History: June 11

June 11

1488 James III of Scotland is murdered after his defeat at the Battle of Sauchieburn, Stirling, and is succeeded by his son, James IV. "...The royalists at first gained an advantage, and drove back the enemy’s first line. These, however, being soon supported by the borderers, who composed the second, not only recovered their ground, but pushed the first and second lines of the royalists back to the third. Fighting there was, but no battle. Any little courage of which James was possessed soon forsook him. He put spurs to his horse, and galloped off, with the view, as is conjectured, of getting on board Admiral Wood’s fleet, which lay in sight five miles distant. As he was on the point of crossing the Bannock, near the village of Milton, a woman happened to be drawing water, and, observing a man in armour gallop full speed towards her, and being alarmed for her safety, left her pitcher, and ran off. The horse, starting at sight of the vessel, threw his rider, who was so bruised with the fall, and the weight of his armour, as to faint away. As the disaster had happened within a few yards of a mill, the miller and his wife carried the unfortunate horseman thither; and, though ignorant of his name and station, treated him with great humanity, and administered to him such cordials as their house afforded. When he had somewhat recovered, he called for a priest, to whom, as a dying man, he might make confession. Being asked who he was, he replied, "I was your king this morning." Thunder-struck at the announcement, the poor woman ran out, wringing her hands, and calling loudly for assistance to the king. Some of the rebels, who happened to pass at the moment, heard her cries and, according to tradition, one of them, a follower of Lord Gray, a priest by profession, exclaimed, "I am a priest. Where is the king?" He was led into the room where the king lay, and, kneeling down beside him, asked if he thought he might recover by the aid of surgery. "I believe that I might," answered James; "but let me have a priest to hear my confession, and to bring me the eucharist." The traitor, it is said, heard his confession, and then basely stabbed him...The Prince, who before the battle, had given strict charge regarding his father’s safety, heard the rumour of his death with great emotions of grief. It was not till some days after, that he obtained a certain account..."

1509 England's King Henry VIII weds for the first time, to sister-in-law and Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon. Two weeks later they are crowned King and Queen of England. Prior to her marriage with Henry VIII, Catherine was married to Arthur (son of Henry VII and older brother of Henry VIII), but he died six months after the wedding.

1572 Birth: Ben Johnson, in England, dramatist, playwright, poet, satirist, first British Poet Laureate.

1727 George II Hanover becomes king of England, following his father's death (George I) on June 10th.

1770 Captain James Cook, commander of the British ship Endeavour, discovers the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. "...Cook also discovered the Great Barrier Reef, when his ship ran aground June 11, 1770; Endeavour was seriously damaged (and his voyage delayed almost 7 weeks) while repairs were carried out on the beach near the dock in modern Cooktown, at the mouth of the Endeavour River. While there, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander made their first major collections of Australian flora and there were mainly peaceful meetings with the local Aboriginal people from whom the name "kangaroo" was recorded and came into the English language from the local Guugu-Yimidhirr name for a Grey Kangaroo, which was gangaroo. He then sailed through Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, again becoming only the second European to do so (the first being Luis Vaez de Torres, in 1604). His ship on this voyage, HM Bark Endeavour, would later lend its name to the Space Shuttle Endeavour, as well the Endeavour River. By this point in the voyage, Cook had lost no men to scurvy, a remarkable and unheard-of achievement in 18th century sea-faring. He forced his men to eat such foods as citrus fruits and sauerkraut—under punishment of flogging if they did not comply—although no one yet understood why these foods prevented scurvy. Unfortunately, he sailed for Batavia, the capital of the Dutch East Indies, to put in for repairs. Batavia was known for its outbreaks of malaria, and much of Cook's crew would succumb to the disease before they returned home in 1771, including the Tahitian Tupaia, Banks's secretary Herman Spöring and the illustrator Sydney Parkinson. Cook's journals were published upon his return, and he became something of a hero..."

