6 February 1617

Death in Padua of Prospero Alpini, the Italian botanist who is credited with introducing Europeans to the coffee plant.


6 February 1783

English landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown died, aged 66. He is credited with designing over 120 landscapes. One obituarist wrote that: “So closely did he copy nature that his works will be mistaken.”

6 February 1840

Representatives of the British crown and around 40 Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which took its name from the place in the Bay of Islands where the treaty was signed. In general terms, the treaty established a British governor in New Zealand, recognised Maori ownership of their lands and gave the Maoris the rights and privileges of British subjects. Two versions of the treaty were produced, one in English and one in Maori, and the interpretation of some of the words used in it has long been the subject of debate.

6 February 1911

Ronald Reagan, actor, governor of California, and 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Illinois.

6 February 1934

Riots erupt in Paris following the exposure and death of the financial swindler Alexandre Stavisky. Right-wing groups take to the streets claiming that the authorities had killed Stavisky in order to cover up the guilt of numerous members of the government.

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6 February 1952

Twenty five-year-old Princess Elizabeth became queen when her father, King George VI, died in his sleep at Sandringham. She was in Kenya when she learned of his death. | Read more about Queen Elizabeth II: 50+ surprising facts about her life and reign


6 February 1958

Eight Manchester United footballers are among those killed after their aircraft crashes at Munich airport. Several journalists and club officials are also killed.

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