Today's Highlights in History:
On June 11, 1963, in one of the most shocking images of the Vietnam War era, a Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc, set himself afire on a Saigon street to protest the government of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. (The scene was captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken by Malcolm Browne of The Associated Press.)
On this date:
In 1509, England's King Henry VIII married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
In 1770, Captain James Cook, commander of the British ship Endeavour, discovered the Great Barrier Reef off Australia by running onto it.
In 1776, the Continental Congress formed a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence calling for freedom from Britain.
In 1913, football coach Vince Lombardi and opera singer Rise Stevens were born in New York City.
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 led 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 1942, the United States and the Soviet Union signed a lend-lease agreement to aid the Soviet war effort in World War II.
In 1962, three prisoners at Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay staged an escape, leaving the island on a makeshift raft; they were never found or heard from again.
In 1971, the year-and-a-half-long occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay by American Indian activists ended as federal officers evicted the remaining protesters.
In 1977, Seattle Slew won the Belmont Stakes, capturing the Triple Crown.
In 1987, Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term of office as her Conservatives held onto a reduced majority in Parliament.
In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people who commit "hate crimes" motivated by bigotry may be sentenced to extra punishment; the court also ruled religious groups had a constitutional right to sacrifice animals in worship services.
Ten years ago: A suicide bomber killed 16 victims in a Jerusalem bus blast; two Israeli rocket strikes against Hamas fugitives killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza City. Houston's Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner combined for the first no-hitter against the New York Yankees in 45 years, winning 8-0. Pioneering broadcast journalist David Brinkley died in Houston at age 82.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush, during a visit to Germany, raised the possibility of a military strike to thwart Tehran's presumed nuclear weapons ambitions; Chancellor Angela Merkel joined Bush in urging further sanctions against Iran if it failed to suspend its nuclear enrichment program. For his part, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Bush a "wicked man." Four Boy Scouts were killed when a tornado hit the Little Sioux Scout Ranch near Blencoe, Iowa.
One year ago: Testimony began in the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, accusing of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years. (Sandusky was later convicted and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.) Rafael Nadal won his record seventh French Open title, defeating Novak Djokovic 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. Ann Rutherford, 94, the demure brunette actress who played Scarlett O'Hara's youngest sister in "Gone With the Wind," died in Los Angeles.
Today's Birthdays: U.S. Rep. Charles Rangell, D-N.Y., is 83. Actor Gene Wilder is 80. Comedian Johnny Brown is 76. International Motorsports Hall of Famer Jackie Stewart is 74. Singer Joey Dee is 73. Actress Adrienne Barbeau is 68. Rock musician Frank Beard (ZZ Top) is 64. Animal rights activist Ingrid Newkirk is 64. Rock singer Donnie Van Zant is 61. Actor Peter Bergman is 60. Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Montana is 57. Actor Hugh Laurie is 54. TV personality Mehmet Oz, M.D. ("Dr. Oz") is 53. Singer Gioia Bruno (Expose) is 50. Rock musician Dan Lavery (Tonic) is 47. Country singer-songwriter Bruce Robison is 47. Actor Peter Dinklage is 44. Country musician Smilin' Jay McDowell is 44. Rock musician Tai Anderson (Third Day) is 37. Actor Joshua Jackson is 35. Christian rock musician Ryan Shrout is 33. Actor Shia LaBeouf is 27.
Thought for Today: "A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." — David Brinkley (1920-2003).
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