June 6, 1944 - D-Day, the largest amphibious landing in history, began in the early-morning hours as Allied forces landed in Normandy on the northern coast of France. Operation Overlord took months of planning and involved 1,527,000 soldiers in 47 Allied divisions along with 4,400 ships and landing craft, and 11,000 aircraft. The Germans had about 60 divisions spread along France and the Low Countries. American forces landed on two western beaches, Utah and Omaha, while British and Canadian troops landed farther east on Gold, Juno and Sword beaches. By the end of the day 150,000 Allied soldiers and their accompanying vehicles had landed with 15,000 killed and wounded.
June 8, 1874 - Apache leader Cochise died on the Chiricahua Reservation in southeastern Arizona. After a peace treaty had been broken by the U.S. Army in 1861, he waged war against settlers and soldiers, forcing them to withdraw from southern Arizona. In 1862, he became principal chief of the Apaches. He and 200 followers avoided capture by hiding in the Dragoon Mountains. In June of 1871, Army General George Crook assumed command in Arizona and managed to win the allegiance of many Apaches. Cochise then surrendered. He disappeared briefly in the spring of 1872, but returned and settled on the reservation where he died.
June 9, 1898 - The British signed a 99-year lease for Hong Kong, located on the southeastern coast of China. Hong Kong, consisting of an area measuring 400 square miles, was administered as a British Crown Colony until July 1, 1997, when its sovereignty reverted to the People's Republic of China.
June 10, 1652 - In Massachusetts, silversmith John Hull opened the first mint in America, in defiance of English colonial law. The first coin issued was the Pine Tree Shilling, designed by Hull.
June 11, 1994 - After 49 years, the Soviet military occupation of East Germany ended. At one time there had been 337,800 Soviet troops stationed in Germany. Over 300,000 Russians died during World War II in the Battle for Berlin.
June 12, 1963 - Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi, by a rifle bullet from an ambush. He had been active in seeking integration of schools and voter registration for African Americans in the South. Widespread public outrage following his death led President John F. Kennedy to propose a comprehensive Civil Rights law. Evers was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
June 13, 1966 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) in the case of Miranda v. Arizona that an accused person must be apprised of certain rights before police questioning including the right to remain silent, the right to know that anything said can be used against the individual in court, and the right to have a defense attorney present during interrogation. American police officers now routinely read prisoners their 'Miranda' (constitutional) rights before questioning.
June 14, 1775 - The first U.S. Military service, the Continental Army consisting of six companies of riflemen, was established by the Second Continental Congress. The next day, George Washington was appointed by a unanimous vote to command the army.