June Almanac

June 1 - Enrico Dandolo is elected Doge of Venice in 1192 at age 85. An instigator of the 4th Crusade to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims, his forces begin by sacking Constantinople, a Christian city. Among the booty brought back to Venice were the bronze horses that adorn the Piazza San Marco today.

June 2 - In 1946, the Italian people vote out the monarchy and establish a republic. This date is a national holiday.
- Freedom fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi dies in 1882 in self-imposed exile on the island of Caprera. He never forgave the government of Italy for trading off his birthplace of Nizza (Nice) to the French during the reunification of Italy.

June 5 - In 1625, the Dutch fortress of Breda falls to a Spanish army led by Ambrogio Spinola. The surrender is immortalized in the Velasquez painting, Surrender of Breda.

June 6 - Famed Italian aviator Italo Balbo is born in 1896. He helped found the Italian air force under Mussolini and capped his career with a flawless mass flight of seaplanes from Italy to the United States in 1933.

June 7 - Pope Gregory XIII (Ugo Bencompagni) is born in 1502. Under his direction the Gregorian calendar that we use today was instituted in 1582. Many Protestant countries refused to use it for 150 years because it was a Catholic development.
- The state of Vatican City is established by treaty with Italy in 1929.
- House Representative Peter Rodino, famed for chairing the Watergate hearings, is born in 1909.

June 8 - Astronomer Gian Domenico Cassini is born in 1625. He and his descendants made France preeminent in astronomy.

June 11 - Vince Lombardi, coach of the champion Green Bay Packers football team, is born in 1913 in Brooklyn. Under his leadership the team won five NFL titles and two Superbowls.
- Superbowl great quarterback Joe Montana is born in 1956.

June 16 - Basketball All-American Hank Luisetti is born in 1916 in San Francisco. He was the first player to score 50 points in a college game (1938). He introduced the one-handed shot.

June 17 - Civil War hero Col. Louis Di Cesnola wins a Medal of Honor at the action at Aldie, VA in 1863. He later went on to become an American ambassador, and then director of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

June 19 - Bandleader Guy Lombardo is born in Canada in 1902. He symbolized New Year's Eve.

June 21 - Scientist Galileo Galilei is found guilty by Church authorities of solar-centrism in 1633, that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around.

June 22 - The mentor of Italian reunification, Giuseppe Mazzini, was born in Genoa in 1805.

June 24 - Explorer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) of Gaeta (between Rome and Naples) lands in Newfoundland, establishing the English claim to North America. He also plants the flag of his adopted city, Venice.

June 28 - World Pocket Billiards Champion Willie Mosconi is born in 1918. World champ 15 times, he set a record of 526 continuous balls in 1954.

June 30 - Leonardo Da Vinci begins his masterpiece, The Last Supper, in 1497 in Milan.

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