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2nd June

1840 * Thomas Hardy, English novelist who wrote Far From the Madding Crowd (1874).

1857 * Sir Edward Elgar, English composer who composed his Enigma Variations in 1899.

1896 Guglielmo Marconi patented his broadcasting system using electromagnetic waves.

1903 * Johnny Weissmuller, US swimmer who later turned actor to play Tarzan in 11 films.

1924 Congress granted US citizenship to all American Indians.

1941 * Stacy Keach, US television and film actor.

1946 In Italy, a plebiscite rejected the monarchy in favour of a republic.

1953 The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of England in Westminster Abbey.

1962 Britain's first legal casino opened at the Metropole, Brighton.

1964 The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was formed in Jerusalem.

1976 Jockey Lester Piggott won the Epsom Derby for a record seventh time, riding the French-trained Emperie.

1985 English clubs are banned from playing in Europe indefinitely, after the riot at Brussels' Heysel stadium in which 39 supporters died.

1994 Twenty of Britain's top M15 intelligence experts were killed when a RAF helicopter crashed on the Mull of Kintyre.

2003 The European Space Agency launched the Mars Express probe. Contact with the lander Beagle 2 was lost in December.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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