What happened on this day in history: The D-Day landings commence in northern France, Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated, and more.
1683: The World’s First University Museum Opens
The Ashmolean opens in Oxford, England. The world’s first university museum, it featured the collection of English archaeologist Elias Ashmole, who donated his items to the school in 1677. Today, the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology displays both ancient and contemporary objects.
1844: The YMCA Is Founded
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in London by Sir George Williams. Hoping to create an alternative to brothels and taverns, the YMCA aimed to provide a place for young men to develop a healthy “body, mind, and spirit.” Today, it has branches in 120 countries.
1889: The Great Seattle Fire Devastates The City
The Great Seattle Fire leaves vast swathes of the city in ruins. Ignited by hot glue that boiled over and fell onto wood chips and turpentine at a carpentry shop at around 2:15 p.m., the blaze swiftly consumed most of the city. It burned until 3:00 a.m. the next day and destroyed 125 city blocks, causing as much as $20 million in damage.
1944: The D-Day Invasion Begins
Allied forces storm the beaches of Normandy, France during the D-Day invasion that marked the turning point in the European theatre of World War II.
Four of the beaches, code-named Gold, Juno, Sword, and Utah, were captured relatively easily. However, German forces at Omaha beach put up a fierce fight, resulting in more than 2,000 American casualties.
1968: Robert F. Kennedy Is Assassinated
Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan in Los Angeles, California. Kennedy had just won the California Democratic presidential primary when he encountered Sirhan in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel. Sirhan shot and mortally wounded him with a revolver at point-blank range.