This Day in History: 06/4/1942 - Battle of Midway Begins

This Day in History: 06/4/1942 - Battle of Midway Begins

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In this clip from This Day In History, we go back to look at some things that have happened around us on the day of June 4th. Cambridge in a game of cricket, to the battle at Midway in 1942. See it all here in this amazing clip about June 4th.

This Day in History: 06/4/1942 - Battle of Midway Begins - HISTORY

This Day in History — June 4

Today is the 155th day of 2021. There are 210 days left in the year.


2001: Nepal's Crown Prince Dipendra dies. Three days earlier he shot the king, queen, and seven members of the royal family before turning the gun on himself.

1783: The Montgolfier brothers fly a hot-air balloon with no passengers in it publicly, for the first time, on a 10-minute flight from the marketplace in their hometown of Annonay, France.

1805: United States concludes a favourable peace treaty with the pirates of Tripoli.

1859: Austrians are defeated at Magenta by French, who free Milan in Italy.

1878: Turkey turns Cyprus over to the British.

1896: Henry Ford makes a successful pre-dawn test run of his horseless carriage, called a quadricycle, through the streets of Detroit.

1940: The Allied evacuation from Dunkirk, France, is completed. In a week, a flotilla of navy and civilian ships saved 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops from the invading Germans.

1942: Battle of Midway begins in the Pacific with US ships inflicting the first decisive defeat of the Japanese.

1943: Troops march into Buenos Aires and overthrow Government of Argentina President Ramon Castillo.

1944: Allied forces enter Rome in World War II.

1954: French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc initial treaties in Paris granting “complete independence” to Vietnam.

1956: Egypt announces it will not extend Suez Canal Company's concession after expiration in 1959, leading to Suez Crisis.

1970: Kingdom of Tonga in Pacific becomes member of British Commonwealth.

1974: Death toll from smallpox is listed as at least 10,000 in the Indian state of Bihar, one of the worst epidemics since vaccination began.

1989: First partially free parliamentary elections in Poland in nearly 50 years end Moscow-imposed communist rule.

1992: Russia and other former Soviet republics pledge to slash tanks and other weapons in a landmark arms control accord.

1993: The UN Security Council authorises the United States and its allies to use air strikes against Serbian forces besieging six Muslim enclaves in Bosnia.

1994: Five Iraqis and a Kuwaiti are sentenced to death in Kuwait for plotting to kill former US President George H W Bush with a car bomb during his visit to Kuwait in 1993.

1997: The UN Security Council extends the programme that allows Iraq to sell oil to buy food, medicine, and other civilian supplies.

2002: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says that shortly before September 11, 2001, Egyptian intelligence officials warned the United States that al-Qaeda was planning an attack on an American target.

2003: The Special Court for Sierra Leone, set up to try war crimes suspects from the country's civil conflict, make public a 17-count indictment against Charles Taylor, the president of neighbouring Liberia.

2004: UN peacekeepers take control of a strategic eastern Congolese city as renegade soldiers withdraw and President Joseph Kabila attempts to calm the nation after the largest and most violent protests since he took office.

2007: Former Liberian President Charles Taylor boycotts opening of his war crimes trial at The Hague. Court rules that the trial continue despite his boycott.

2008: The US military orders navy ships loaded with relief aid off Myanmar's coast to leave the area after the country's xenophobic junta refused to let them help survivors of a devastating cyclone the previous month.

2010: South Korea officially refers North Korea to the UN Security Council over the sinking of a navy ship that killed 46 sailors, taking its strongest step ever toward making the communist North face international punishment.

2011: An al-Qaeda leader sought in the 2008 siege in Mumbai, India, and rumoured to be a long-shot choice to succeed Osama bin Laden is believed killed in a US drone attack as he met with other militants in an apple orchard in Pakistan.

2014: Syrian President Bashar Assad is re-elected in a landslide, capturing another seven-year term in the middle of a bloody uprising against his rule that has devastated the country.

