蘑菇影院

Today in History: June 11, auto racing disaster at Le Mans

A German Mercedes car somersaulted through the rails after a triple crash in the Le Mans 24-hour race, on June 11, 1955, exploding and killing its driver , Pierre Levegh, and over 80 of the packed crowd of spectators. (蘑菇影院 Photo)

A German Mercedes car somersaulted through the rails after a triple crash in the Le Mans 24-hour race, on June 11, 1955, exploding and killing its driver , Pierre Levegh, and over 80 of the packed crowd of spectators. (蘑菇影院 Photo)

Share

Today in History:

On June 11, 1955, in motor racing鈥檚 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.

On this date:

In 1509, England鈥檚 King Henry VIII married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

In 1770, Captain James Cook, commander of the British ship Endeavour, 鈥渄iscovered鈥 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 1919, Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming horse racing鈥檚 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 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 1985, Karen Ann Quinlan, the comatose patient whose case prompted a historic right-to-die court decision, 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 of office as her Conservatives held onto a reduced majority in Parliament.

In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that people who commit 鈥渉ate crimes鈥 motivated by bigotry may be sentenced to extra 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.

State and federal law enforcement agents lead Timothy McVeigh, second from left, from the Noble County Courthouse in Perry, Okla, April 21, 1995. He had just been identified as a suspect in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. (蘑菇影院 Photo/John Gaps III)

State and federal law enforcement agents lead Timothy McVeigh, second from left, from the Noble County Courthouse in Perry, Okla, April 21, 1995. He had just been identified as a suspect in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. (蘑菇影院 Photo/John Gaps III)

In 2009, with swine flu reported in more than 70 nations, the World Health Organization declared the first global flu pandemic in 41 years.

*** FILE *** Jack Salzsieder checks an odor meter in a hog confinement barn on the Tom Uthe farm, in this Feb. 16, 2001 file photo, near Slater, Iowa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given several animal vaccine manufacturers the "master seed virus" from the swine flu strain now circulating among humans. At least one of the companies said Wednesday Sept. 2, 2009 it's developing a vaccination for pigs, which can contract the virus from infected people _ in much the same way people do. (蘑菇影院 Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Jack Salzsieder checks an odor meter in a hog confinement barn on the Tom Uthe farm, in this Feb. 16, 2001 file photo, near Slater, Iowa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given several animal vaccine manufacturers the 鈥渕aster seed virus鈥 from the swine flu strain now circulating among humans. At least one of the companies said Wednesday Sept. 2, 2009 it鈥檚 developing a vaccination for pigs, which can contract the virus from infected people _ in much the same way people do. (蘑菇影院 Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

In 2012, 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 convicted and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.) Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL鈥) won his record seventh French Open title, defeating Novak Djokovic (NOH鈥-vak JOH鈥-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.

In 2017, supporters of LGBT rights marched and rallied in the nation鈥檚 capital and dozens of other U.S. cities, celebrating gains but angry over threats posed by the administration of President Donald Trump. 鈥淒ear Evan Hansen,鈥 the heartfelt musical about young outsiders, took the best new musical trophy 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鈥) won his record 10th French Open title by dominating 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the final.

In 2020, Louisville, Kentucky, banned the use of 鈥渘o-knock鈥 warrants and named the new ordinance for Breonna Taylor, who鈥檇 been fatally shot by officers who burst into her home. San Francisco鈥檚 mayor said city police officers would stop responding to non-criminal activities such as disputes between neighbors and reports about homeless people; they would be replaced on those calls by trained, unarmed professionals.

In 2021, Group of Seven leaders gathered for a seaside summit in England, bringing pledges to share at least 1 billion coronavirus vaccine shots with struggling countries; half would come from the United States. Novelist Louise Erdrich won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for 鈥淭he Night Watchman鈥; winners for books also included the late Les Payne and daughter Tamara Payne for their Malcolm X biography 鈥淭he Dead Are Arising.鈥 Darnella Frazier, the teenager who pulled out her cellphone and began recording when she saw George Floyd being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer, was given a special citation by the Pulitzer Prizes for her video.

In 2022, Ukrainian and British officials warned that Russian forces were relying on weapons with the potential to cause mass casualties as they tried to make headway in capturing eastern Ukraine as fierce fighting depleted resources on both sides. Thousands of people streamed to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the highest profile of demonstrations throughout the nation, marking a renewed push for gun control after a series of mass shootings. Mo Donegal defeated Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike and six other colts to win horse racing鈥檚 Belmont Stakes.

Click here to see who was born on June 11.