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Reuters historical calendar - June 3

By Staff
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London, June 2 (Reuters) Following are some of the major events to have occurred on June 3 since 1900: 1924 - The Prague-born novelist Franz Kafka died. His works, including ''The Trial'' and ''Metamorphosis'', exerted a huge influence on modern writers.

1937 - The Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII, married Wallis Simpson in France less than six months after giving up the British throne for her.

1940 - The evacuation of Allied troops from the French port of Dunkirk was completed in World War Two; over 335,000 British, French and Belgian troops were rescued.

1950 - A French expedition led by Maurice Herzog scaled the Annapurna I peak in the Nepalese Himalayas for the first time.

1963 - Pope John XXIII, who introduced major reforms to the Roman Catholic Church in his 4-1/2 years in office, died at 81.

1965 - Major Edward White became the first US astronaut to walk in space when he stepped outside his Gemini 4 spacecraft.

1973 - A Soviet Tupolev-144 crashed at the Paris air show, killing 15. The supersonic airliner was nicknamed ''Concordski'' because it closely resembled the Anglo-French Concorde.

1989 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979, died aged 89.

1989 - Gas from a leaking pipeline exploded, engulfing two packed passenger trains on the Trans-Siberian railway; 575 people were killed and more than 600 injured.

1995 - Defence ministers from NATO and European Union countries agreed to set up a ''rapid reaction force'' to protect embattled UN peacekeeping troops from Bosnian Serb attack.

1999 - Nigeria's new national assembly opened, ending more than 15 years of law-making by military decree.

2002 - Napster Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, as the German media giant Bertelsmann AG prepared to take over what remained of the once dominant Internet music-swapping service.

2005 - Jon Idigoras, founder of the banned Basque separatist party Herri Batasuna, died aged 69, a few days after urging his successor Arnaldo Otegi to take advantage of a chance to bring peace to Spain's Basque Country. He was 69.

2006 - The former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro declared independence when its parliament ratified the outcome of a national referendum on ending union with Serbia.

Reuters SZ GC1057

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