This Day In History, June 2nd

What happened on this day in history: Baseball legend Babe Ruth retires, Queen Elizabeth II is crowned Queen of England, and more.

1863: Harriet Tubman Frees 800 Enslaved People

Harriet Tubman frees 800 slaves during a raid on the Combahee River in South Carolina. Working with Union Colonel James Montgomery and 150 Black soldiers, she succeeded in ferrying hundreds of enslaved men, women, and children onto rowboats and then gunboats. Despite Tubman’s participation in this raid, however, she was denied soldier’s compensation.

1863: Albert Einstein Marries Elsa Einstein

Albert Einstein marries Elsa Einstein. While in the process of divorcing his first wife, Albert Einstein became infatuated with Elsa, his cousin. The two promptly married after the divorce was finalized. Their marriage was wrought with emotional abuse and extramarital affairs, and letters written during their marriage reveal controversial truths about one of the most brilliant men to walk the Earth.

1935: Babe Ruth Retires From Baseball

On This Day In History June 2

Wikimedia CommonsBy the time he finished his 22nd and final season, Babe Ruth was easily the most celebrated baseball player to ever live.

Baseball legend Babe Ruth retires from professional baseball. Born George Herman Ruth, he played 22 seasons and participated in 10 World Series. To date, his .690 slugging percentage remains the highest in baseball history.

1953: Queen Elizabeth II Is Coronated

Elizabeth II Coronation

Public DomainA coronation portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in June 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II is coronated at London’s Westminster Abbey. The 27-year-old monarch rose to the throne after the death of her father, King George VI. To date, she is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch in history.

1985: Leonard Lake Is Arrested

Serial killer Leonard Lake is arrested in San Francisco, California.

In the mid-1980s, Lake and his accomplice, Charles Ng, kidnapped, raped, tortured, and murdered as many as 25 people at their isolated cabin in the Sierra Nevadas. Almost immediately following his arrest, Lake swallowed cyanide pills that he’d sewn into his clothing and died by suicide.