This Day in History: June 5

Take a look at all of the important historical events that took place on June 5.

On this day, June 5 …
2004: Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, dies in Los Angeles at age 93 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Also on this day:

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  • 1794: Congress passes the Neutrality Act, which prohibits Americans from taking part in any military action against a country that is at peace with the United States.
  • 1917: About 10 million American men between the ages of 21 and 31 begin registering for the draft in World War I.
  • 1933: The United States goes off the gold standard.
  • 1967: The “Six-Day War” erupts in the Middle East as Israel, anticipating a possible attack by its Arab neighbors, launches a series of preemptive airfield strikes that destroyed nearly the entire Egyptian air force; Syria, Jordan and Iraq immediately entered the conflict.
  • 1968: Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is shot and mortally wounded after claiming victory in California’s Democratic presidential primary at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles; assassin Sirhan Bishara Sirhan is arrested at the scene.
  • 1981: The Centers for Disease Control reports that five homosexuals in Los Angeles had come down with a rare kind of pneumonia; they are the first recognized cases of what later became known as AIDS.
  • 2013: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, many of them sleeping women and children, pleads guilty to murder at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to avoid the death penalty; he is sentenced to life in prison.


  • 2017: The Justice Department charges 25-year-old Reality Leigh Winner, a federal contractor working at a government facility in Georgia, with removing classified material from a government facility and leaking it to the media.
  • 2017: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt cut ties with Qatar for funding extremism and terrorism.
  • 2018: Fashion designer Kate Spade, known for her sleek handbags, is found dead in her Park Avenue apartment in New York City in what the medical examiner would determine was a suicide by hanging; she was 55.