Today in History – June 11

1509 – Henry VIII of England married Catherine of Aragon.

1770 – British explorer Captain James Cook ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef.

1776 – The Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to the Committee of Five to draft a declaration of independence.

1793 – First American stove patent was granted to Robert Haeterick.

1837 – The Broad Street Riot occurred in Boston, fueled by ethnic tensions between Yankees and Irish.

1895 – Paris–Bordeaux–Paris, sometimes called the first automobile race in history or the “first motor race”, took place.

1903 – A group of Serbian officers stormed the royal palace and assassinated King Alexander Obrenović and his wife, Queen Draga.

1919 – Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, and became the first horse to win the U.S. Triple Crown.

1927 – Charles Lindbergh was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

1935 – Inventor Edwin Armstrong gave the first public demonstration of FM broadcasting in the United States at Alpine, New Jersey.

1937 – Great Purge: The Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin executed eight army leaders.

1939 – King and Queen of England taste hot dogs for the first time at a party hosted by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1942 – World War II: The United States agreed to send Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.

1944 – USS Missouri, the last battleship built by the United States Navy and future site of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, was commissioned.

1947 – WWII sugar rationing finally ended in US.  It began on May 28, 1942.

1955 – Eighty-three spectators were killed and at least 100 were injured after an Austin-Healey and a Mercedes-Benz collided at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the deadliest ever accident in motorsports.

1962 – Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin allegedly became the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island.

1963 – American Civil Rights Movement: Governor of Alabama George Wallace defiantly stood at the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending that school. Later in the day, accompanied by federalized National Guard troops, they were able to register.

1963 – Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức burned himself to death with gasoline in a busy Saigon intersection to protest the lack of religious freedom in South Vietnam.

1963 – John F. Kennedy addressed Americans from the Oval Office and proposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which revolutionized American society by guaranteeing equal access to public facilities, ending segregation in education, and guaranteeing federal protection for voting rights.

1964 – World War II veteran Walter Seifert attacked an elementary school in Cologne, Germany, and killed at least eight children and two teachers and seriously injured several more with a home-made flamethrower and a lance.

1964 – Chicago police broke up Rolling Stones press conference.

1964 – Manfred Mann recorded “Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do”.

1964 – Queen Elizabeth ordered the Beatles to be present at her birthday party.  They attended.

1966 – “I Am A Rock” by Simon & Garfunkel peaked at #3.

1966 – “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones peaked at #1 in the US.

1966 – “Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys hit #1 in the UK.

1966 – French and German media mistakenly reported the death of Roger Daltry, lead singer for the Who.

1966 – Janis Joplin played her first gig, which was in San Francisco.

1969 – “The Ballad Of John & Yoko” by The Beatles hit #1 in UK.

1970 – After being appointed on May 15, Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington officially received their ranks as U.S. Army Generals, and became the first women to do so.

1971 – The U.S. Government forcibly removed the last holdouts to the Native American Occupation of Alcatraz, ending 19 months of control.

1974 – Ted Bundy victim Georgann Hawkins disappeared in Seattle, Washington.

1976 – Australian band AC/DC began their first headline tour of Britain.

1976 – Beatles “Rock & Roll Music” LP was released in the US.

1977 – “I’m Your Boogie Man” by KC and the Sunshine Band peaked at #1.

1978 – Christa Tybus of London set record of 24½ hrs of hula-hoop.

1979 – Chuck Berry plead guilty to income tax evasion, sentenced to 4 months.

1982 – “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore, was released.

1983 – “My Love” by Lionel Richie peaked at #5.

1983 – “Always Something There To Remind Me” by Naked Eyes peaked at #8.

1983 – “Faithfully” by Journey peaked at #12.

1983 – “When I’m With You” by Sheriff peaked at #61.

1984 – Michael Larson was shown winning a record $110,237 on American TV game show “Press Your Luck” by memorizing patterns.

1987 – Diane Abbott, Paul Boateng and Bernie Grant were elected as the first black MPs in Great Britain.

1987 – Margaret Thatcher was the first British Prime Minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term.

1993 – “Jurassic Park”, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, opened in theaters.  It set a box office weekend record of $502 million.

2001 – Timothy McVeigh was executed for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.

2002 – Antonio Meucci was acknowledged as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States Congress.

2004 – Ronald Reagan’s funeral was held at Washington National Cathedral.

2009 – A Texas woman was hit by lightning while standing in her kitchen in her Texas home. Witnesses said lightning came through a light fixture, struck her chest and exited her foot. She survived after three days in hospital.

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