June 11, 1184 BCE — The Trojan War ends

At least, according to the calculations of Eratosthenes, it ended on this date.

You know the story: Paris and Helen, Menelaus and Agamemnon, Hector and Achilles, Ulysses and a huge wooden horse. Ten years of war before the walls of Troy, ended finally by gambling on a deception.

In the end, the Greeks swept in, destroying the city and leaving very few survivors. Legend holds that some of them went to Carthage, and then to found Rome; another group of survivors founded London. Being descended from a Trojan was like the first millennium equivalent of being descended from convicts in Australia is today – it was thought cool.

J G Trautmann Das brennende Troja.jpg
By Johann Georg Trautmann (1713–1769) – http://www.zeller.de/, Public Domain, Link

As mentioned in:

I Stole A Bride — Hefner
Troy — Sinead O’Connor
And Then There Was Silence — Blind Guardian

June 11, 323 BCE — Alexander the Great dies in Babylon

The reason for Alexander’s untimely end – he was one month short of his 33rd birthday – is unknown. The three leading theories are poisoning, a relapse of malaria or some sort of illness brought on by feasting on May 29. Alexander took ill right after that feast, and never left his bed again afterwards. He died on either the 10th or 11th or June.

Alexander’s death was also the death knell of his empire. Over the next five decades, the empire would fall into civil war, and by 270 BCE it would have devolved into three successor states, the Antigonid Empire in Greece; the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt, Palestine and Cyrenaica; and the Seleucid Empire in Mesopotamia and Persia. The former two would be wholly absorbed by Roman expansion over the next three centuries, along with the western half of the territory of the Seleucid Empire.

June 11, 1979 — John Wayne dies

Marion Robert Morrison, better known as John Wayne, was the cowboy. In the course of his fifty year career, he appeared in more than 170 films such as “The Searchers”, “The Alamo”, “The Green Berets”, “High Noon”, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “True Grit”. He was also instrumental in getting “Blazing Saddles” filmed, although he felt that he couldn’t appear in it without destroying his career – as the iconic cowboy, appearing the ultimate satire of the Western genre might not have gone over well with his fans.

Wayne had developed cancer of the lung in 1964, and while that cleared up, he then developed cancer of the stomach, which would prove fatal. While there is a persistent rumour that he developed cancer as a result of exposure to radioactive fallout while filming “The Conqueror” in 1956, Wayne himself blamed his six pack a day smoking habit.

John Wayne - still portrait.jpg
By Unknown photographer – <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”http://www.ebay.com/itm/JOHN-WAYNE-movie-photo-lot-of-19-/370608975072?pt=Art_Photo_Images&amp;hash=item564a042ce0″>eBay</a>, Public Domain, Link

As mentioned in:

Asshole — Denis Leary