England's King George III (1738-1820) Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, Finnish marshal and statesman (1867-1951) Modibo Keita, president of Mali (1915-1977) Robert Merrill, US opera singer (1919-2004) Dennis Weaver, US actor (1924-2006) Bruce Dern, US actor (1936- ) Angelina Jolie, US actress (1975-) Noah Wyle, US actor (1971- ) Russell Brand, British actor/comedian (1975- )

Activity 2. Allied Strategy in 1941–1942

The second activity is similar to the first, but examines the strategy of the Allied side. Direct students to the following documents, all of which are available at the website of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, accessible via the EDSITEment-reviewed resource Educator Resources:

  • Page 6 of the Minutes of the Chiefs of Staff Conference, Washington, DC, December 24, 1941
  • Pages 3 and 5 of a Memorandum by the United States and British Chiefs of Staff, Washington War Conference on American-British Strategy
  • Pages 1–3 of the Joint Planning Committee Report to the Chiefs of Staff, Supporting Measures for the Southwest Pacific (click on "View Next Page" to access pages 2 and 3).

Again, excerpts from these documents may be found on pages 8–11 of the PDF.

Based on their reading of these documents, students should answer the following questions (included as part of a worksheet on page 12 of the PDF):

  • Why did U.S. military planners believe that it was so important to defend the Philippines?
  • Why did they not choose immediately to launch a bombing campaign against Japan?
  • What sea and air routes did the Allies believe were most vulnerable, and why?
  • Why did U.S. military planners opt for a largely defensive strategy in the Pacific?

Direct students once again to the interactive map and ask them to identify those areas that Allied strategy sought to hold against the Japanese advance. Here again they should look at locations 1–17, which will give them a sense of the sequence of events in these critical early months of the war.

Based on their examination of these resources, students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What was the overall Allied strategy in the Pacific?
  • Which of the strategic goals were met, and which were not?

In order to reduce the overall time spent on this lesson, teachers may prefer to divide the class into groups, with half of the groups doing the first activity and the other half doing the second. Each team can then make a presentation of its findings.

Events in History on June 4

    Dutch East India ship Batavia wrecks on Morning Reef off the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia, with 200 survivors (only 70 survive after three months due to mutiny and murders) [1]

Victory in Battle

1632 Prince Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange conquers Venlo

Event of Interest

1647 English Parliamentary army under Cornet George Joyce takes King Charles I as a prisoner during Second Civil War

    Viceroy Willem Frederik conquers Dijlerschans Battle at Dunkirk: English vs Dutch fleet Prussia goes to the Covenant of Nymphenburg

Victory in Battle

1745 Battle at Hohenfriedberg Silezie: Frederick the Great (Prussia) defeats Austrians and Saxons

Victory in Battle

1859 Second Italian War of Independence: Battle of Magenta, results in a French-Sardinian victory under Napoleon III over the Austrians under Marshal Ferencz Gyulai

    Confederates evacuate Fort Pillow, Tennessee Van Bosse/Fock government begins 1st contract workers of British-Indies Co arrive in Suriname Pacific Stock Exchange opens An express train called the Transcontinental Express arrives in San Francisco, California, via the First Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after having left New York City.

Event of Interest

1887 Pasteur Institute founded by French biologist Louis Pasteur in Paris

Event of Interest

1896 Henry Ford takes his 1st Ford through streets of Detroit

Event of Interest

1913 English suffragette Emily Davison dies after throwing herself in front of King George V's horse Anmer during running of the Derby at Epsom

    General Aleksei Brusilov begins a massive Russian offensive on the Eastern Front (WWI) 1st Pulitzer prize awarded to Richards & Elliott (Julia Ward Howe) American men begin registering for the draft Most Excellent Order of British Empire inaugurated by King George V to recognise the efforts of his people in WWI French troops, with the aid of US troops, stop the Germans at Chateau-Thierry as they attempt to cross the Marne US Congress passes the Women's Suffrage Bill, the 19th Amendment US marines invade Costa Rica Peace of Trianon between Allies & Hungary Ignacy Mościcki becomes President of Poland (holds office till 1939) President of the Republic of China Zhang Zuolin is assassinated by Japanese agents Edouard Herriot becomes Premier of France Chilean coup led by Colonel Marmaduke Grove against President Juan Esteban Montero


1934 Dr Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin, is knighted

Miracle of Dunkirk

1940 British complete the "Miracle of Dunkirk" by evacuating 338,226 allied troops from France via a flotilla of over 800 vessels including Royal Navy destroyers, merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft and even lifeboats

