On This Day in History February 11

February 11 – Events:

  • 660 BC – Traditional founding date of Japan by Emperor Jimmu.
  • 55 – Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman Emperorship, dies under mysterious circumstances in Rome. This clears the way for Nero to become Emperor.
  • 1531 – Henry VIII of England is recognized as supreme head of the Church of England.
  • 1659 – The assault on Copenhagen by Swedish forces is beaten back with heavy losses.
  • 1752 – Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the United States, opens.
  • 1790 – Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitions U.S. Congress for abolition of slavery.
  • 1794 – First session of United States Senate open to the public.
  • 1808 – Anthracite coal is first burned as fuel, experimentally.
  • 1809 – Robert Fulton took out a patent for improvements to steamboat navigation.
  • 1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry gerrymanders for the first time.
  • 1814 – Norway’s independence is proclaimed, marking the ultimate end of the Kalmar Union.
  • 1826 – University College London is founded under the name University of London.
  • 1840 – Gaetano Donizetti’s opera La Fille du Régiment receives its first performance in Paris.
  • 1843 – Giuseppe Verdi’s opera I Lombardi receives its first performance in Milan.
  • 1855 – Kassa Hailu is crowned Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam.
  • 1858 – The Blessed Virgin Mary reputedly appears to Saint Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: United States House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state.
  • 1873 – King Amadeus I of Spain abdicates.
  • 1878 – First US bicycle club, Boston Bicycle Club, forms.
  • 1889 – Meiji constitution of Japan is adopted; the first Diet of Japan convenes in 1890.
  • 1895 – The lowest ever UK temperature of -27.2°C is recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire. This record was equalled on 10 January 1982 and again on 30 December 1995.
  • 1902 – Police assault universal suffrage demonstrators in Brussels.
  • 1903 – Anton Bruckner’s 9th Symphony receives its first performance in Vienna.
  • 1905 – Pope Pius X publishes the encyclical Vehementer nos.
  • 1916 – Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control.
  • 1919 – Friedrich Ebert (SPD), is elected President of Germany.
  • 1929 – Italy and the Vatican sign the Lateran Treaty.
  • 1937 – A 44-day sit-down strike ends when General Motors recognizes the United Auto Workers Union.
  • 1938 – BBC Television produces the world’s first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Capek play R.U.R., which coined the term “robot.”
  • 1939 – Lockheed P-38 flies from California to New York in 7 hours 2 minutes.
  • 1941 – First Gold record is presented to Glenn Miller for “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”
  • 1942 – The Battle of Bukit Timah is fought in Singapore during World War II.
  • 1942 – “Archie” comic book debuts.
  • 1943 – World War II: General Dwight Eisenhower is selected to command the allied armies in Europe.
  • 1948 – John Costello succeeds Éamon de Valera as Taoiseach of Ireland.
  • 1953 – President Dwight Eisenhower refuses clemency appeal for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
  • 1953 – The Soviet Union breaks off diplomatic relations with Israel.
  • 1957 – NHL Players Association forms.
  • 1964 – Greeks and Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus.
  • 1964 – The Republic of China (Taiwan) breaks off diplomatic relations with France.
  • 1964 – Greek & Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus.
  • 1968 – Madison Square Garden III closes; MSG IV opens.
  • 1968 – Israeli-Jordanian border clashes.
  • 1968 – Peggy Fleming wins Olympic figure skating gold medal, Grenoble, France.
  • 1969 – Diana Crump becomes first US woman jockey to ride against men, Hialelah.
  • 1970 – Japan becomes 4th nation to put a satellite (Osumi) in orbit.
  • 1971 – Montreal Candien John Believau scores his 500th NHL goal.
  • 1971 – Eighty-seven countries, including the US, UK, and USSR, sign the Seabed Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons in international waters.
  • 1973 – Vietnam War: First release of American prisoners of war from Vietnam takes place.
  • 1975 – Margaret Thatcher defeats Edward Heath for Conservative leadership.
  • 1978 – Censorship: the People’s Republic of China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, Shakespeare and Dickens.
  • 1979 – Islamic revolution of Iran achieves victory under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
  • 1979 – 43 million watch “Elvis!” on ABC.
  • 1981 – 100,000 gallons (380 m³) of radioactive coolant leak into the containment building of TVA Sequoyah 1 nuclear plant in Tennessee, contaminating 8 workers.
  • 1986 – Rights activist Anatoly Scharansky released by USSR, leaves country.
  • 1987 – Philippines constitution goes into effect.
  • 1988 – Anthony M. Kennedy appointed to the Supreme Court.
  • 1990 – Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner for 27 years, is freed from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 1991 – UNPO, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, forms in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • 1997 – Space Shuttle Discovery is launched on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • 2007 – In Portugal, a national referendum legalizes non-therapeutic abortion when requested by the woman during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
  • 2008 – In East Timor, assassination attempts were made on Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos-Horta. Both failed.

