It happened today – this day in history – August 11

1492: Rodrigo de Borja becomes Pope Alexander VI.

1597: Germany throws out English sales people.

1786: Captain Francis Light establishes the British colony of Penang in Malaysia.

1858: First ascent of the Eiger in the Swiss Alps.

1863: Cambodia becomes a French protectorate.

1896: Harvey Hubbell patents electric light bulb socket with a pull chain.

1908: Edward VII meets with his cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany – the main point of contention is the increasing size of the German navy.

1914: Animation is patented by John Bray.

1934: The first federal prisoners arrive at Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.

1940: German air raid on Dorset ports Portland and Weymouth.

1942: The SS begins exterminating 3,500 Jews in Zelov Lodz, Poland.

1944: Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in Italy.

1945: The Allies refuse Japan’s offer to surrender on the condition that Emperor Hirohito retains his status.

1950: Ethel Rosenberg testifies before a grand jury in the US on allegations of spying for the Soviet Union.

1952: Hussein Ibn Talal I, is proclaimed King of Jordan.

1954: A formal peace treaty ends over seven years of fighting in Indochina between the French and the Communist Viet Minh.

1956: Abstract artist Jackson Pollack dies in a car crash.

1960: Chad declares Independence from France.

1962: Andrian G Nikolayev, becomes the third Russian in space aboard Vostok 3.

1963: Four ANC political detainees escape from Pretoria Central prison in South Africa.

1964: The Beatles begin recording their fourth album Beatles For Sale at EMI studios, Abbey Road.

1965: Six days of rioting starts in the Watts area of Los Angeles.

1966: At a press conference in Chicago, a visibly uncomfortable John Lennon apologises for his comments in a British newspaper interview where he said The Beatles were bigger than Jesus.

1967: Beginning of the three-day Reading Festival featuring The Small Faces, The ,Move, Pink Floyd, Amen Corner, Donovan, Jeff Beck and Cream.

1968: The Beatles launch the Apple Records label. On the same day, last main-line steam passenger train service runs in Britain.


1970: Two RUC officers are killed by the IRA when they set off a booby trap bomb planted in a car near Crossmaglen, Co Armagh.

1971: Prime Minister Edward Heath steers the British yachting team to Admiral’s Cup victory at the helm of his yacht Morning Cloud.

1972: Two IRA members are killed when a bomb they are transporting explodes prematurely.

1974: Lee Trevino wins the PGA Men’s Golf Championship.

1978: The funeral of Pope Paul VI is held at the Vatican.

1979: Led Zeppelin play their last ever UK show when they appear at Knebworth House, Stevenage.

1982: East End gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray have been allowed out of prison for their mother Violet’s funeral in Chingford.

1984: Carl Lewis matches Jesse Owens’ 1936 feat by winning his fourth Olympic gold medal as part of the US 4 x100m relay team in LA. On the same day, Sebastian Coe edges Steve Cram to become the only man to successfully defend his Olympic 1,500m title. Also,during a radio voice test, US President Ronald Reagan jokes he has “signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

1985: Singles chart:

  1. Into The Groove – Madonna
  2. Holiday – Madonna
  3. I Got You Babe – UB40 ft Chrissie Hynde
  4. We Don;t Need Another Hero – Tina Turner
  5. Money For Nothing – Dire Straits
  6. There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) – Eurythmics
  7. White Wedding – Billy Idol
  8. Drive – The Cars
  9. Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush
  10. Don Quixote – Nik Kershaw
1985: Madonna – Like A Virgin

Album chart:

  1. Now That’s What I Call Music 5 – Various Artists
  2. Like A Virgin – Madonna
  3. Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
  4. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
  5. Be Yourself Tonight – Eurythmics
  6. Songs From The Big Chair – Tears For Fears
  7. The Kenny Rogers Story – Kenny Rogers
  8. No Jacket Required – Phil Collins
  9. The Unforgettable Fire – U2
  10. Madonna – Madonna

1987: France and Britain send minesweepers to the Persian Gulf.

1988: Al-Qaeda is formed at a meeting between Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, Abdullah Azzam and others in Peshawar, Pakistan.

1989: Three members of L.L. Cool J’s crew are arrested and charged with raping a 15 year-old girl after a concert when the victim had won a backstage pass in a radio contest. On the same day, Voyager 2 discovers two partial rings of Neptune.

1990: Egyptian and Moroccan troops land in Saudi Arabia to prevent an Iraqi invasion.

1991: Hezbollah release US hostage Edward Tracy.

1993: Pope John Paul II visits Mexico.

1994: Death of actor Peter Cushing, aged 81.

1998: Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian National Authority president, Yasser Arafat, arrives in Cape Town on his first state visit to South Africa at the invitation of President Nelson Mandela.

1999: People in Europe and Asia witness the last total solar eclipse of the century.

2000: Madonna gives birth to a baby boy, Rocco Ritchie, at The Cedars-Sinai Hospital Beverly Hills.

2003: NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.

2014: Comedian ad actor Robin Williams commits suicide aged 63.

2016: A Greenland shark is declared the oldest vertebrate animal in the world at 392 years by an international team of scientists.

BIRTHDAYS: Mike Hugg, drummer (Manfred Mann) 79; Ian McDiarmid, actor, 77; Eric Carmen, singer-songwriter, 72; Steve Wozniak, Co-founder of Apple Computers, 71; Bob Mothersbaugh, musician (DEVO) 69; Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea), wrestler, 68; Joe Jackson, singer-songwriter, 67;Viola Davis, actress, 56; Embeth Davidtz, actress, 56; Nigel Martyn, goalkeeper, 55; Ashley Jensen, actress, 52; Andy Bell, guitarist (Oasis/Ride) 51; Nigel Harman, actor, 48; Sandi Thom, singer-songwriter, 40; Chris Hemsworth, actor, 38; Alyson Stoner, actress, 28.