by the associated press
Today’s Highlights in History:
On June 11, 1955, in motor racing’s worst disaster, more than 80 people were killed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France when two of the cars collided and crashed into spectators.
In this day:
In 1509, King Henry VIII of England married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
In 1770, Captain James Cook, commander of the British ship Endeavour, “discovered” the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia by rushing towards it.
In 1776, the Continental Congress formed a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence calling for freedom from Great Britain.
In 1919, Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner.
In 1938, Johnny Vander Meer pitched the first of two consecutive no-hitters as he guided the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-0 victory over the Boston Bees. (Four days later, Vander Meer refused to give up a hit to the Brooklyn Dodgers, who lost 6-0.)
In 1962, three prisoners from Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay escaped and left the island on a makeshift raft; They were never found or heard from again.
In 1982, “ET the Extra-Terrestrial” was released, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore.
In 1985, Karen Ann Quinlan, the comatose patient whose case sparked a landmark court decision on the right to die, died in Morris Plains, New Jersey, at age 31.
In 1987, Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term while her Conservatives held a slim majority in Parliament.
In 1993, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that people who commit “hate crimes” motivated by bigotry can be sentenced to additional punishment.
In 2001, Timothy McVeigh, 33, was executed by injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.
In 2009, with swine flu reported in more than 70 countries, the World Health Organization declared the first global flu pandemic in 41 years.
In 2020, Louisville, Kentucky banned the use of “no knock” warrants and named the new ordinance for Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by officers who broke into her home. San Francisco’s mayor said city police officers would stop responding to non-criminal activity, such as neighborhood disputes and homeless reports; they would be replaced on those calls by trained, unarmed professionals.
Ten years ago: Testimony began in the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years. (Sandusky was later found guilty and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.) Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL’) won his record seventh French Open title, defeating Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) 6-4, 6-3, 2-6 , 7-5. The Los Angeles Kings won their first NHL championship, beating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Five years ago: Supporters of LGBT rights marched and rallied in the nation’s capital and dozens of other US cities, celebrating achievements but angered by threats posed by the administration of President Donald Trump. “Dear Evan Hansen”, the musical sense about young outsiders, took the trophy for best new musical at the Tony Awards along with five other statuettes. The Stanley Cup returned to Pittsburgh after the Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Game 6. Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL’) won his record 10th French Open title by dominating the champion 2015 Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the final.
A year ago: Group of Seven leaders met for a seaside summit in England, pledging to share at least a billion coronavirus vaccines with struggling countries; half would come from the United States. novelist Louise Erdrich won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Night Watchman”; Book winners also included the late Les Payne and his daughter Tamara Payne for their Malcolm X biography “The Dead Are Arising.” Darnella Frazier, the teenager who pulled out her cell phone and began recording when she saw George Floyd pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer, received a special mention from the Pulitzer Prize for her video.
Today’s Birthday: Former US Representative Charles B. Rangel, DN.Y., is 92 years old. International Motoring Hall of Famer Jackie Stewart is 83. Singer Joey Dee is 82. Actor Roscoe Orman is 78. Actress Adrienne Barbeau is 77. Rock musician Frank Beard (ZZ Top) is 73 . Animal rights activist Ingrid Newkirk is 73. Singer Graham Russell (Air Supply) is 72.
Rock singer Donnie Van Zant (38. Special) is 70 years old. Actor Peter Bergman is 69 years old. Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Montana is 66 years old. Actor Hugh Laurie is 63. TV personality Mehmet Oz, MD, is 62. Singer Gioia (JOY’-ah) Bruno (Expose) is 59. Rock musician Dan Lavery (Tonic) is 56. Country singer-songwriter Bruce Robison is 56. Actor Clare Carey is 55. Actor Peter Dinklage is 53. Actor Lenny Jacobson is 48. Actor Joshua Jackson is 44. American musician Gabe Witcher (Punch Brothers) is 44. Diana Taurasi, an American Olympic and WNBA basketball star, is 40 years old. Actor Shia LaBeouf (SHY’-uh luh-BUF’) is 36.