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.

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.

1987: Singles chart:

  1. Reet Petite – Jackie Wilson
  2. Jack Your Body – Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley
  3. Is This Love – Alison Moyet
  4. Big Fun – The Gap Band
  5. No More The Fool – Elkie Brooks
  6. C’est La Vie – Robbie Nevil
  7. Caravan Of Love – The Housemartins
  8. Hymn To Her – The Pretenders
  9. Sometimes – Erasure
  10. Surrender – Swing Out Sister
1987: Madonna – True Blue

Album chart:

  1. The Whole Story – Kate Bush
  2. Graceland – Paul Simon
  3. True Blue – Madonna
  4. Now That’s What I Call Music 8 – Various Artists
  5. Live Magic – Queen
  6. Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi
  7. Every Breath You Take: The Singles – Tthe Police
  8. Different Light – The Bangles
  9. Revenge – Eurythmics
  10. Silk And Steel – Five Star

1993: British Airways ends one of the most bitter and protracted libel actions in aviation history in a humiliating climbdown 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 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.

2022: Rosa Lee Hawkins of singing group The Dixie Cups, dies aged 76.

2023: Yukihiro Takahashi, drummer with the Yellow Magic Orchestra, dies aged 70 from a brain tumour.

Rachel Riley

BIRTHDAYS: Arthur Scargill, trade unionist, 86; Tony Kaye (Selvidge), keyboards (Yes) 78; Terry Williams, drummer, 76; Lee Ritenour, guitarist, 72; Bryan Robson, footballer, 67; Vicki Peterson, guitarist/singer (The Bangles) 66; Mary J Blige, singer-songwriter/actress, 53; Tom Rowlands, DJ, (The Chemical Brothers) 53; Amanda Peet, actress, 52; Emile Heskey, footballer, 46; Jamelia (Davis), singer/TV presenter, 43; Newton Faulkner, singer-songwriter, 39; Rachel Riley, TV presenter, 38; Jamie Vardy, footballer, 37; Louisa Johnson, singer, 27.