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5 Fun Facts About June 11 In New York History

---Learn Every Day: NY Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ny To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee to draft a declaration of independence from Great Britain. The committee consisted of five members, including Thomas Jefferson, who was eventually chosen to write the document that would become the Declaration of Independence.

2. In 1847, Alexander Twilight became the first African American to graduate from a U.S. college. Twilight received his degree from Middlebury College in Vermont, but he later moved to New York and worked as a teacher and minister.

3. In 1929, the first Heisman Trophy was awarded to Jay Berwanger, a running back from the University of Chicago. The trophy is named after former New York City athletic director John Heisman.

4. In 1963, Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire in Saigon, Vietnam to protest the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. The self-immolation sparked protests around the world, including in New York City, where more than 500 people gathered to call for an end to the war.

5. In 1972, the notorious gangster and FBI informant, Gregory Scarpa, also known as "The Grim Reaper," was arrested on drug charges in Brooklyn, New York. Scarpa was believed to be responsible for several murders, but he avoided prosecution by providing information to the FBI.
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