• On June 8, 632, in Saudi Arabia, Muhammad, founder of Islam, dies in the arms of Aishah, his third wife. In 610, in a cave north of Mecca, Muhammad had a vision in which he heard God command him to become the Arab prophet of the “true religion.” He began having religious revelations, which he collected as the Qur’an.
• On June 5, 1933, the United States goes off the gold standard, a monetary system in which currency is backed by gold. The Great Depression of the 1930s had frightened the public into hoarding gold. Roosevelt ordered all gold coins and gold certificates in denominations of more than $100 turned in for other money.
• On June 4, 1942, the Battle of Midway — one of the most decisive U.S. victories against Japan during World War II — begins. During the four-day sea-and-air battle, the U.S. Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers while losing only one of its own.
• On June 9, 1956, one of the world’s top-selling crime novelists, Patricia Cornwell, best known for her forensic pathologist character Dr. Kay Scarpetta, is born in Miami. Cornwell’s first novel, “Postmortem,” was released in 1990.
• On June 7, 1962, the banking institution Credit Suisse opens the first drivethrough bank in Zurich, Switzerland. The drivethrough featured eight glass pavilions and a sensor on the ground that activated a light trail that directed drivers to the next available bay.
• On June 6, 1981, more than 500 passengers are killed when their train plunges into the Baghmati River in India. The rail accident was caused by an engineer who braked too hard to keep from hitting a cow that was crossing the tracks over a bridge. Seven cars derailed into the river.
(c) 2012 King Features Synd.