1776 The Continental Congress forms a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence from Britain. "...Official acts that colonists considered infringements upon their rights had previously led to the Stamp Act Congress (1765) and to the First Continental Congress (1774), but these were predominantly conservative assemblies that sought redress from the crown and reconciliation, not independence. The overtures of the First Continental Congress in 1774 came to nothing, discontent grew, and as the armed skirmishes at Lexington and Concord (Apr. 19, 1775) developed into the American Revolution, many members of the Second Continental Congress of Philadelphia followed the leadership of John Hancock, John Adams, and Samuel Adams in demanding independence. The delegates from Virginia and North Carolina were in fact specifically instructed on independence and on June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee called for a resolution of independence...On June 11, 1776, a committee consisting of John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut, was formed to draft a suitable declaration to frame this resolution. Jefferson did most of the writing, with input from the committee. His original draft included a denunciation of the slave trade, which was later edited out, as was a lengthy criticism of the British people and parliament. His draft was presented to the Continental Congress on July 1, 1776. The Declaration was rewritten somewhat in general session prior to its adoption by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, at the Pennsylvania State House. While a critic of British policy, John Dickinson did not agree to this declaration. The adopted copy was then sent a few blocks away to the printing shop of John Dunlap. Through the night between 150 and 200 copies were made, now known as "Dunlap broadsides". The original has never been found..."

1776 Birth: John Constable, in East Bergholt, Suffolk, England, painter, landscape artist.

1816 The Gas Light Company of Baltimore is founded to put up coal gas street lights.

1847 Death: Sir John Franklin, English naval officer and Arctic explorer, in Canada, while attempting to discover the mythical Northwest Passage. Prediction: It is quite possible that, given the very real effects of today's Global Warming trend, an actual Northwest Passage will appear above Canada before the present century ends; don't forget where you heard it.

1867 Birth: Charles Fabry; will discover the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.

1889 The Washington Business High School, the first such institution in America, opens for business in Washington, DC. 

1900 Boer War: The Battle of Diamond Hill commences.

1910 Birth: Jacques Yves Cousteau, in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac, France; pioneering sea explorer, inventor; the aqualung, writer; The Living Sea.

1912 Silas Christoferson becomes the first airplane pilot to take off from the roof of a hotel; the Multnomah Hotel in Portland, Oregon.

1918 Birth: Nelson Mandela, South African civil rights leader and politician, former ANC leader.

1920 Mediocre Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding is chosen as the 'dark horse' Republican candidate for president. This coming November, he will be elected the 29th president of the United States.

1925 Birth: William Styron, author.

1927 President Coolidge welcomes Charles Lindbergh home after the pilot had made history's first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris. He is also presented the first Distinguished Flying Cross.

1932 Weimar: June-July Nearly 500 pitched battles take place between Nazis and Communists in Prussia alone. At least 82 people are killed and 400 wounded. (The SS, Time-Life.)

1932 Weimar: The German government lifts the ban on the SA and SS.

1933 Unity Mitford joins the British Union of Fascists.

1934 The World Disarmament Conference ends in complete failure.

1934 Holocaust: Temple Neudinger in Vienna is severely damaged in an anti-Semitic bombing.

1937 The Soviet "Generals' Trials," the third Stalinist purge trial, opens in Moscow.

1939 The King and Queen of England are in America to visit with the President and First Lady. As is befitting of such a grand event, the King and Queen are fed some of the gourmet foods of the United States; the first time British Monarch's consume hot dogs.

1940 Church and Reich: Cardinal Eugene Tisserant (above), a high official of the Vatican library, writes to Cardinal Suhard, Archbishop of Paris, that "our superiors do not want to understand the real nature of this conflict." Tisserant says he has pleaded with Pope Pius XII, without success, to issue an encyclical, but "I fear that history will reproach the Holy See with having practiced a policy of selfish convenience and not much else." (BA Koblenz; Lewy)

1940 WW2: Paris is declared an "open city." What remains of the French army retreats south of the Seine.

1940 WW2: Churchill returns to France and meets Reynaud at Briare. The British are determined not to allow the Germans to capture the French fleet and are prepared to use force against their ally.

1940 WW2: Raczkiewicz moves the Polish government-in-exile from France to London after the defeat of France.

1940 Resistance: The Kreisau Circle, an anti-Nazi group led by Count Helmuth von Moltke, is founded to discuss the political, economic and spiritual foundations of Germany that would arise after the downfall of Hitler. Jesuits Augustinus Rösch and Alfred Delp are both active members. (Lewy)

1941 WW2: Hitler issues Directive # 32. It begins with a flat statement: "After destruction of the Soviet Armed Forces, Germany and Italy will be military masters of the European Continent, with the temporary exception of the Iberian Peninsula. No serious threat to Europe by land will then remain." (Architect)

1941 WW2: Antonescu meets with Hitler in Munich and agrees to full ooperation of their two armies against Russia. Note: Hitler's promises of massive armaments to Romania will not materialize until almost the end of the war.

