It happened today – this day in history – December 11

1282: Llywelyn ab Gruffydd/Llywelyn the last native Prince of Wales is killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, south Wales.

1395: John “Eleanor” Rykener, a male cross-dressing prostitute, is brought to court in London for “committing that detestable unmentionable and ignominious vice” in late medieval England’s only recorded case on same-sex intercourse.

1620: The Mayflower Pilgrims come ashore at Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts. On the same day, military leader Myles Standish and a group of 18 settlers are attacked by 30 Native Americans, which becomes known as the “First Encounter”.

1688: James II is captured in Kent.

1730: Voltaire’s “Brutus” premieres in Paris.

1792: Louis XVI of France goes on trial accused of high treason and crimes against the state.

1803: Birth of French composer Hector Berlioz.

1816: Indiana becomes the 19th state of the Union.

1844: The first use of nitrous oxide in dentistry occurs in Hartford, Connecticut.

1866: The first yacht race across the Atlantic Ocean begins.

1878: British high commissioner Henry Bartle Frere presents an ultimatum to the Zulu Kingdom to submit to British rule or face war.

1902: The US signs a treaty with Cuba allowing for a 20 per cent reduction of tariff rates on imported Cuban products.

1903: British forces march into Tibet.

1905: The Liberal government of Henry Campbell-Bannerman forms.

1908: Frederick Delius’ In a Summer Garden premieres in London.

1913: The “Mona Lisa” is recovered two years after it was stolen from the Louvre in Paris.

1916: David Lloyd George forms the British war government.

1917: German-occupied Lithuania proclaims independence from Russia.

1928: Buenos Aires police thwart an assassination attempt on US President-elect Herbert Hoover.

1931: The Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland (Free State), and Newfoundland.

1937: Italy withdraws from the League of Nations.

1941: Germany and Italy declare war on the US.

1946: Spain is suspended from the UN.

1958: Burkina Faso gains autonomy from France.


1964: Singer Sam Cooke is shot dead by the manager at the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, who claims she opened fire in self defence. Police find Cooke’s body in Bertha Franklin’s apartment-office, wearing only a sports jacket and shoes. On the same day, Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara speaks at the United Nations General Assembly. An unknown terrorist fires a mortar shell at the building during the speech.

1967: The People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine is formed. On the same day, Concorde is shown for the first time in France.

1968: Filming begins for The Rolling Stones ‘Rock & Roll Circus’ with performances by Jethro Tull, The Who, Marianne Faithfull and Dirty Mac, a “supergoup” made up of Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Mitch Mitchell and Keith Richards. The Stones were unhappy with their own performance and withheld the film’s release for 28 years. On the same say, Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O’Neill sacks Home Affairs Minister, William Craig.

1971: A bomb explodes outside a furniture showroom on the mainly-Protestant Shankill Road, Belfast. Four civilians (including two babies) are killed and 19 wounded.

1972: Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt become the 11th and 12th people to set foot on the Moon.

1975: An Icelandic gunboat opens fire on unarmed British fishery support vessels in the North Atlantic as the cod war intensifies.

1979: The Rhodesian parliament passes a bill to end 14 years of illegal independence from Britain, transferring full authority to Lord Soames until elections can be held.

1981: Muhammad Ali loses his last fight to Trevor Berbick. On the same day, Javier Pérez de Cuélla of Peru is chosen as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

1982: The Jam play their last ever gig as a band in Brighton.

1983: Singles chart:

  1. Only You – The Flying Pickets
  2. Love Of The Common People – Paul Young
  3. My Oh My – Slade
  4. Victims – Culture Club
  5. Hold Me Now – The Thompson Twins
  6. Let’s Stay Together – Tina Turner
  7. Please Don’t Fall In Love – Cliff Richard
  8. Tell Her About It – Billy Joel
  9. Move Over Darling – Tracey Ullman
  10. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
1983: Paul Young – No Parlez

Album chart:

  1. Now That’s What I Call Music – Various Artitss
  2. No Parlez – Paul Young
  3. Colour by Numbers – Culture Club
  4. Stages – Elaine Page
  5. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  6. Seven And The Ragged Tiger – Duran Duran
  7. Under A Blood Red Sky – U2
  8. Fantastic – Wham!
  9. Chas And Dave’s Knees Up: Jamboree Bag Number 2 – Chas and Dave
  10. Genesis – Genesis

1986: Church leaders condemn a BBC radio campaign about AIDS for “condoning promiscuity”.

1994: Russian president Boris Yeltsin orders ground troops into Chechnya after a two-week bombing campaign fails to bring the break-away territory to heel.

1997: Delegates from 150 industrial nations attending a UN climate conference in Kyoto, Japan, reach agreement to control greenhouse gases.

2001: China joins the World Trade Organization.

2005: A series of massive explosions leads to an enormous fire at the Buncefield Oil Depot near Hemel Hempstead in Herts.

2008: Bernard Madoff is arrested and charged with securities fraud in $50billion Ponzi scheme. On the same day, legendary pin-up model Bettie Page dies aged 85.

2012: Sitar player Ravi Shankar dies aged 92 after undergoing heart valve replacement surgery. On the same day, Professor Stephen Hawking wins the $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize, the most lucrative academic prize in the world.

2014: CIA Director John Brennan defends interrogation methods used after 9/11 but admits some were “abhorrent”. On the same day, the world’s first penis transplant procedure is carried out by a team from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.

2015: Playboy magazine publishes its last nude issue.

2017: Saudi Arabia announces an end to its 35-year ban on cinemas. On the same day, TV presenter Keith Chegwin dies aged 60.

2019:Botanist and TV presenter, David Bellamy dies aged 86.

2020: The EU agree to cut net carbon emissions by 55% in the next decade. On the same day, the US Supreme Court rejects lawsuit by Texas to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory in four battleground states, endorsed by 17 Republican attorney generals.

BIRTHDAYS: Rita Moreno, actress/dancer, 91; David Gates, singer-songwriter, 82; John Kerry, US envoy for climate, 79; Brenda Lee (Tarpley) singer, 78; Teri Garr, actress, 78; Chester Thompson, drummer, 74; Jermaine Jackson, bassist/singer (The Jacksons) 68; Nikki Sixx (Frank Feranna), bassist/songwriter (Motley Crue), 64; Chris Hughton, football manager, 64; Marco Pierre White, chef, 61; Darryl Jones, bassist, 61; Nigel Winterburn, football, 59; Justin Currie, singer-songwriter (Del Amitri) 58; Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) rapper/actor, 49; Ben Shephard, TV personality, 48; Leighton Baines, footballer, 38; Hailee Steinfeld, actress, 26.