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6th May

1840 The Penny Black, the first postage stamp was issued in Britain.

1856 * Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist and father of modern psychology.

1889 The Universal Exposition opened in Paris, marking the completion and dedication of the Eiffel Tower.

1895 * Rudolph Valentino, Italian silent film actor.

1913 * Stewart Granger, English film actor who starred in the film The Man in Grey (1943).

1915 * Orson Welles, US actor, writer, director who starred in the film Citizen Kane (1941).

1937 The German airship Hindenberg caught fire on landing at New Jersey killing 36 people.

1941 Dictator Joseph Stalin became the premier of Russia.

1954 Athlete Roger Bannister a 25-year-old British medical student, became the first person to run a mile in under four minutes 3:59:4.

1959 Icelandic gunboats fired on British trawlers as the cod war intensified.

1966 Ian Brady and his lover Myra Hindley were sentenced to life imprisonment for the Moors murders.

1988 Scoring 405 not out in a county championship match, Graeme Hick, Worcestershire's 21-year-old prodigy, completed the highest innings in England this century.

1994 The Queen and France's President Francois Mitterrand formally open the Channel Tunnel during two ceremonies in France and Britain.

1997 The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, gave the Bank of England complete independence from political control.

1999 Historic elections took place in Scotland and Wales to elect members to the newly formed Scottish and Welsh Assemblies.

2001 A bomb explodes at a north London postal sorting office, the second such attack in three weeks. It has been linked to the Real IRA.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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