Event of Interest

1940 Winston Churchill's speech "We shall fight on the seas and oceans"

    Republic of Croatia orders all Jews to wear a star with the letter Z Battle of Midway begins Japan's 1st major defeat in WW II Capitol Record Co opens for business

Event of Interest

1943 Argentina taken over by General Rawson & Colonel Juan Perón

    St Louis Card Mort Cooper pitches his 2nd consecutive 1 hitter U505 becomes the first German submarine captured and boarded on high seas

Event of Interest

1944 5th Army enters and liberates Rome from Mussolini's Fascist armies

Event of Interest

1944 French General Charles de Gaulle arrives in London


1944 General Eisenhower cancels planned D-Day invasion on June 5th after receiving unfavorable weather reports

    6th US Marine division occupies Orokoe Peninsula Okinawa US, Soviet Union, Britain and France agree to divide up occupied Germany Largest solar prominence (300,000 mi/500,000 km) observed US House of Representatives approves Taft-Hartley act "Cavalcade of Stars" debuts (DuMont) Jackie Gleason made host in 1950 CVP wins Belgian parliamentary election Arthur Murray flies X-1A rocket plane to record 27,000 m France grants Vietnam independence inside French Union

Event of Interest

1956 'Secret speech' by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev criticising Joseph Stalin is made public

    1st commercial coal pipeline placed in operation May & Cowdrey make 411 stand v WI Ramadhin bowls 98 overs French Prime Minister Charles de Gaulle arrives in Algiers US President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev meet at the Vienna Summit in Austria

Event of Interest

1962 Lee Harvey Oswald departs Rotterdam on SS Maasdam to US

    Maldives adopts constitution -10] Hurricane Alma, kills 51 in Honduras Stockport Air Disaster: British Midland flight G-ALHG crashes in Hopes Carr, Stockport, killing 72 passengers and crew 22-year-old man sneaks into wheel pod of a jet parked in Havana and survives 9-hr flight to Spain despite thin oxygen levels at 29,000 ft 43rd National Spelling Bee: Libby Childress wins spelling croissant Tonga (formerly Friendly Islands) declares independence from UK J Luns appointed secretary-general of NATO Angela Davis, African American activist, acquitted of killing a white guard A patent for the ATM is granted to Don Wetzel, Tom Barnes and George Chastain Never repeated 10 cent Beer Night at Cleveland, unruly fans stumble onto field and cause Indians to forfeit the game to Rangers with score tied 5-5 in 9th Saudi Arabia announces that it will increase its participation in Aramco to 60 percent Oldest animal fossils in US discovered in North Carolina Violence during Puerto Rican Day in Chicago kills 2 An estimated 20,000 Scottish football fans invade the Wembley Stadium pitch after Scotland beats England, 2-1 goalposts and advertising hoardings destroyed

Event of Interest

1979 Joe Clark is sworn in as the youngest Prime Minister in Canadian history

    54th National Spelling Bee: Paige Pipkin wins spelling sarcophagus Israel attacks targets in south Lebanon DNA is successfully cloned from an extinct animal STS 51-G vehicle moves to launch pad Supreme Court strikes down Alabama "moment of silence" law Jonathan Pollard, spy for Israel, pleads guilty in US court Longest game in Baltimore Memorial Stadium (5:46) 14 inn (beat NY 7-6) 2nd Children's Miracle Network Telethon raises $770,000 43rd Tony Awards: Heidi Chronicles & Jerome Robbin's Broadway win Beijing policeman shoots & wounds Chinese priemer Li Ping Eastern Europe's 1st partial free elections in 40 years held in Poland, Solidarity Party comes to power Gas explodes near 2 passenger trains in USSR, kills 100s Largest parade in Bronx history honors 350th anniversary

Tiananmen Square Massacre

1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre: Chinese troops clear the square of student protesters, unofficial figures place death toll near 1,000

Shopping bags in hand, an unknown protester stands in front of a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square

