Today is Wednesday, June 11, the 162nd day of 2014. There are 203 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On June 11, 1864, German composer Richard Strauss, known for such operas as “Der Rosenkavalier,” ”Salome” and “Elektra” and tone poems like “Also sprach Zarathustra,” was born in Munich.
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 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 1959, the Saunders-Roe Nautical 1, the first operational hovercraft, was publicly demonstrated off the southern coast of England.
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 1963, a Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc (tihk kwang duk), set himself afire on a Saigon street to protest the government of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem (noh deen dyem).
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.
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.