Today in History: October 11. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

Today in History

October 11

1531 The Catholics defeat the Protestants at Kappel during Switzerland’s second civil war.
1540 Charles V of Milan puts his son Philip in control.
1727 George II of England crowned.
1795 In graditude for putting down a rebellion in the streets of Paris, France’s National Convention appoints Napoleon Bonaparte second in command of the Army of the Interior.
1862 The Confederate Congress in Richmond passes a draft law allowing anyone owning 20 or more slaves to be exempt from military service. This law confirms many southerners opinion that they are in a ‘rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.’
1877 Outlaw Wild Bill Longley, who killed at least a dozen men, is hanged, but it took two tries; on the first try, the rope slipped and his knees drug the ground.
1899 South African Boers, settler from the Netherlands, declare war on Great Britain.
1906 San Francisco school board orders the segregation of Oriental schoolchildren, inciting Japanese outrage.
1942 In the Battle of Cape Esperance, near the Solomon Islands, U.S. cruisers and destroyers decisively defeat a Japanese task force in a night surface encounter.
1945 Negotiations between Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek and Communist leader Mao Tse-tung break down. Nationalist and Communist troops are soon engaged in a civil war.
1950 The Federal Communications Commission authorizes the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) to begin commercial color TV broadcasts.
1962 Pope John XXIII opens the 21st Ecumenical Council (Vatican II) with a call for Christian unity. This is the largest gathering of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in history; among delegate-observers are representatives of major Protestant denominations, in itself a sign of sweeping change.
1968 Apollo 7, with three men aboard, is successfully launched from Cape Kennedy.
1972 A French mission in Vietnam is destroyed by a U.S. bombing raid.
1972 Race riot breaks out aboard carrier USS Kitty Hawk off Vietnam during Operation Linebacker.
1975 Saturday Night Live comedy-variety show premiers on NBC, with guest host comedian George Carlin and special guests Janis Ian, Andy Kaufman and Billy Preston; at this writing (2013) the show is still running.
1976 The so-called “Gang of Four,” Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s widow and three associates, are arrested in Peking, setting in motion an extended period of turmoil in the Chinese Communist Party.
1984 Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan, part of the crew of Space Shuttle Challenger, becomes the first American woman to walk in space.
1987 Operation Pawan by Indian Peace Keeping Force begins in Sri Lanka; thousands of Tamil citizens, along with hundreds of Tamil Tigers militants and Indian Army soldiers will die in the operation.
1991 Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas begin.
2000 NASA launches its 100th Space Shuttle mission.
2001 The Polaroid Corporation, which had provided shutterbugs with photo prints in minutes with its “instant cameras” since 1947, files for bankruptcy.
Born on October 11
1820 Sir George Williams, founder of the YMCA.
1844 Henry Heinz, manufacturer, founder of H.J. Heinz Co.
1884 Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Roosevelt.
1885 Francois Mauriac, Nobel Prize-winning novelist.
1887 Willie Hoppe, billiards champion.
1910 Joseph Alsop, American journalist.
1918 Jerome Robbins, choreographer, won Oscar for West Side Story.
1925 Elmore Leonard, author, screenwriter (Get Shorty, Mr. Majestyk).
1928 Roscoe Robinson Jr., first African American to attain 4-star general status in the US Army.
1932 Dottie West, influential female country singer, songwriter; won Grammy for “Here Comes My Baby Back Again” (1965).
1936 James M. McPherson, historian specializing in the American Civil War; won Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom (1989).
1946 Daryl Hall, singer, songwriter, musician, producer; lead vocalist of Hall & Oates (“Rich Girl,” “Maneater”).
1957 Paul Sereno, paleontologist; discovered several new dinosaur species (including Sarcosuchus imperator, “SuperCroc”) on various continents.

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