Event of Interest

1990 Dr Jack Kevorkian assists an Oregon woman to commit suicide, beginning a national debate over the right to die

Event of Interest

1991 Pope John Paul II compares abortion with Nazi murders

    Robert S Strauss becomes US ambassador to Soviet Union San Jose voters reject Giants plan to build a new stadium USPS announces young Elvis beats old Elvis stamp United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is signed in New York Haile Gebre Selassie runs world record 5 km (12:56.96) 49th Tony Awards: Love! Valour! Compassion! & Sunset Boulevard win 8th Children's Miracle Network Telethon raises $1,331,000 UN Security renews its "oilforfood" initiative whereby Iraq may sell $2 billion worth of oil to buy food, medicine and other necessities to alleviate civilian suffering under the sanctions imposed when it invaded Kuwait in 1990 Terry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing 54th Tony Awards: "Copenhagen" and "Contact" win Gyanendra, the last King of Nepal, ascends to the throne after the massacre in the Royal Palace US drone attack kills 15 militants in Pakistan, including high ranking al-Qaeda official, Abu Yahya al-Libi Car bomb kills 26 and injures 190 people in central Baghdad, Iraq Japan's stock market plummets to record lows with the S&P/TOPIX 150 reaching its lowest level since 1983 Wedding party bus crashes killing 23 and injuring 60 people in Islamabad, Pakistan 10 Nigerian generals and five other senior military officers are court-martialed for providing arms and information to jihadist terrorist group Boko Haram

Historic Publication

2018 Former US President Bill Clinton and James Patterson publish a thriller novel "The President is Missing" together

    Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki resigns amid huge protests against tax and price increases. King Abdullah appoints Omar Razzaz to replace him.

Event of Interest

2018 US President Donald Trump tweets "I have the absolute right to PARDON myself"

    Former US school security guard Scot Peterson arrested and charged with neglect of a child and culpable negligence for not confronting gunman during Parkland school massacre in a landmark case Over 100,000 people mark the 30th anniversary of Beijing's Tiananmen Square Massacre in Hong Kong and around the world Movement in Japan to end compulsory wearing of high heels in work places trends with hashtag #KuToo Deforestation of the Amazon forest in Brazil the fastest for a decade as 740 square kilometers cleared in 30 days according to Brazilian space research institute Biggest protests in Prague since the fall of communism by tens of thousands against Prime Minister Andrej Babis' use of EU subsidies Professional gambler James Holzhauer's 32-game winning steak ends on "Jeopardy" just short of Ken Jenning's record $2.52m earnings Thousands ignore a recent ban and mark the anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre in Hong Kong UN report criticizing human rights violations in the Philippines, including deaths of 8,000 during its war on drugs, a day after county's House of Representatives passed new anti-terrorism law

Event of Interest

2020 Memorial for George Floyd led by Rev. Al Sharpton, killed in police custody, in Minneapolis, as 10th night of protests at his death held around the country

This Day in History: 06/4/1942 - Battle of Midway Begins - HISTORY

On this day in 1942, the Battle of Midway--one of the most decisive U.S. victories against Japan during World War II--begins. During the four-day sea-and-air battle, the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers while losing only one of its own, the Yorktown, to the previously invincible Japanese navy.

In six months of offensives prior to Midway, the Japanese had triumphed in lands throughout the Pacific, including Malaysia, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines and numerous island groups. The United States, however, was a growing threat, and Japanese Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto sought to destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet before it was large enough to outmatch his own.

A thousand miles northwest of Honolulu, the strategic island of Midway became the focus of his scheme to smash U.S. resistance to Japan's imperial designs. Yamamoto's plan consisted of a feint toward Alaska followed by an invasion of Midway by a Japanese strike force. When the U.S. Pacific Fleet arrived at Midway to respond to the invasion, it would be destroyed by the superior Japanese fleet waiting unseen to the west. If successful, the plan would eliminate the U.S. Pacific Fleet and provide a forward outpost from which the Japanese could eliminate any future American threat in the Central Pacific. U.S. intelligence broke the Japanese naval code, however, and the Americans anticipated the surprise attack.

In the meantime, 200 miles to the northeast, two U.S. attack fleets caught the Japanese force entirely by surprise and destroyed three heavy Japanese carriers and one heavy cruiser. The only Japanese carrier that initially escaped destruction, the Hiryu, loosed all its aircraft against the American task force and managed to seriously damage the U.S. carrier Yorktown, forcing its abandonment. At about 5:00 p.m., dive-bombers from the U.S. carrier Enterprise returned the favor, mortally damaging the Hiryu. It was scuttled the next morning.

