News, Events, Birthdays, History - June 11 - June 17

Birthdays

Vince Lombardi - June 11, 1913
Legendary football coach, Lombardi led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL titles and two Super Bowls in nine years.  He was generally regarded as one of the greatest coaches and motivators in the history of the game.   Lombardi's popularity was so great that Richard Nixon supposedly considered him as a running mate for the 1968 election - until aides reminded him that the coach was a Democrat who actively campaigned for Democratic candidates in Wisconsin.

George Herbert Walker Bush - June 12, 1924
The first President Bush is 85 years old today.  The 43rd Vice-President of the United States (1981 - 1989)  and 41st President (1989-1993) was born in Milton, Massachusetts, and is one of only two Presidents with a son that also became President.    Do you know who the other one was?

Anne Frank - June 12, 1929
Anne and her family moved to Amsterdam Anne Frank in 1933 after the Nazis gained power in Germany, and were trapped by the occupation of the Netherlands, which began in 1940. As persecutions against the Jewish population increased, the family went into hiding in July 1942 in hidden rooms in her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Anne died seven months after her arrest.   Her diary chronicles her life from June 1942 until August 1944. It has been translated into many languages, has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films.

Events

June 12, 1987 - "Tear Down This Wall" Speech 
On this date, President Ronald Reagan gave one of the most powerful and oft-quoted speeches of his career.  He was challenging Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to allow increased freedoms for Soviet Eastern Bloc countries.  The Berlin Wall had become a symbol of  communist oppression.    The most famous quote from the speech: 
"We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Three years later, the Berlin wall was destroyed.


June 14 - 15, 1919 - First Non-Stop Transatlantic Flight
British pilots John Alcock and Arthur Brown took off from St. Johns, Newfoundland at about 1:45 p.m. on June 14th, and landed ( Transatlantic Flight
crash-landed, actually) in Ireland at 8:40 a.m. on the 15th.  They flew 1,890 miles in 16 hours and 27 minutes at an average speed of 115 mph. 
The flight skirted disaster several times as the pilots dealth with engine trouble, fog, snow and ice.  Today's airliners are equipped with automatic de-icing systems to keep the wings and flight surfaces free from ice buildup.  On this flight, Arthur Brown had to continually climb out on the wings to remove ice from engine air intakes.  Snow occasionally filled the cockpit.  Upon arrival they attempted to land in what had appeared to be a suitable green field, but it turned out to be a marshy peat bog.  The aircraft was badly damaged, but the pilots were unhurt, and they went on to be recognized as heroes and win several cash awards for their efforts. 
 
June 16, 1960 - Alfred Hitchcock's film "Psycho" Premiers
Anthony Perkins starred as 'Norman Bates' in this now-famous movie.  The film initially received mixed reviews,  but outstanding box office returns prompted a re-review which was overwhelmingly positive and led to four Academy Award nominations. Today, the movie is considered one of Hitchcock's best films and is highly praised as a work of cinematic art by international critics.   The film spawned several sequels and a remake.

June 17, 1775 - The Battle of Bunker Hill
Two months earlier the American Colonists had inflicted serious casualties on British troops as they ventured out to Concord and Lexingto Bunker Hilln, Massachusetts.  Since that time, the British had remained within Boston, and on the night of June 16th, 1200 colonists began to fortify the area around Bunker Hill.  These fortifications posed an immediate threat to the British troops in Boston, and the next morning an attack began. 
Though the result was a victory for the British, they suffered their greatest losses of the entire war: over 800 wounded and 226 killed, including a notably large number of officers.  After the battle, British General Henry Clinton remarked in his diary that "A few more such victories would have surely put an end to British dominion in America."
Little-known fact - though historically referred to as the Battle of Bunker Hill, most of the fighting took place on nearby Breeds Hill.

June 17, 1972 - Watergate Arrests
Five men, known as the "White House plumbers," broke into the Watergate apartment and office complex on June 17, 1972. The Richard Nixonwell-trained burglars' mission was to raid Democratic Party offices in the complex and obtain secret documents pertaining to the presidential election.   They were caught and arrested, and subsequent investigations revealed the involvement of E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy in planning the break-in, and possible connections to the White House and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).   The break-in and subsequent attempts to cover up the facts led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon just over two years later.