February 11 – Birthdays:

  • 1377 – King Ladislas of Naples (d. 1414)
  • 1380 – Gianfrancesco Poggio Bracciolini, Italian humanist (d. 1459)
  • 1466 – Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII of England (d. 1503)
  • 1535 – Pope Gregory XIV (d. 1591)
  • 1568 – Honoré d’Urfé, French writer (d. 1625)
  • 1649 – William Carstares, Scottish minister (d. 1715)
  • 1657 – Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle, French scientist and man of letters (d. 1757)
  • 1755 – Albert Christoph Dies, German composer (d. 1822)
  • 1764 – Marie-Joseph de Chenier, French poet (d. 1811)
  • 1774 – Hans Järta, Swedish political activist (d. 1847)
  • 1776 – Ioannis Kapodistrias, Greek diplomat of the Russian Empire and first head of state of  independent Greece (d. 1831)
  • 1799 – Basil Moreau, French Founder priest (d. 1873)
  • 1800 – William Henry Fox Talbot, English photographer and inventor (d. 1877)
  • 1802 – Lydia Child, American abolitionist (d. 1880)
  • 1812 – Alexander Hamilton Stephens, American politician (d. 1883)
  • 1813 – Otto Ludwig, German writer and critic (d. 1865)
  • 1819 – Samuel Parkman Tuckerman, American composer (d. 1890)
  • 1821 – Auguste-Édouard Mariette, French Egyptologist (d. 1881)
  • 1830 – Hans Bronsart von Schellendorff, Prussian musician (d. 1913)
  • 1833 – Melville Weston Fuller, 8th Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1910)
  • 1839 – Josiah Willard Gibbs, American physicist (d. 1903)
  • 1847 – Thomas Alva Edison, American inventor (d. 1931)
  • 1860 – Rachilde, French author (d. 1953)
  • 1869 – Helene Kroller-Muller, Dutch museum founder (d. 1939)
  • 1869 – Else Lasker-Schüler, German writer (d. 1945)
  • 1873 – Feodor Chaliapin, Russian singer (d. 1938)
  • 1874 – Fritz Bennicke Hart, English-born composer (d. 1949)
  • 1874 – Elsa Beskow, Swedish author (d. 1953)
  • 1887 – John van Melle, South African writer (d. 1953)
  • 1890 – David Drummond, Australian politician (d. 1965)
  • 1891 – J.W. Hearne English cricketer (d. 1965)
  • 1894 – Alfonso Leng, Chilean composer (d. 1974)
  • 1898 – Leó Szilárd, Hungarian-born physicist (d. 1964)
  • 1900 – Hans-Georg Gadamer, German philosopher (d. 2002)
  • 1900 – Josei Toda, Japanese educator (d. 1958)
  • 1901 – Roddy Connolly, Irish politician, son of James Connolly (d. 1980)
  • 1902 – Arne Jacobsen, Danish architect (d. 1971)
  • 1903 – Hans Redlich, Austrian composer (d. 1968)
  • 1904 – Sir Keith Holyoake, Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1983)
  • 1908 – Philip Dunne, American screenwriter, director and producer (d. 1992)
  • 1908 – Vivian Ernest Fuchs, English geologist (d. 1999)
  • 1909 – Max Baer, American boxer and actor (d. 1959)
  • 1909 – Joseph L. Mankiewicz, American director (d. 1993)
  • 1912 – Roy Fuller, English writer (d. 1991)
  • 1914 – Matt Dennis, American singer (d. 2002)
  • 1915 – Patrick Leigh Fermor, English author
  • 1917 – Sidney Sheldon, American author (d. 2007)
  • 1919 – Eva Gabor, Hungarian-born actress (d. 1995)
  • 1919 – Eddie Robinson, American football coach (d. 2007)
  • 1920 – King Farouk I of Egypt (d. 1965)
  • 1920 – Billy Halop, American actor (d. 1976)
  • 1920 – Daniel “Chappie” James Jr., American general (d. 1978)
  • 1921 – Lloyd Bentsen, American politician (d. 2006)
  • 1921 – Edward Seidensticker, American scholar (d. 2007)
  • 1925 – Kim Stanley, American actress (d. 2001)
  • 1926 – Paul Bocuse, French chef
  • 1926 – Alexander Gibson, British conductor
  • 1926 – Leslie Nielsen, Canadian actor
  • 1930 – Roy De Forest, American Painter (d. 2007)
  • 1931 – Larry Merchant, American sportswriter
