On this Day June 11
1988 – London’s Wembley Stadium hosts Freedomfest, a concert celebrating the 70th birthday of imprisoned anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. Performers include Whitney Houston, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, Stevie Wonder, Tracy Chapman, George Michael, Eric Clapton, UB40, The Eurythmics and Simple Minds. The concert is broadcast to as many as a billion people in 67 countries.
1955 – Carnage at Le Mans, as an Austin-Healey and Mercedes-Benz collide, showering flaming wreckage onto spectators. Eighty-two people are killed and at least 100 injured in one of auto racing’s worst accidents.
1962 – Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin become the only prisoners to successfully escape from Alcatraz prison. No one ever saw or heard from them again, although there were multiple unconfirmed sightings over the years.
1963 – President John F. Kennedy issues a proclamation forcing Alabama Governor George Wallace to comply with federal court orders allowing two African-American students to register for classes at the University of Alabama. That evening, Kennedy delivers a nationally broadcast address urging every American to “examine his conscience” on civil rights.
1982 – Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” opens in U.S. theaters and becomes a box office bonanza. The movie launches the career of actress Drew Barrymore, and in 1994, is selected for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
1969 – Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Peter Dinklage (“Death at a Funeral,” “The Station Agent,” “Elf,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” “Pixels,” “Game of Thrones”)
Own a Piece of This Day
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Starring Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore and Dee Wallace, and directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr and Madeline Kahn, and directed by Mel Brooks