This Day In History, June 1st

What happened on this day in history: Marilyn Monroe is born in 1926, pioneering disability activist Helen Keller dies, and more.

1533: Anne Boleyn Is Crowned Queen Of England

Anne Boleyn is crowned queen of England. Her coronation came a decade after she first met King Henry VIII, who left his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to be with her. But Anne’s queenship was short-lived as Henry had her executed in 1536 after they were unable to produce a male heir.

1910: Terra Nova Expedition Begins

The ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition to Antarctica begins.

1926: Marilyn Monroe Is Born

Today In History June 1

Wikimedia CommonsMarilyn Monroe in her iconic white dress from The Seven Year Itch (1955).

Norma Jeane Mortenson, later known as Marilyn Monroe, is born in Los Angeles, California. A movie star, cultural icon, and enduring sex symbol, Monroe starred in classic films like Some Like It Hot (1959) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) before tragically dying at the age of just 36 following an accidental overdose of barbiturates in 1962.

1926: Ronald Hunkeler, Inspiration For “The Exorcist,” Is Born

Ronald Hunkeler, the boy who inspired the movie “The Exorcist,” is born in Cottage City, Maryland. At just 14-years-old, Hunkeler began experiencing paranormal phenomena. His family reached out to religious institutions after medical services couldn’t find anything wrong with him. While in St. Louis, Hunkeler underwent several exorcisms that his family reported were successful. He lived out the rest of his life as a NASA engineer and died at the age of 86. His exorcism story would inspire the blockbuster “The Exorcist.”

1942: News Of Nazi Death Camps First Becomes Public

The Liberty Brigade, a Warsaw-based underground newspaper, becomes the first outlet to publish stories about the existence of Nazi death camps. Six months earlier, the Wannsee Conference had made the extermination of European Jews an official policy of the Nazi regime, and it was now officially underway. And by the end of the war, an estimated 11 million people were killed in these camps.

1968: Helen Keller Dies

Helen Keller

Public DomainHelen Keller in 1888 with her teacher, Anne Sullivan.

Helen Keller dies in Easton, Connecticut, at the age of 87. Deaf and blind from a young age — possibly following a bout with scarlet fever — Keller shattered popular perceptions of the disabled via her ability to learn. She later became a famous writer, educator, and disability rights advocate.