June 11, 2009

Today in History

An interesting date in history - from the BBC Website:

1509: Henry VIII marries first wife

King Henry VIII of England marries Catherine of Aragon, the first of the six wives he had in his lifetime. When Catherine failed to produce a male heir, Henry divorced her against the will of the Roman Catholic Church, thus precipitating the Protestant Reformation in England. Henry went on to have five more wives; two of whom, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, he executed for alleged adultery after he grew tired of them. His only surviving child by Catherine of Aragon, Mary, ascended to the throne upon the death of Edward VI in 1553.


The state funeral of former US President Ronald Reagan takes place in Washington.


Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, is executed by lethal injection in America.


The UN declares a famine in Sudan.


Margaret Thatcher leads the Conservative Party to a third successive general election victory in Britain.


Angolan authorities put 13 mercenary soldiers, 10 of whom are British, on trial, accused of fighting for the opposition during the country’s civil war.


A monk, Thich Quang Duc, sets fire to himself in Saigon in protest at South Vietnam's treatment of Buddhists.


In America, Alabama Governor George Wallace ends his blockade of the University of Alabama and allows two African American students to enrol.


John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Lee Morris attempt to escape from Alcatraz federal prison. Whilst they do escape from “the Rock”, it is thought that they drowned in the surrounding water.


The Hovercraft is launched off England’s south coast.


At least 80 people are killed and another 100 injured when three cars crash on the Le Mans race circuit in France and smash into a crowded spectator area.


The Second World War: Five days after the D-Day landing, the Allied landing groups link up in Normandy to form a single solid front.


The Second World War: Britain lands its troops on the Italian island of Pantelleria, off the southern coast of Sicily, in Operation Corkscrew.


In America, English and Irish residents of Boston clash in the Broad Street Riot.


The Russian explorer Gerrasim Grigoriev Izmailov reaches the Alaskan coast.


The Battle of Jargeau, Joan of Arc's first offensive battle, begins in France.