  • 1932 – Jerome Lowenthal, American pianist
  • 1932 – Dennis Skinner, British politician
  • 1934 – Mel Carnahan, American politician (d. 2000)
  • 1934 – Tina Louise, American actress
  • 1934 – Mary Quant, English fashion designer
  • 1934 – John Surtees, MBE, English motorcycle and race car driver
  • 1935 – Bent Lorentzen, Danish composer
  • 1935 – Gene Vincent, American musician (d. 1971)
  • 1936 – Burt Reynolds, American actor
  • 1937 – Bill Lawry, Australian cricketer
  • 1937 – Eddie Shack, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1938 – Bevan Congdon, New Zealand cricketer
  • 1938 – Simone de Oliveira, Portuguese actress
  • 1938 – Manuel Noriega, Panamanian general
  • 1938 – Bobby “Boris” Pickett, American singer and songwriter (d. 2007)
  • 1939 – Gerry Goffin, American lyricist
  • 1939 – Jane Yolen, American author
  • 1941 – Sergio Mendes, Brazilian musician
  • 1943 – Serge Lama, French singer
  • 1946 – Ian Porterfield, English footballer (d. 2007)
  • 1947 – Joselito, Spanish singer
  • 1947 – Derek Shulman, English musician
  • 1953 – Philip Anglim, American actor
  • 1953 – Jeb Bush, American politician
  • 1954 – Noriyuki Asakura, Japanese composer
  • 1954 – Wesley Strick, American screenwriter
  • 1956 – H.R., American singer
  • 1956 – Catherine Hickland, American actress
  • 1956 – Didier Lockwood, French violinist
  • 1959 – Roberto Moreno, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1960 – Nick Currie, Scottish musician
  • 1961 – Mary Docter, American speed skater
  • 1961 – Carey Lowell, American actress
  • 1962 – Tammy Baldwin, American politician
  • 1962 – Sheryl Crow, American musician
  • 1962 – Eric Vanderaerden, Belgian cyclist
  • 1963 – José Mari Bakero, Spanish footballer
  • 1963 – Diane Franklin, American actress
  • 1964 – Ken Shamrock, American martial artist
  • 1965 – Vicki Wilson, Australian netballer
  • 1967 – Uwe Daßler, German swimmer
  • 1967 – Hank Gathers, American basketball player (d. 1990)
  • 1967 – Scott Shay, American linguist
  • 1969 – Jennifer Aniston, American actress
  • 1970 – Fredrik Thordendal, Swedish musician
  • 1971 – Damian Lewis, British actor
  • 1972 – Brian Daubach, American baseball player
  • 1972 – Craig Jones, American musician
  • 1972 – Steve Mcmanaman, English footballer
  • 1972 – Kelly Slater, American surfer
  • 1973 – Ethan Iverson, jazz pianist
  • 1973 – Jeon Do-yeon, Korean actress
  • 1973 – Varg Vikernes, Norwegian musician
  • 1974 – D’Angelo, American singer
  • 1974 – Alex Jones, American radio host
  • 1974 – Zain Verjee, American newsreporter
  • 1975 – Jacque Vaughn, American basketball player
  • 1976 – Brice Beckham, American actor
  • 1976 – André Wickström, Finland-Swedish comedian and actor
  • 1977 – Mike Shinoda, American singer, Linkin Park, Fort Minor
  • 1979 – Brandy, American singer and actress
  • 1980 – Marco Bresciano, Australian soccer player
  • 1980 – Titi Buengo, Angolan footballer
  • 1980 – Matthew Lawrence, American actor
  • 1980 – Cormac McAnallen, Northern Irish Gaelic footballer (d. 2004)
  • 1981 – Kelly Rowland, American singer
  • 1981 – Scot Thompson, American soccer player
  • 1982 – Neil Robertson, Australian snooker player
  • 1983 – Nicki Clyne, Canadian actress
  • 1983 – Huang Shengyi, Chinese actress
  • 1983 – Rafael Van der Vaart, Dutch footballer
  • 1984 – Matt Good, American musician
  • 1984 – Aubrey O’Day, American singer
  • 1985 – William Beckett, American singer
  • 1985 – Mike Richards, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1990 – Princess Ayah of Jordan
  • 1992 – Taylor Lautner, American actor
  • 1992 – Blair Dunlop, English actor

