Today In History: June 2, Queen Elizabeth Ii Is Crowned At Age 27

Today in History

Today is Sunday, June 2, the 154th day of 2024. There are 212 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 2, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at age 27 at a ceremony in London’s Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.

On this date:

In 1924, Congress passed, and President Calvin Coolidge signed, a measure guaranteeing full American citizenship for all Native Americans born within U.S. territorial limits.

In 1941, baseball’s “Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig, died in New York of a degenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS; he was 37.

In 1961, playwright and director George S. Kaufman, 71, died in New York.

In 1962, Soviet forces opened fire on striking workers in the Russian city of Novocherkassk; a retired general in 1989 put the death toll at 22 to 24.

In 1966, U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.

In 1979, Pope John Paul II arrived in his native Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country.

In 1981, the Japanese video arcade game “Donkey Kong” was released by Nintendo.

In 1997, Timothy McVeigh was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. (McVeigh was executed in June 2001.)

In 1999, South Africans went to the polls in their second post-apartheid election, giving the African National Congress a decisive victory; retiring president Nelson Mandela was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki (TAH’-boh um-BEH’-kee).

In 2011, a judge in Placerville, California, sentenced serial sex offender Phillip Garrido to life in prison for kidnapping and raping Jaycee Dugard; Garrido’s wife, Nancy, received a decades-long sentence.

In 2012, ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison after a court convicted him on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that forced him from power (Mubarak was later acquitted and freed in March 2017; he died in February 2020).

In 2016, autopsy results showed superstar musician Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller.

In 2018, the number of homes destroyed reached 80 in an eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano. (The eruption would eventually destroy more than 700 homes.)

In 2020, defying curfews, protesters streamed back into the nation’s streets, hours after President Donald Trump urged governors to put down the violence set off by the death of George Floyd. Police said four officers were hit by gunfire after protests in St. Louis that began peacefully became violent.

In 2021, the NFL pledged to stop the use of “race-norming” in a $1 billion settlement of brain injury claims; the practice had made it harder for Black players to show a deficit and qualify for an award.

In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II drew wild cheers from a crowd of tens of thousands as she carefully stepped on to the Buckingham Palace balcony at the start of four days of celebrations of her 70 years on the throne. (The queen’s reign would end with her death three months later).

In 2023, a massive train derailment involving two passenger trains in India left more than 280 people dead and hundreds injured.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Ron Ely (EE’-lee) is 86. Filmmaker and movie historian Kevin Brownlow is 86. Actor Stacy Keach is 83. Actor Charles Haid is 81. R&B singer Chubby Tavares (Tavares) is 80. Movie director Lasse (LAH’-suh) Hallstrom is 78. Actor Jerry Mathers is 76. Actor Joanna Gleason is 74. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is 72. Actor Dennis Haysbert is 70. Comedian Dana Carvey is 69. Actor Gary Grimes is 69. Pop musician Michael Steele is 69. Rock singer Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) is 64. Actor Liam Cunningham is 63. Actor Navid Negahban is 60. Singer Merril Bainbridge is 56. TV personality-producer Andy Cohen (“The Real Housewives” TV franchise) is 56. Rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill) is 54. Actor Paula Cale is 54. Actor Anthony Montgomery is 53. Actor-comedian Wayne Brady is 52. Actor Wentworth Miller is 52. Rock musician Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane) is 48. Actor Zachary Quinto is 47. Actor Dominic Cooper is 46. Actor Nikki Cox is 46. Actor Justin Long is 46. Actor Deon Richmond is 46. Actor Morena Baccarin is 45. Rock musician Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes) is 44. Olympic gold medal soccer player Abby Wambach is 44. Singer-songwriter ZZ Ward is 38. Rapper/actor Awkwafina is 36. Actor Brittany Curran is 34. Actor Sterling Beaumon is 29.


This version has been updated to correct headline to show that Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on June 2, 1953, not that she became queen on that day. She became queen when her father died in February 1952.