This Day in History - 4th June
1704The birth of Benjamin Huntsman who experimented in steel manufacture at Handsworth, near Sheffield. The local cutlery manufacturers initially refused to buy his steel as it was harder than the German steel they were accustomed to using. Huntsman did not patent his process, and his secret was discovered by a Sheffield iron-founder called Walker who, according to a popular story, got into Huntsman's works in the disguise of a starving beggar asking to sleep by a fire for the night.
1738The birth of George III, King of England from 1760. There was continual friction between him and his Prime Minister, Pitt, who was highly popular with the people. During his reign he mishandled the conflict with the American colony, which led to the War of Independence. He went insane in 1811 and the Prince of Wales was appointed Regent.
1805The first official Trooping The Colour took place at Horse Guards Parade in London.
1879The birth of Lucie Attwell, English children's author and illustrator. She was known for her cute, nostalgic drawings of children, based on her daughter, Peggy. In 1921, J.M. Barrie personally requested her to illustrate the gift-book edition of Peter Pan. The Lucie Attwell Annual was published for more than 50 years, from 1922 to 1974.
1910Christopher Cockerell, the English engineer who invented the hovercraft, was born.
1913Suffragette Emily Davison ran out in front of King George V's horse, Anmer, at Tattenham Corner on the Epsom racecourse. She was trampled, never regained consciousness and died a few days later.
1940World War II: The Dunkirk evacuation ended. British forces completed the evacuation of 300,000 troops from Dunkirk in France. To rally the morale of the country, Winston Churchill delivered his famous 'We shall fight on the beaches ... we shall never surrender' speech to the House of Commons.
1962The Beatles signed a recording contract with EMI Parlophone.
1967British Midland flight G-ALHG crashed in Hopes Carr, Stockport, killing 72 passengers and crew.
1977Five British plane-spotters imprisoned in Greece for alleged spying were released after 10 weeks in jail.
1991Defence Secretary Tom King confirmed Britain would reduce the amount it spent on the army.
1998The five major nuclear powers (the United States, Russia, China, France and Great Britain) renewed their appeal for India and Pakistan to stop development of nuclear arms and offered to help the two antagonists resolve their conflict over the Kashmir region.
1999A man who had all his fingers severed in a horrific accident at work became the first person to have all his fingers re-attached. Two teams of doctors along with nurses and theatre technicians performed the delicate micro-surgical procedure in a marathon 18-hour operation at Withington Hospital, Manchester.