Today in History: October 11

Today in History: October 11

Pick a day:

October 10 October 12

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

Race riot breaks out aboard carrier USS Kitty Hawk off Vietnam during Operation Linebacker.

1972

A French mission in Vietnam is destroyed by a U.S. bombing raid.

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.