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.

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.

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 record 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.

1976: Singles chart:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  2. Glass Of Champagne – Sailor
  3. Mamma Mia – ABBA
  4. In Dulce Jubilo – Mike Oldfield
  5. Art For Art’s Sake – 10cc
  6. Let’s Twist Again/The Twist – Chubby Checker
  7. Wide Eyed And Legless – Andy Fairweather Low
  8. King Of The Cops – Billy Howard
  9. Itchycoo Parl – The Small Faces
  10. Island In The Sun – Demis Roussos
1976: Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn

Album chart:

  1. A Night At The Opera – Queen
  2. 40 Greatest Hits – Perry Como
  3. Wouldn’t You Like It – The Bay City Rollers
  4. 24 Original Hits – Various Artists
  5. 40 Golden Greats – Jim Reeves
  6. Make The Party Last – James Last
  7. Favourites – Peters and Lee
  8. Best Of – The Stylistics
  9. 40 Super Greats – Various Artists
  10. Ommadawn – Mike Oldfield

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), dies 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.

2016: Lionel Messi wins a record fifth Ballon d’Or.

2018: YouTube issues sanctions against vlogger Logan Paul after he posted footage of suicide victim’s body in Japan in December 2017. On the same day, US president Donald Trump causes worldwide controversy when it is reported he called African countries “sh**holes” during a meeting.

2020: Taiwan re-elects Tsai Ing-wen for a second term as president in a landslide result. On the same day, a 100 year old tortoise retires to the Galapagos islands after his high libido is credited with saving his species.

2021: Ireland becomes the country with the world’s highest COVID-19 infection rate. On the same day, US House Democrats introduce one article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection” for encouraging his supporters to riot at the Capitol building in Washington DC on January 6.

BIRTHDAYS: Arthur Scargill, trade unionist, 85; Tony Kaye (Selvidge), keyboards (Yes) 77; Terry Williams, drummer, 75; Lee Ritenour, guitarist, 71; Bryan Robson, footballer, 66; Vicki Peterson, guitarist/singer (The Bangles) 65; Mary J Blige, singer-songwriter/actress, 52; Tom Rowlands, DJ, (The Chemical Brothers) 52; Amanda Peet, actress, 51; Emile Heskey, footballer, 45; Jamelia (Davis), singer/TV presenter, 42; Newton Faulkner, singer-songwriter, 38; Rachel Riley, TV presenter, 37; Jamie Vardy, footballer, 36; Louisa Johnson, singer, 26.