Today in History – What Happened on the 2nd of June?
1897 – The “New York Journal” published a cable received from London concerning author Mark Twain. It so happened that Mark Twain was staying at the same hotel in London as his cousin, James Ross Clemens. James became seriously ill but the press confused the two Clemenses and rumours reached New York that Mark was himself dying. The Editor of the “New York Journal” cabled his London correspondent “If MARK TWAIN DYING IN POVERTY IN LONDON SEND 500 WORDS”. He followed it up with another “IF MARK TWAIN HAS DIED IN POVERTY SEND 1,000 WORDS”. The reporter found Mark Twain very much alive and, after seeing the telegrams, he helped the reporter compose a reply cable “THE REPORT OF MY DEATH HAS BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED”.
1899 – At 1:00 a.m Butch Cassidy and his gang took part in the highly successful Union Pacific train hold-up at Wilcox Wyoming stealing $30,000. Afterwards, the gang fled to New Mexico. The men were wearing masks made from white napkins stolen from a restaurant.
1910 – Charles Stewart Rolls, one of the founders of Rolls-Royce, became the first man to fly an aeroplane non-stop across the English Channel both ways. Tragically, the following month he became Britain’s first aircraft fatality when his bi-plane broke up in midair.
1953 – Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Mountbatten-Windsor was crowned in Westminster Abbey, London, assuming the title “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.” Some three million people lined the streets of London to catch a glimpse of their new monarch while over 20 million people watched the first BBC coverage of a coronation on television.
The broadcast was made in 44 languages. There was a shortage of professional coachmen to help transport dignitaries to Westminster Abbey in horse-drawn carriages, so millionaire businessmen and country squires offered their services. On the day they dressed up as Buckingham Palace servants to help take people to the ceremony. And on the day which had been chosen by meteorologists because it would be one of the few days of 1953 that would have bright sunshine, it rained all day!
1999 – South African officials built a special polling station in the remote Drakensberg mountain area where there was only one registered voter. Sure enough, he stayed home and didn’t vote.
2001 -An Australian man laid off from work in the morning, became a multi-millionaire just a few hours later when he won $4.5 million Tattersall’s Powerball lottery. He had lost his job at a shipbuilding yard in Hobart, Tasmania.