It happened today – this day in history – February 11

660BC: The traditional date for the foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu.

55: Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman Emperorship, dies under mysterious circumstances in Rome, clearing the way for Nero to become emperor.

1503: Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII, dies on her 38th birthday.

1650: French philosopher Rene Descartes dies of pneumonia aged 53.

1659: The assault on Copenhagen by Swedish forces is beaten back with heavy losses.

1806: William Grenville becomes Prime Minister following the death of William Pitt the Younger.

1809: Robert Fulton patents the steamboat.

1810: Napoleon I marries second wife, Marie-Louise of Austria.

1811: President James Madison prohibits trade with Britain for the third time in four years.

1847: Birth of inventor Thomas Edison in Ohio.

1852: The first British public female toilet opens in Bedford Street, London.

1878: The first weekly weather report in published in the UK.

1896: Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” premieres in Paris.

1903: Anton Bruckner’s 9th Symphony premieres in Vienna.

1916: Germany and Austria-Hungary notify the US that they will sink any armed merchant ships from March 1.

1928: The second Winter Olympic Games open in St Moritz, Switzerland.

1940: Death of author John Buchan, First Baron Tweedsmuir and Governor General of Canada.

1944: German troops reconquer Aprilia, Italy.

1945: Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin sign the Declaration of Liberated Europe at the end of the Yalta Conference.

1948: Death of Russian director Sergei Eisenstein aged 50. On the same day, John Costello succeeds Eamon Da Valera as premier of Ireland.

1950: Englishman Jack Holden wins the Empire Games marathon in Auckland, New Zealand, running the last none miles barefoot after his shoes fell apart.

1953: The USSR breaks diplomatic relations with Israel.

1956: Two British diplomats, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, who vanished in mysterious circumstances five years ago deny being spies after reappearing in the Soviet Union. Two others from their spy ring were still operating in Britain.


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1963: In one 10-hour session at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, The Beatles record their first album Please Please Me. The record’s closing track, Twist And Shout is the last song recorded and has to be done in one take as John Lennon knew he would not be able to sing it more than once. By the time they had finished, Lennon had not only given an iconic vocal performance, but the band had created something that would signal a sea change in pop music. On the same day, poet Sylvia Plath commits suicide aged 30.

1964: The Beatles made their live concert debut in the US at the Washington Coliseum to more than 8,000 screaming fans.

1965: The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr marries hairdresser Maureen Cox.

Singles chart:

  1. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – The Righteous Brothers
  2. Tired Of Waiting For You – The Kinks
  3. Keep Searchin’ – Del Shannon
  4. Go Now – The Moody Blues
  5. I’ll Never Find Another You – The Seekers
  6. Come Tomorrow – Manfred Mann
  7. The Golden Years – Val Doonican
  8. Cast Your Fate To The Wind – Sounds Orchestral
  9. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – Cilla Black
  10. Baby Please Don’t Go – Them

1975: Margaret Thatcher becomes leader of the Conservative Party.

1976: John Curry wins Britain’s first Olympic gold in figure skating.

1978: China lifts a ban on Aristotle, Shakespeare and Dickens.

1979: Ayatollah Khomeini seizes power in Iran.

1987: Party planner Cynthia Payne is acquitted of nine charges of controlling prostitutes at her home in south-west London.

1990: Nelson Mandela is released after 27 years imprisonment in South Africa. On the same day, James ‘Buster’ Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson in Japan to win the world heavyweight boxing title.

2000: Death of French director Roger Vadim aged 71.

2006: Jaws author Peter Benchley dies aged 65.

2007: Norah Jones – Not Too Late

2007: Album chart:

  1. Life In Cartoon Motion – Mika
  2. A Weekend In The City – Bloc Party
  3. Infinity On High – Fall Out Boy
  4. Not Too Late – Norah Jones
  5. Back To Black – Amy Winehouse
  6. Hats Off To The Buskers – The View
  7. Myths Of The Near Future – Klaxons
  8. Eyes Open – Snow Patrol
  9. Panic Prevention – Jamie T
  10. Undiscovered – James Morrison

2009: Ronettes singer Estelle Bennett dies aged 67.

2010: Fashion designer Alexander McQueen commits suicide aged 40.

2011: A revolution in Egypt culminates in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak and the transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 18 days of protests (Arab Spring).

2012: Singer Whitney Houston is found dead submerged in the bathtub in her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

2013: Pope Benedicxt XVI announces his resignation from February 28, the first pope to resign since 1415.

2016: A riot between rival drug cartels at a prison in Monterrey, Mexico, leaves 52 dead.

2020: Snow falls in Baghdad, Iraq, for only the second time in a century.

BIRTHDAYS: Dennis Skinner, former Labour MP, 89; Dame Mary (Barbara) Quant, fashion designer, 87; Derek Shulman, vocalist (Gentle Giant) 74; Sheryl Crow, singer-songwriter, 59; Sarah Palin, US politician, 57; Jennifer Aniston, actress, 52; Damian Lewis OBE, actor, 50; Steve McManaman, football pundit, 49; D’Angelo (Michael Archer) singer-songwriter, 47; Brandy (Brandy Rayana Norwood), singer/actress, 42; Kelly Rowland, singer, 40; Natalie Dormer, actress, 39; Rafael van der Vaart, Dutch footballer, 38; Georgia May Foote, actress, 30; Taylor Lautner, actor, 29.

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