It happened today – this day in history – January 11

1693: The most powerful earthquake in Italian recorded history strikes Sicily and Southern Italy.

1787: Titania and Oberon, moons of Uranus, are discovered by William Herschel.

1861: Alabama secedes from the Union.

1864: Charing Cross Station opens in London.

1879: The Zulu War begins as British Lt-General Chelmsford invades Zululand in South Africa.

1919: Romania annexes Transylvania.

1922: Insulin is first used on humans to treat diabetes, on 14-year old Leonard Thompson.

1924: Greece is proclaimed a republic as King George II is deposed.

1927: Louis B. Mayer, head of film studio MGM, announces the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

1928: Novelist Thomas Hardy dies aged 87.

1935: Aviator Amelia Earhart flies non stop from Honolulu to Oakland, California.

1940: Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet “Romeo & Juliet” premieres in Leningrad.

1942: Japan conquers Kuala Lumpur, Malaya.

1946: The People’s Republic of Albania is declared with Enver Hoxha as dictator.

1957: The African Convention is founded in Dakar. On the same day, mass murderer John Graham, who blew up a plane with a timebomb as part of a plot to claim a life insurance policy taken out on his mother, goes to the gas chamber.

Singles chart:

  1. Singing The Blues – Tommy Steele and the Steelmen
  2. Singing The Blues – Guy Mitchell
  3. St Therese Of The Roses – Malcolm Vaughan
  4. Green Door – Frankie Vaughan
  5. Just Walking In The Rain – Johnny Ray
  6. True Love – Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly
  7. Cindy Oh Cindy – Eddie Fisher
  8. Hound Dog – Elvis Presley
  9. Friendly Persuasion – Pat Boone
  10. Rip It Up – Bill Haley and his Comets

1958: The British release date for the Elvis Presley single Jailhouse Rock is put back a week after Decca Records’ pressing plant in the UK is unable to meet the 250,000 advance orders.


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1959: South Pacific – Original Soundtrack

1959: Album chart:

  1. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  2. My Fair Lady – Original Broadway Cast
  3. Elvis’ Golden Records – Elvis Presley
  4. Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra
  5. Frank Sinatra Sings Only For The Lonely – Frank Sinatra
  6. Oh Boy! – Original TV Soundtrack
  7. The King And I – Original Soundtrack
  8. King Creole – Elvis Presley
  9. Rogers And Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – Original Soundtrack
  10. Songs For Swingin’ Lovers – Frank Sinatra

1961:A race riot breaks out at the University of Georgia.

1962: A huge avalanche in the Peruvian Andes caused by the eruption of the volcano Huascaran engulfs nine villages, killing an estimated 4,000 people.

1963: The Beatles recorded their first national TV show, ITV’s ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’, miming to their new single Please Please Me.

1967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience record ‘Purple Haze’ at De Lane Lea studios in London.

1973: The first graduates from the Open University are awarded their degrees.

1981: A British team led by Ranulph Fiennes completes the longest and fastest crossing of Antarctica, reaching Scott base after 75 days and 2,500 miles.

1993: British Airways ends one of the most bitter and protracted libel actions in aviation history in a humiliating climb-down as Christopher Clarke QC, counsel for BA, apologises “unreservedly” in the High Court for an alleged “dirty tricks” campaign against Virgin Atlantic.

1998: Islamic extremists are blamed for the deaths of 100 people in two villages in Algeria.

2000: Seven young fishermen drown off the Scottish coast after the disappearance of their scallop dredger in force nine gales. Their bodies are found three weeks later.

2002: Mickey Finn percussionist in Tyrannosaurus Rex (T. Rex), died of kidney and liver problems aged 55.

2008: Mountaineer Sir Edmund Hilary dies aged 88.

2009: Sports broadcaster David Vine dies aged 74.

2015: Actress Anita Ekberg dies aged 88.

BIRTHDAYS: Arthur Scargill, trade unionist, 83; Tony Kaye (Selvidge), keyboards (Yes) 75; Terry Williams, drummer, 73; Lee Ritenour, guitarist, 69; Bryan Robson, footballer, 64; Vicki Peterson, guitarist/singer (The Bangles) 63; Mary J Blige, singer-songwriter/actress, 50; Tom Rowlands, DJ, (The Chemical Brothers) 50; Amanda Peet, actress, 49; Emile Heskey, footballer, 43; Jamelia (Davis), singer/TV presenter, 40; Newton Faulkner, singer-songwriter, 36; Rachel Riley, TV presenter, 35; Jamie Vardy, footballer, 34; Louisa Johnson, singer, 24.