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.
1915   Despite international protests, Edith Cavell, an English nurse in Belgium, is executed by Germans for aiding the escape of Allied prisoners.
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.