When the Battle of Midway ended, Japan had lost four carriers, a cruiser and 292 aircraft, and suffered an estimated 2,500 casualties. The U.S. lost the Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft and suffered approximately 300 casualties.

Japan's losses hobbled its naval might--bringing Japanese and American sea power to approximate parity--and marked the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II. In August 1942, the great U.S. counteroffensive began at Guadalcanal and did not cease until Japan's surrender three years later.

Jun 4, 1989: Tiananmen Square massacre takes place

Chinese troops storm through Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing, killing and arresting thousands of pro-democracy protesters. The brutal Chinese government assault on the protesters shocked the West and brought denunciations and sanctions from the United States.

In May 1989, nearly a million Chinese, mostly young students, crowded into central Beijing to protest for greater democracy and call for the resignations of Chinese Communist Party leaders deemed too repressive. For nearly three weeks, the protesters kept up daily vigils, and marched and chanted. Western reporters captured much of the drama for television and newspaper audiences in the United States and Europe. On June 4, 1989, however, Chinese troops and security police stormed through Tiananmen Square, firing indiscriminately into the crowds of protesters. Turmoil ensued, as tens of thousands of the young students tried to escape the rampaging Chinese forces. Other protesters fought back, stoning the attacking troops and overturning and setting fire to military vehicles. Reporters and Western diplomats on the scene estimated that at least 300, and perhaps thousands, of the protesters had been killed and as many as 10,000 were arrested.

The savagery of the Chinese government's attack shocked both its allies and Cold War enemies. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared that he was saddened by the events in China. He said he hoped that the government would adopt his own domestic reform program and begin to democratize the Chinese political system. In the United States, editorialists and members of Congress denounced the Tiananmen Square massacre and pressed for President George Bush to punish the Chinese government. A little more than three weeks later, the U.S. Congress voted to impose economic sanctions against the People's Republic of China in response to the brutal violation of human rights.

Names of Known Tiananmen Square Victims

Per program
An Ji
Bai Jing Chuan
Bao Xiu Dong
Ben Yun Hai
Bian Zong Xu
Cao Zhen Ping
Chen Lai Shun
Chen Sen Lin
Chen Zhong Jie
Chen Zi Qi
Cheng Ren Xing
Cui Lin Feng
Dai Jin Ping
Dai Wei
Dong Lin
Dong Xiao Jun
Du Guang Xue
Du Yan Ying
Duan Chang Long
Gao Yuan
Gong Ji Fang
Guo Chun Min
Guo An Min
Han Jun You
Han Qiu
Han Zi Quan
Hao Zhi Jing
He Guo
He Jie
He Shi Tai
He An Bin
Hu Xing Yun
Huang Pei Pu
Huang Tao
Huang Xin Hua
Jiang Jia Xing
Jiang Jie Lian
Kou Xia
Kuang Min
Lai Bi
Lei Guang Tai
Li Chang Shen
Li Chun
Li De Zhi
Li Hao Cheng
Li Hui
Li Li
Li Meng
Li Ping
Li Shu Zhen
Li Tie Gang
Li Zhen Ying
Li Hui Quan
Liang Bao Xing
Lin Ren Fu
Lin Tao
Liu Chun Yong
Liu Feng Gen
Liu Hong
Liu Hong Tɑo
Liu Jian Guo
Liu Jin Hua
Liu Jing Sheng
Liu Jun He
Liu Qiang
Liu Yan Sheng
Liu Zhan Min
Lu Chun Lin
Lu Xiao Jun
Lu Jian Guo
Lu Peng
Luan Yi Wei
Luo Wei
Ma Chene Fen
Ma Jian Wu
Mu Gui Lan
Nan Hua Tong
Ni Shi Lian
Peng Jun
Pu Chang Kui
Qi Li
Qi Wen
Qian Hui
Qian Jin
Ren Jian Min
Ren Wen Lian
Shi Hai Wen
Shi Yan
Song Bao Sheng
Song Xiao Ming
Su Jin Jian
Su Sheng Ji
Su Xin
Sun Hui
Sun Tie
Sun Xiao Feng
Sun Yan Chang
Tao Mao Xian
Tao Zhi Gan
Tian Dao Min
Wang Chao
Wang Dong Xi
Wang Fang
Wang Gang
Wang Hong Qi
Wang Jian Ping
Wang Jun Jing
Wang Nan
Wang Pei Wen
Wang Qing Zeng
Wang Tie Jun
Wang Wei Ping
Wang Wen Ming
Wang Yao He
Wang Yi Fei
Wang Ying
Wang Zheng Sheng
Wang Zhi Ying
Wei Wu Min
Wen Jie
Wu Guo Feng
Wu Xiang Dong
Xi Gui Ru
Xia Zhi Lei
Xiao Bo
Xiao Jie
Xie Jing Suo
Xiong Zhi Ming
Xu Jian Ping
Yan Wen
Yang Han Lei
Yang Ming Hu
Yang Ru Ting
Yang Yan Sheng
Yang Zhen Jiang
Yang Zi Ping
Ye Wei Hang
Yin Shun Qing
Yin Jing
Yu Di
Yuan Li
Yuan Min Yu
Zha Ai Guo
Zhai Shun
Zhang Fu Yuan
Zhang Jia Mei
Zhang Jian
Zhang Jin
Zhang Lin
Zhang Luo Hong
Zhang Ru Ning
Zhang Wei Hua
Zhang Xiang Hong
Zhao De Jiang
Zhao Long
Zhao Tian Chou
Zheng Chun Fu
Zhonq Jun Jun
Zhong Qinq
Zhong Gui Qing
Zhou De Bao
Zhou De Ping
Zhou Xin Ming
Zhou Yong Qi
Zhou Yu Zhen
Zhuang Jie Sheng
Zou Bing
Zou Zuo Wu