1942 Holocaust: German Jews are not allowed to receive cigarette ration cards. (Persecution)

1942 WW2: The United States signs a lend-lease agreement with the Soviet Union to aid the Soviet war effort.

1944 WW2: 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.

1946 Nuremberg War Crimes Trials: Arthur Seyss-Inquart continues his testimony. "...DR. GUSTAV STEINBAUER (Counsel for Defendant Seyss-Inquart): Yesterday we had reached one of the most important points in the Indictment, the question of the evacuation of Jews from the Netherlands. Witness, what did you do when you learned of this removal of the Jews from the Netherlands? Did you write any letters? SEYSS-INQUART: Yesterday I stated that I had people sent from the Netherlands to the Auschwitz Camp in order to ascertain whether there were accommodations and, if so, what kind. I have given you the result of this inspection. I asked the Security Police, that is, Heydrich, whether it would not be possible for the evacuated Jews to keep up correspondence with the Netherlands. This concession was made. For about three quarters of a year or a year correspondence was maintained; not only short post cards but long letters were permitted. I do not know how the camp administration did this; but the letters were identified as authentic by the addressee. When the number of letters dropped off later-it never stopped completely-the Security Police told me that the Jews in Auschwitz now had fewer acquaintances in the Netherlands, meaning other Jews, because most of them were already in Auschwitz. DR. STEINBAUER: Witness, did you turn to Bormann, too? SEYSS-INQUART: Yesterday I stated that, after learning of Heydrich's order, I requested Bormann to inquire of the Fuehrer whether Heydrich actually had such unlimited power. Bormann confimed this..."

1947 The US government announces the end of household and institutional sugar rationing, to take effect the next day.

1955 Three cars traveling at 150 mph crash, ploughing into spectators at Le Mans, killing 80 people and injuring over 100 in the worst accident in motor racing history. The race is not stopped and Britain's Mike Hawthorn is declared the 'winner.'

1959 The US Postmaster General bans D.H. Lawrence's best-selling and erotic novel Lady Chatterley's Lover from the US mails.

1963 The Nam: Buddhist monk Quang Duc sets himself on fire on a Saigon street to protest the government of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.

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

1970 The US presence in Libya ends as the last detachment leaves Wheelus Air Base.

1971 The US Coast Guard ends a 19 month of occupation of Alcatraz island, in the San Francisco Bay, by Native Americans seeking to draw attention to their political, social, and cultural rights.

1977 Dutch marines storm a train at Assen in which South Moluccan terrorists had been holding more than 50 hostages for 19 days. Six terrorists and two hostages are killed.

1986 A divided US Supreme Court strikes down a Pennsylvania abortion law, while reaffirming its 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.

1987 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first British prime minister in 160 years to win three consecutive terms.

1990 Iran-Contra: A federal judge sentences former Reagan national security adviser John M. Poindexter to six months in prison for making false statements to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair; the first Iran-Contra defendant to receive prison time in the arms-for-hostages scandal. Poindexter's convictions will later be overturned.

1990 The US Supreme Court strikes down an anti-flag burning law passed by US Congress in 1989, re-igniting calls for a constitutional amendment.

1993 Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani wins a second four-year term as president of Iran.

1993 North Korea declares that it will suspend its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

1994 Seoul, Washington and Tokyo agree to push for measured sanctions against North Korea for its refusal to allow international inspection of its nuclear program.

1994 After 49 years, the Russian military occupation of what had been East German ends with the departure of the Red Army from Berlin.

1995 In an unprecedented joint appearance, President Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia, spar politely over Medicare and other issues, in an hour-long session before an audience of senior citizens in Claremont, New Hampshire; broadcast nationally in the US.

1996 Bob Dole, as promised, resigns from the US Senate. Trent Lott of Mississippi is elected Senate leader the next day.

1997 An official Italian commission approves a move to allow Vittorio Emanuele, son of Italy's last king, to return home after 50 years of exile.

1998 Pakistan announces a moratorium on future nuclear testing after setting off several blasts the previous month.

2001 Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people in a 1995 blast, is executed by lethal injection.










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