July 6, 1947. The AK47 assault rifle goes into production in the Soviet Union. Mikail Kalashnikov began thinking about a design for a new rifle while lying in hospital after being shot in the shoulder after the Battle of Bryansk. After tinkering with a sub-machine gun design he entered a competition to create a rifle that would chamber a 7.62mm round. The rifle needed to be robust enough to operate in the muddy, wet and frozen conditions of the Soviet front line. Inexpensive to manufacture, easy to clean and maintain, reliable and with no patent on the design, the rifle has become by far the most used around the world, with an estimated 100 million in existence today.
Also on July 6: Anne Frank and family go into hiding (1942); John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time (1957); Malawi declares independence from the UK (1964).
Born on July 6: Bill Haley (1925), George W. Bush, Sylvester Stallone (1946), 50 Cent (1975), Pau Gasol (1980).