June 11th in History

June 11, 1963: Alabama Governor George Wallace stands in the schoolhouse door to block black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama, but steps aside as soon as federalized National Guard troops show up, 

Today in History

  • Troy is sacked and burned, according to Eratosthenes (1184 BCE)
  • Henry VIII marries Catherine of Aragon (1509 CE)
  • Captain James Cook runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef (1770 CE)
  • Sir Barton becomes the first horse to win the Triple Crown (1919 CE)
  • Republican Party leaders gather in a room at the Blackstone Hotel to decide on their presidential candidate, leading the Associated Press to first coin the phrase “smoke-filled room” (1920 CE)
  • Alabama Governor George Wallace stands in the school house door of the University of Alabama to block black students from registering, but steps aside immediately when National Guard troops show up (1963 CE) (above)
  • Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức burns himself to death in Saigon; the resultant picture makes worldwide news (1963 CE) (below)
  • Two women become the first female US Army Generals (1970 CE)
  • The occupation of Alcatraz Island by Native Americans ends with the forcible removal of the last holdouts after 19 months (1971 CE)
Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burns himself to death on a Saigon street June 11, 1963 to protest alleged persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. (AP Photo/Malcolm Browne)


  • Anne Neville, English queen, wife of Richard III (1456)
  • Richard Strauss, composer (1864)
  • Bartolomeo Vanzetti, anarchist and Sacco partner (1888)
  • 豊田 喜一郎  (Kiichiro Toyoda), Toyota Motor Corporation founder (1894)
  • Ernie Nevers, football player (1902)
  • Carmine Coppola, composer (1910)
  • Jacques Cousteau, co-developer of the aqualung (1910)
  • Vince Lombardi, football coach (1913)
  • William Styron, author (1925)
  • Charles B. Rangel, politician (1930)
  • Athol Fugard, playwright (1932)
  • Gene Wilder, comedian (1933)
  • Chad Everett, actor (1937)
  • Adrienne Barbeau, actress (1945)
  • Henry Cisneros, politician (1947)
  • Joe Montana, football player (1956)
  • Mehmet Oz, physician and television personality (1960)
  • Peter Dinklage, actor (1969)
  • Geoff Ogilvy, golfer (1977)
  • Shia LaBeouf, actor (1986)


  • Samuel Whitbread, brewer (1796)
  • Klemens von Metternich, diplomat (1859)
  • Robert E. Howard, fantasy author (1936)
  • Alice Dalgliesh, author (1979)
  • John Wayne, actor (1979)
  • Karen Ann Quinlan, patient in “right to die” case (1985)
  • Chesley Bonestell, astronomical artist (1986)
  • Brigitte Helm, actress (1996)
  • DeForest Kelley, actor (1999)
  • Timothy McVeigh, terrorist (2001)
  • David Brinkley, television journalist (2003)
  • Egon von Fürstenberg, fashion designer (2004)
  • Eliyahu M. Goldratt, physicist and management theorist (2011)
  • Ann Rutherford, actress (2012)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Barnaby Bright Day (Long Barnaby)
  • Davis Day (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada)
  • Devil’s Birthday (Denmark)
  • Eid Al Jala (Ethiopia)
  • Kamehameha Day (Hawaii)
  • King’s Birthday (Nepal)
  • Matralia (ancient Rome)
  • National Day (Libya)
  • National Puerto Rican Day (US)
  • Peace of Chaco Day (Paraguay)
  • St. Barnabas’ Harvest Day (Cyprus)
  • Women’s Suffrage Day (Brazil)
Informal and made-up holidays include Asparagus Day, Dirty Book Day (anniversary of the banning of Lady Chatterley’s Lover by the US Postmaster General, June 11, 1959), German Chocolate Cake Day, Great Barrier Reef Day, Hug Day, Triple Crown Day, and Write to Your Father Day.
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June 11 is the 162nd day of the year (163rd in leap years). There are 203 days remaining until the end of the year.