This Day in History - June 11

June 11

1346 – Charles IV of Luxembourg is elected Holy Roman Emperor

1509 – Henry VIII of England marries Catherine of Aragon

1572 – English playwright and poet, Ben Jonson, is born

1769 – American newspaper reporter Anne Newport-Royall, is born

1770 – Captain James Cook runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef

1776 – The Continental Congress selects Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut and Robert Livingston of New York to draft a Declaration of Independence

1788 – The Russian explorer Gerrasim Grigoriev Izmailov reaches the Alaskan coast

1798 – Napoleon Bonaparte takes the island of Malta

1823 – Confederate general during the Civil War, James Kemper, is born

1859 – First State Chancellor of the Austrian Empire, Klemens von Metternich, dies

1861 – Union forces under General George B. McClellan repulse a Confederate force at Rich Mountain in western Virginia

1864 – German composer and conductor, Richard Strauss, is born

1864 – A Confederate cavalry intercepts General Phillip Sheridan’s Union cavalry as it seeks to destroy a rail line near Trevilian Station, Virginia

1865 – Major General Henry W. Halleck finds documents and archives of the Confederate government in Richmond, Virginia, which leads to the publication of the official war records

1880 – US Representative from Montana and the first woman in Congress, Jeanette Rankin, is born

1888 – Anarchist, executed with Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, is born

1895 – Premier of the Soviet Union, Nikolai Bulganin, is born

1895 – Charles E. Duryea receives the first US patent granted to an American inventor for the gasoline-driven automobile

1903 – King Alexander and Queen Draga of Belgrade are assassinated by members of the Serbian army

1910 – French oceanic explorer, filmmaker, author and inventor of the aqualung, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, is born

1913 – American football coach, Vince Lombardi, is born

1915 – British troops take Cameroon in Africa

1925 – American novelist, William Styron, is born

1927 – Charles Lindbergh, a captain in the US Army Air Corps Reserve, receives the first Distinguished Flying Cross ever awarded, for his solo trans-Atlantic flight

1930 – William Beebe, of the New York Zoological Society, dives to a record-setting depth of 1,426 feet off the coast of Bermuda, in a diving chamber called a bathysphere

1932 – South African playwright, director, and actor, Athol Fugard, is born

1933 – American actor, Gene Wilder, is born

1934 – The Disarmament Conference in Geneva ends in failure

1934 – Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, dies

1936 – American author, Robert Howard, dies

1940 – The Italian Air Force bombs the British fortress at Malta in the Mediterranean

1943 – The Italian island of Pantelleria surrenders after a heavy air bombardment in the British launched Operation Corkscrew

1943 – Mobster-turned-FBI-informant Henry Hill, is born

1944 – US carrier-based planes attack Japanese airfields on Guam, Rota, Saipan, and Tinian islands, preparing for the invasion of Saipan

1944 – Five days after the D-Day landing, the five Allied landing groups, made up of some 330,000 troops, link up in Normandy to form a single solid front across northwestern France

1949 – Hank Williams, Sr. makes his Grand Ole Opry debut

1950 – Ben Hogan wins US Open, beating Lloyd Mangum and George Fazio in an 18-hole playoff at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania

1955 – A racing car in Le Mans, France, goes out of control and crashes into stands filled with spectators, killing 82

1956 – American football player, Joe Montana, is born

1963 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested in Florida for trying to integrate restaurants

1963 – Facing federalized Alabama National Guard troops, Alabama Governor George Wallace ends his blockade of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and allows two black students to enroll

1967 – Israel and Syria accept a UN cease-fire

1970 – 4,000 South Vietnamese and 2,000 Cambodian soldiers battle 1,400 communist troops for control of the provincial capital of Kompong Speu

1974 – Italian philosopher, Julius Evola, dies

1979 – American film actor, John Wayne, dies

1982 – Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” is released

1986 – John Hughes’ comedy “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” is released

1987 – Margaret Thatcher wins her third consecutive term as Prime Minister

1989 – China issues a warrant for a leading Chinese dissident, Fang Lizhi, who had taken refuge in the US embassy in Beijing.  The US refused to hand him over and a diplomatic standoff lasted for a year until China agreed to allow Fang and his wife safe passage out of China

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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