This Week In History: June 11-17


This week in history: Monks protested and Great Smoky Mountains dedicated. Read more below and dive deeper with The Great Courses Plus.

June 11, 1963 – Buddhist Monk Immolates Himself in Protest

Buddhist monk Quang Duc publicly burned himself to death in public as part of a protest. He was protesting the persecution of Buddhist by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngo Dihn Diem. Pictures of Quang Duc’s self-immolation were spread widely around the world, bringing more attention to the oppression Buddhists were facing.

Thus increased international pressure on Diem who  who announced reforms, however these reforms were never implemented, leading many monks to follow in the footsteps of Quang Duc.

In 1963 a military coup led to Diem’s assassination.

Learn more about Buddhism in Great World Religions: Buddhism  

June 15, 1934 – Great Smoky Mountain National Park is Dedicated

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park stands between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The park was charted by the United States Congress in 1934 and officially dedicated by President Roosevelt in 1940. It is one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States covering 522,419 acres.  

Learn more about the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and other National Parks in Wonder of the National Parks: A Geology of North America