On this day: the mysterious death of a king.

Ananda_Mahidol_portrait_photograph Portrait photograph of King Ananda Mahidol of Thailand 1930s

Ananda Mahidol, Thailand’s king Rama VIII, died on the 3rd of June, 1946. He was only twenty at the time.

A child when he was elected successor to the throne in 1935, he continued to be educated in Switzerland, not visiting Thailand as king until 1938 when he was thirteen.

Rama_8_in_stamp stamp used in Rama VIII's reign 17th April 1941 issue Thailand. Thia.

Stamp issued 17th April 1941

The Japanese invaded Thailand the same day in 1941 they bombed America’s Pearl Harbor. The young king was not in the country at the time and did not return home until the end of 1945.

Only six months later a single gunshot was heard, and Ananda Mahidol was found dead.

Ananda_Mahidol_and_Louis_Mountbatten_in_19_January_1946 King Ananda Mahidol and Louis Mountbatten on 19 January 1946. Thai History British

King Ananda Mahidol and Louis Mountbatten. 19th January 1946.

More than one theory has been put forward as to how this happened.

He was the older brother of Bhumibol Adulyadej, who inherited the title and achieved cult status in Thailand; during his long reign both locals and foreigners were imprisoned for insulting him in any way. Even “liking” a Facebook post was enough for some people to be arrested.

The circumstances around Rama VIII’s death are still debated.

On this day: the bombing of the USS Franklin

The USS Franklin, an American aircraft carrier, was struck by a Japanese dive bomber on the 19th of March, 1945.

While many on board were thrown into the water or killed, some stayed voluntarily and saved the ship.

It is thought over 800 people were killed in the attack.

Attack_on_carrier_USS_Franklin_19_March_1945The USS Franklin, an American aircraft carrier, was struck by a Japanese dive bomber on the 19th of March, 1945.

On this day: Hungary’s Arrow Cross Party takes power

flag_of_the_arrow_cross_party_1942_to_1945_svgflag-of-the-arrow-cross-party-1942-to-1945-very-similar-to-the-nazis

The flag of the Arrow Cross

Very similar to Germany’s Nazi Party, Hungary’s Arrow Cross party took power on the 15th of October, 1944.

Following similar ideas to Hitler, during Arrow Cross’ reign thousands of people died, and tens of thousands of people were deported.

azertispropaganda-poster-for-hungarys-fascist-arrow-cross-party-1940s

Just as the Nazis did, party members believed in a “master race”. Their view of this race included Hungarians and Germans. Ironically, the party’s views on race clashed with Hitler’s plans for central Europe.

holocaust-arrowcross-dohanysynagogue-hungarian-history-fascists

Jewish victims of Arrow Cross anti-Semitism. X

By early 1945, Arrow Cross had almost lost power. After World War Two had ended, members of the party were tried on war crimes.