On This Date, May 6

1541 – An important event in the Protestant Reformation, as King Henry VIII orders that English-language Bibles be placed in every church in England

1626 – The Dutch West India Company purchases the island of Manhattan from the Lenape Indians for 60 gliders, the modern-day equivalent of about $15,000

1757 – Battle of Prague, Frederick the Great’s Prussian forces defeat the Austrians during the Seven Years War

1851 – Dr. John Gorrie is granted a patent for an early ice-making device, thus making him a pioneer of refrigeration

1864 – Union General William Tecumseh Sherman begins his deadly advance to Atlanta

1882 – President Chester Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act into law, ending immigration of Chinese laborers

1906 – Russian despot Tsar Nicholas II declares the right to legislate by decree, heavily restricting the power of the Duma

1937 – The Hindenburg Disaster: Massive airship explodes in Lakehurst, NJ, killing thirty-six people

1940 – Author John Steinbeck wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath

1957 – The last first-run broadcast of I Love Lucy is aired on CBS

1960 – President Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960, establishing federal inspection of local voter registration polls

1973 – Hockey: The New England Whalers defeated the Winnipeg Jets in five games to win the first championship of the short-lived World Hockey Association. The Whalers played out of Boston Garden at this point, but would soon move to Hartford, CT, and remain there until 1997 (becoming an NHL franchise in 1979)

1976 – Epic destruction as an earthquake kills 989 and destroys entire villages in northern Italy

1994 – The Channel Tunnel connecting the UK and France is opened

1994 – Nelson Mandela is confirmed as the presidential winner, while his ANC party takes control of the legislature, in South Africa’s first post-apartheid election

1997 – Joni Mitchell, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Stephen Stills – pulling double-duty with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills and Nash – are among the artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Cleveland, OH

1997 – University of Kentucky basketball coach Rick Pitino is hired by the Boston Celtics in a $70 million deal, the richest at that time in professional sports

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