained winds of 65mph and snowfall of 4in an hour.
1983: Nazi fugitive Klaus Barbie was charged in Lyon, France, with crimes against humanity.
1989: The Round Table Talks started in Poland, thus marking the beginning of the end of communism in Eastern Europe.
1998: Washington National Airport is renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport.
2000: During the second Chechen war, Russia captured Grozny, forcing the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria government into exile.
2012: A 21-gun salute was fired at Edinburgh Castle to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.
2013: Royal Bank of Scotland agreed to pay a £391 million fine imposed on it over the Libor rate-rigging scandal.
Rip Torn, actor, 83; Axl Rose, rock singer, 52; Rick Astley, singer, 48; Mike Batt, songwriter, 65; Dave Berry, singer, 73; Rabbi Lionel Blue, author and broadcaster, 84; Natalie Cole, singer, 64; Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian-born American stage, film and television actress, 97; Gayle Hunnicutt (Lady Jenkins), actress, 71; Patrick Macnee, scriptwriter and actor, 92; Jimmy Tarbuck OBE, comedian, 74; Kevin Whately, actor, 63.
Births: 1564 Christopher Marlowe, poet and dramatist; 1665 Queen Anne, second daughter of James VII and II; 1895 “Babe” Ruth, baseball player; 1911 Ronald Reagan, 40th United States president 1981-89; 1912 Eva Braun, Bavarian salesgirl and Hitler’s mistress; 1924 Billy Wright, England footballer; 1931 Fred Trueman, cricketer and broadcaster; 1929 Keith Waterhouse CBE, writer; 1945 Bob Marley, reggae singer.
Deaths: AD608 St Baldred, hermit of the Bass Rock; 1804 Joseph Priestley, clergyman and chemist who discovered oxygen; 1935 Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell), author; 1952 King George VI; 1993 Arthur Ashe, tennis champion; 1994 Joseph Cotten, actor.