A closer look at the key events on April 6 in history:

In 2009, a powerful earthquake strikes near L’Aquila, Italy

The 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy, struck on April 6 at 3:32 AM local time. Its 6.3 magnitude named it the worst earthquake in Italy in 30 years, claimed the lives of over 300 people and left 60,000 more homeless.

Rubble in a street of L’Aquila on 09 April 2009, three days after the devastating earthquake which hit the medieval mountain city and its province. EPA/CARLO FERRARO

In 1974, ABBA wins Eurovision

Swedish Europop group ABBA made their international breakthrough as they won first place at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with hit song Waterloo. They came to be one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, known for their catchy tunes, harmonies, and flamboyant costumes. Hits include “Dancing Queen”, “Mamma Mia” “Super Trouper” and numerous others.

Swedish pop group Abba: Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus pose after winning the Swedish branch of the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Waterloo”, February 9, 1974. Picture taken February 9, 1974. Olle Lindeborg/TT News Agency/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. SWEDEN OUT.

In 1917, The United States declare war on Germany

Although WWI had started in the summer of 1914, the US had remained neutral until 1917. However, due to a number of factors, including Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare, the Zimmermann Telegram (a secret communication proposing an alliance between Germany and Mexico against the United States), and a desire to safeguard American economic interests, US President, Woodrow Wilson declared war on Germany April 6, 1917.

Document Courtesy of the National Archives

In 1909, Robert Edwin Peary leads the first expedition to the North Pole.

It took Robert Edwin Peary three tries to successfully reach the North Pole. Upon his return he discovered that his former colleague, Frederick A. Cook, was claiming to have reached the Pole independently in April 1908. Cook’s claim, was subsequently discredited. In the 1980s an examination of his 1908–09 expedition diary and other newly released documents cast doubt on whether he Peary actually reached the pole, with some claiming that he actually fell short by 50-100km.

Robert Peary, 1909. Public domain

In 1896, the Olympic games are revived

Pierre, baron de Coubertin is credited for the revival as the founder of the International Olympic Committee and its president from 1896 to 1925. Therefore, the first Olympic Games to be held since 393 CE opened in Athens on April 6, 1896.

Members of an international committee for organization of 1896 Summer Olympics. 19/06/1896. Světozor, year 1895-6, issue 32, digitized by Czech Academy of Sciences

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