Today in History, June 11

By AAP and agencies
2015 - Legendary British actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93

HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE

1509 - Troops of Florence take Pisa in Italy; King Henry VIII of England marries the first of his six wives, Catherine of Aragon.

1770 - Endeavour, sailed by Captain James Cook, runs aground on reef off northern Queensland, near present-day Cooktown.

1863 - Electric lighting makes a surprise early appearance when Sydney's Observatory Hill and the Post Office building are lit to celebrate the marriage of the Prince of Wales.

1898 - Emperor Kuang-Hsu of China begins 100 days of Reform in effort to modernise China, but conservative forces soon squelch the attempt.

1955 - Eighty people are killed and more than 100 injured when three cars crash on the Le Mans racetrack in France and plough into a grandstand.

1963 - Buddhist monk Quang Duc immolates himself on a Saigon street to protest against the government of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. In the US, State Governor George Wallace allows the enrolment of two black students at the University of Alabama after he first blocked their entry by standing in front of the door.

1964 - The Beatles land in Sydney at the start of an Australian tour marked by screaming crowds.

1975 - The first test pumping of oil from Britain's North Sea oil fields begins.

1979 - Death of film legend John Wayne (born Marion Michael Morrison), aged 72.

1981 - Earthquake in southeast Iran kills at least 1500 people.

1985 - Karen Ann Quinlan, a comatose patient whose case prompted a historic right-to-die court decision, dies in New Jersey, aged 31.

1986 - A divided US Supreme Court strikes down a Pennsylvania abortion law while reaffirming its 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.

1987 - Margaret Thatcher becomes the first British prime minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term of office as her Conservatives hold onto a reduced majority.

1988 - Syrian-backed dissidents battle with loyalists of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at two devastated refugee camps in west Beirut.

1995 - A bomb explodes at an outdoor music festival in Medellin, Colombia, spraying shrapnel that kills at least 28 people and wounds more than 200 others.

1996 - Native title case of the Wik people begins in the High Court in Canberra.

1998 - Mitsubishi Motors in the US agrees to pay $US34 million ($A51.92 million) to settle allegations that women on the assembly line at its Illinois factory were groped and insulted and that managers did nothing to stop it.

2001 - Timothy McVeigh is put to death by lethal injection for the deaths of 168 people in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.

2004 - A Bosnian Serb government commission admits that Serb forces murdered thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995 - a massacre the government had always denied.

2005 - The world's richest countries agree to write off more than $US40 billion ($A53.57 billion) of debt owed by the poorest nations as part of a British-led effort to lift Africa out of poverty.

2009 - The World Health Organisation says swine flu is now formally a pandemic, a declaration that speeds vaccine production and spurs government spending to combat the first global flu epidemic in 41 years.

2012 - A coroner in Darwin finds that a dingo killed nine-week-old Azaria Chamberlain while the family was on a camping trip at Ayers Rock in 1980. The packed courtroom - in what is the fourth coronial and final inquest into the matter - erupts into applause.

2015 - Rupert Murdoch steps down as CEO of 21st Century Fox in favour of son James. British actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93.

2016 - A 22-year-old Dutch woman is held in Qatar on suspicion of adultery after she said she was raped while on holiday there.

2017 - A US-led coalition airstrike hits a field hospital and mosque in an Islamic State-held area in eastern Syria, killing at least eight civilians, a monitoring group says.

2018 - Workers paid to demolish an uninhabited house in Brittany, France, discover 600 gold coins in a mysterious shell-shaped container in the cellar. They're dated 1870 and bear the face of then-reigning king of Belgium, Leopold II.

2019 - Professor Adrian Cheok, who ran as a Fraser Anning candidate in the federal election and advocates sex with robots, is awarded a Queen's Birthday honour.

Today's Birthday

Ben Jonson, English poet and playwright (1572-1637); John Constable, British artist (1776-1837); Julia Margaret Cameron, British photographer (1815-1879); Millicent G Fawcett, British suffragette (1847-1929); Richard Strauss, German composer (1864-1949); Kawabata Yasunari, Japanese novelist and Nobel laureate (1899-1972); Jacques-Yves Cousteau, French underwater explorer (1910-1997); Gene Wilder, US actor (1933-2016); Robin Warren, Australian pathologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (1937-); Jackie Stewart, British motor racing champion (1939-); Frank Beard, US musician of ZZ Top fame (1949-); Joe Montana, American football great (1954-); Hugh Laurie, English actor (1959-); Jean Alesi, French Formula One driver (1964-); Geoff Ogilvy, Australian golfer (1977-); Joshua Jackson, US actor (1978-); Amy Taylor, Australian soccer player, TV presenter and model (1979-); Shia LaBeouf, American actor (1986-).

Quote from History:

Neither in the life of the individual nor in that of mankind is it desirable to know the future - Jakob Burckhardt, Swiss historian (1818-1897).