February 11 – Deaths:

  • 641 – Heraclius, Emperor of Byzantium
  • 731 – Pope Gregory II
  • 821 – Saint Benedict of Aniane
  • 824 – Pope Paschal I
  • 1141 – Hugo of St. Victor, German philosopher and theologian
  • 1160 – Minamoto no Yoshitomo, Japanese general (b. 1123)
  • 1503 – Elizabeth of York, queen consort of Henry VII of England (b. 1466)
  • 1511 – Henry, Duke of Cornwall, son of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
  • 1626 – Pietro Cataldi, Italian mathematician (b. 1552)
  • 1650 – René Descartes, French philosopher (b. 1596)
  • 1685 – David Teniers III, Flemish painter (b. 1638)
  • 1713 – Jahandar Shah, Mughal emperor of India (b. 1664)
  • 1755 – Francesco Scipione, marchese di Maffei, Italian archaeologist (b. 1675)
  • 1762 – Johann Tobias Krebs, German composer (b. 1690)
  • 1763 – William Shenstone, English poet (b. 1714)
  • 1797 – Antoine Dauvergne, French composer (b. 1713)
  • 1829 – Alexandr Griboyedov, Russian playwright (b. 1795)
  • 1862 – Elizabeth Siddal, British poet and artist (b. 1829)
  • 1868 – Léon Foucault, French astronomer (b. 1819)
  • 1879 – Honoré Daumier, French caricaturist and painter (b. 1808)
  • 1917 – Oswaldo Cruz, Brazilian physician (b. 1872)
  • 1923 – Wilhelm Killing, German mathematician (b. 1847)
  • 1931 – Charles Algernon Parsons, British inventor (b. 1854)
  • 1939 – Franz Schmidt, Austrian composer (b. 1874)
  • 1940 – John Buchan, Governor-General of Canada (b. 1875)
  • 1945 – Al Dubin, Swiss songwriter (b. 1891)
  • 1948 – Sergei Eisenstein, Latvian film director (b. 1898)
  • 1958 – Ernest Jones, British psychonanalyst (b. 1879}
  • 1959 – Marshall Teague, American race car driver (b. 1922)
  • 1963 – Sylvia Plath, American writer (b. 1932)
  • 1968 – Howard Lindsay, American playwright (b. 1888)
  • 1972 – Jan Wils, Dutch architect (b. 1891)
  • 1973 – Hans D Jensen, German physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1907)
  • 1975 – Richard Ratsimandrava, Malagasy soldier and statesman, assassinated (b. 1931)
  • 1976 – Lee J Cobb, American actor (b. 1911)
  • 1976 – Alexander Lippisch, German scientist (b. 1894)
  • 1976 – Frank Arnau, German writer (b. 1894)
  • 1977 – Louis Beel, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (b. 1902)
  • 1978 – James B Conant, American chemist and university president (b. 1893)
  • 1978 – Harry Martinson, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1904)
  • 1982 – Eleanor Powell, American actress and dancer (b. 1912)
  • 1982 – Takashi Shimura, Japanese actor (b. 1905)
  • 1985 – Ben Abruzzo, American businessman and balloonist (b. 1930)
  • 1985 – Henry Hathaway, American actor and director (b. 1898)
  • 1985 – Heinz Eric Roemheld, American composer (b. 1901)
  • 1986 – Frank Herbert, American author (b. 1920)
  • 1986 – Evelio Javier, Filipino politician, lawyer, and civil servant (b. 1942)
  • 1987 – Sadequain, famous Pakistani painter and artist. (b. 1930)
  • 1989 – George O’Hanlon, American actor and director (b. 1912)
  • 1991 – Robert W. Holley, American biochemist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1922)
  • 1994 – Neil Bonnett, American race car driver (b. 1946)
  • 1994 – Sorrell Booke, American actor (b. 1930)
  • 1994 – William Conrad, American actor (b. 1920)
  • 1996 – Kebby Musokotwane, Prime Minister of Zambia (b. 1946)
  • 1996 – Cyril Poole, English cricketer (b. 1921)
  • 1996 – Amelia Rosselli, Italian poet (b. 1930)
  • 1997 – Barry Evans, English actor (b. 1943)
  • 1997 – Don Porter, American actor (b. 1912)
  • 2000 – Roger Vadim, French director (b. 1928)
  • 2000 – Jacqueline Auriol, French aviatrix (b. 1917)
  • 2002 – Frank Crosetti, baseball player (b. 1910)
  • 2002 – Barry Foster, British actor (b. 1931)
  • 2004 – Shirley Strickland, Australian athlete (b. 1925)
  • 2005 – Jack L. Chalker, American author (b. 1944)
  • 2006 – Jockey Shabalala, South African singer (b. 1943)
  • 2006 – Peter Benchley, American author (b. 1940)
  • 2006 – Jackie Pallo, wrestler (b. 1926)
  • 2007 – Marianne Fredriksson, a Swedish author (b. 1927)
  • 2008 – Tom Lantos, member of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1928)
  • 2008 – Frank Piasecki, American aeronautical designer (b. 1919)

February 11 – Holidays:

  • Catholicism – Feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes
  • National Foundation Day in Japan
  • National Youth Day in Cameroon
  • National Inventors’ Day in the United States.
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