Jun 4, 1942 CE: Battle of Midway Begins

On June 4, 1942, the Battle of Midway, fought between American and Japanese fleets in the Pacific Ocean, began.

Social Studies, World History

Mikuma at Midway

The Japanese cruiser Mikuma, above, was just one of the devastating casualties endured by the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway, a major American victory and turning point of World War II.

Photograph courtesy U.S. Navy

to expect or act in advance.

a coral reef or string of coral islands that surrounds a lagoon.

to arrange information into a system for communication.

to figure out or interpret.

group of ships, usually organized for military purposes.

to set one thing or organism apart from others.

something designed or written to preserve the memory of an event or person.

large structure representing an event, idea, or person.

military operations taking place in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific theater usually refers to actions during World War II.

to guarantee, or make safe and certain.

area or region where a nation or cultural group has cultural, economic, military, or political influence.

important part of a place or plan.

(1939-1945) armed conflict between the Allies (represented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union) and the Axis (represented by Germany, Italy, and Japan.)

More Dates in History

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Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society


Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society

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This Day in History: June 4

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Good post. However, I would like to make a correction. During WWII, Winston Churchill (later joined by FDR) imposed a food blockade on Germany. The Hunger Plan was the Nazi government’s effort to deal with the resulting food crisis. The Hunger Plan involved the starvation of captured Soviet cities so that the food which would otherwise have fed those cities could instead be used to prevent starvation elsewhere in the Reich.

The plan had never been to starve Soviet POWs. Those POWs were conscripted to work in German weapons factories. Everyone, from Hitler on down, recognized those POWs were an essential component of Germany’s war machine. That is why Hitler ordered the POWs to be fed.

However, the Reich lacked the manpower necessary to cordon off captured Soviet cities from the Soviet countryside. Due to the lack of that manpower, the Nazis were unable to prevent food from flowing from the captured Soviet countryside to captured Soviet cities. The Hunger Plan mostly failed: the planned starvation in captured Soviet cities mostly did not occur. That failure didn’t result in fewer deaths. Just different deaths than those the Nazi government had envisioned with their Hunger Plan. Due to the failure of the Hunger Plan, the man tasked with feeding the Soviet POWs didn’t have the food he needed to carry out the order Hitler had given to him: the order to feed the Soviet POWs. Because it was physically impossible for that man to carry out his orders, millions of Soviet POWs starved to death while in German captivity.

The Nazi leadership had deep-seated fears about Germany’s food situation. One of the reasons Hitler wanted lebensraum was so that Germany could physically feed itself, even if Britain imposed a food blockade. (As it did in WWI, and as Churchill again did in WWII.) The two most vital resources Hitler required from the western Soviet Union were food and petroleum. For Barbarossa to have been successful from the Nazi perspective, Germany needed to capture a considerable portion of Soviet oilfields, and a considerable portion of Soviet farmland.

