This Weekend In History…

June 11, 1805

A fire that started in the morning burned Detroit to the ground by afternoon. All that remained were a few brick chimneys. The fire is believed to have started when a local baker failed to extinguish the ashes from his pipe when he knocked the tobacco out. The residents tried to save the city by engaging in a “bucket brigade,” in which a line of people formed between the river and the burning buildings, passing buckets of water to throw on the fire, but it was to no avail. Amazingly, no one died in the fire.

June 12, 1994

Football Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson‘s ex-wife and her friend Ronald Goldman are murdered at her home. Simpson was later arrested for the murders and then subsequently found not guilty in what was called “The Trial of the Century.” Goldman was there returning glasses Nicole’s mother had left at the restaurant where he worked.

June 13, 1981

17-year-old Marcus Sarjeant ran up to Queen Elizabeth II and fired 6 blanks from a starting pistol at her as she rode horseback along The Mall to the Trooping the Colour ceremony marking her official birthday. The Queen’s horse Burmese was startled, but neither were harmed. Sarjeant had tried, but failed, to get ammo for his father’s pistol. He had sent a letter to Buckingham Palace which read “Your Majesty. Don’t go to the Trooping the Colour ceremony because there is an assassin set up to kill you, waiting just outside the palace”. However, the letter didn’t arrive until three days after the ceremony. Sarjeant said he had been inspired by the assassination of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman, and the attempts on the lives of Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, noting how easily Chapman had become famous. Sarjeant had written “I am going to stun and mystify the world. I will become the most famous teenager in the world.” Sarjeant was convicted of treason and sentenced to 5 years on prison.