To address your question of what Hitler should have done differently: he should have placed von Manstein in charge of Barbarossa in its entirety. Doing so would have resulted in a far greater level of success. Moscow and Leningrad almost certainly would have fallen in 1941, paving the way for additional German successes in 1942.

This Day in History: June 4

The Battle of Midway Island, which resulted in a major victory for the US fleet. The USS aircraft carrier ‘Yorktown’ received a direct hit from a Japanese plane which got through despite the heavy barrage put up by American destroyers. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

On this day, June 4 …

1942: The World War II Battle of Midway begins, resulting in a decisive American victory against Japan and marking the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

  • 1919: Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing citizens the right to vote regardless of their gender, and sends it to the states for ratification.
  • 1986:Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, pleads guilty in Washington to conspiring to deliver information related to the national defense to Israel. (Pollard would be sentenced to life in prison and released on parole on Nov. 20, 2015.)

FILE – In a Nov. 29, 2007 file photo, Dr. Jack Kevorkian addresses an audience at Wayne State University in Detroit.

  • 1990:Dr. Jack Kevorkian carries out his first public assisted suicide, helping Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old Alzheimer’s patient from Portland, Ore., end her life in Oakland County, Mich.
  • 1998: A federal judge sentences Terry Nichols to life in prison for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
  • 2003: Martha Stewart steps down as head of her media empire, hours after federal prosecutors in New York charge her with obstruction of justice, conspiracy, securities fraud and lying to investigators. (Stewart would be convicted of lying about why she’d sold her shares of ImClone Systems stock in 2001, just before the stock price plunged.)
  • 2009: Speaking at Cairo University, President Barack Obama calls for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims” and says, together, they could confront violent extremism across the globe.
  • 2015: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) releases information about a Chinese state security breach of its computer system, which compromised the data of 4 million Americans.
  • 2018:The Supreme Court rules in favor of a Colorado baker who wouldn’t make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, but it is a limited decision that doesn’t address the larger issue of whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gay and lesbian people.

Celebrities took to Twitter to mock Howard Schultz over his presidential ambitions.

This Day in WWII History: Jun 4, 1942: The Battle of Midway begins

On this day in 1942, Japanese Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, commander of the fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor, launches a raid on Midway Island with almost the entirety of the Japanese navy.

As part of a strategy to widen its sphere of influence and conquest, the Japanese set their sights on an island group in the central Pacific, Midway, as well as the Aleutians, off the coast of Alaska. They were also hoping to draw the badly wounded U.S. navy into a battle, determined to finish it off.

The American naval forces were depleted: The damaged carrier Yorktown had to be repaired in a mere three days, to be used along with the Enterprise and Hornet, all that was left in the way of aircraft carriers after the bombing at Pearl Harbor.

On the morning of June 4, Admiral Nagumo launched his first strike with 108 aircraft, and did significant damage to U.S. installations at Midway. The Americans struck back time and again at Japanese ships, but accomplished little real damage, losing 65 of their own aircraft in their initial attempts. But Nagumo underestimated the tenacity of both Admiral Chester Nimitz and Admiral Raymond Spruance, commanders of the American forces. He also miscalculated tactically by ordering a second wave of bombers to finish off what he thought was only a remnant of American resistance (the U.S. forces had been able to conceal their position because of reconnaissance that anticipated the Midway strike) before his first wave had sufficient opportunity to rearm.

A fifth major engagement by 55 U.S. dive-bombers took full advantage of Nagumo's confused strategy, and sunk three of the four Japanese carriers, all cluttered with aircraft and fuel trying to launch another attack against what they now realized—too late—was a much larger American naval force than expected. A fourth Japanese carrier, the Hiryu was crippled, but not before its aircraft finished off the noble American Yorktown.

The attack on Midway was an unmitigated disaster for the Japanese, resulting in the loss of 322 aircraft and 3,500 men. They were forced to withdraw from the area before attempting even a landing on the island they sought to conquer.

Watch the video: John Fords The Battle of Midway 1942 Digitally Restored Color (May 2022).