It happened today – this day in history – July 11

1274: Birth of Robert the Bruce in Scotland.

1533: Pope Clement VII excommunicates Henry VIII.

1576: Martin Frobisher sights Greenland.

1750: Halifax, Nova Scotia, is almost completely destroyed by fire.

1776: Captain James Cook begins his third voyage.

1789: Louis XVI dismisses finance minister Jacques Necker, sparking riots in Paris.

1792: The Prussia army moves into French territory.

1804: US vice president Aaron Burr mortally wounds former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a pistol duel. He dies the following day.

1812: The US invades Canada.

1818: Poet John Keates writes “In the Cottage Where Burns is Born”, “Lines Written in the Highlands”, and “Gadfly”.

1848: Waterloo Station opens.

1877: Kate Edger becomes New Zealand’s first woman graduate and first woman in the British Empire to earn a Bachelor of Arts.

1882: The British fleet bombards Alexandria.

1895: Auguste and Louis Lumière show film for scientists.

1897: Salomon August Andrée leaves Spitsbergen by balloon headed for the North Pole.

1900: Charlotte Cooper beats Hélène Prévost to become the first female Olympic tennis champion and the first individual female Olympic champion in any sport.

1902 Lord Salisbury resigns as prime minister.

1916: Germany launches an offensive on Fort Souville in France but are defeated by artillery and machine gunners during the Battle of Verdun.

1920: East and West Prussia vote in a plebiscite to become part of Germany, though a slice of West Prussia will be handed to Poland to provide a ‘Polish Corridor’.

1921: Mongolia gains independence from China.

1930: Australian batsman Donald Bradman scores 309 in a day vs England at Headingley (see above).

1937: Composer George Gershwin dies aged 38.

1940: Marshall Philippe Petain, French hero of World War I, becomes head of the Vichy collaborationist government of France.

1944: Franklin D Roosevelt announces that he will run for a fourth term as President of the United States.


1960: Ivory Coast, Dahomey, Upper Volta and Niger declare independence from France. On the same day, “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is published.

1962: The first transatlantic TV transmission via the Telstar I satellite.

1966: England start their 1966 World Cup campaign with a 0-0 draw with Uruguay at Wembley Stadium.

1971: Chile nationalises American copper mines.

1976: Singles chart:

  1. Forever And Ever – Demis Roussos
  2. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John and Kiki Dee
  3. A Little Bit More – Dr Hook
  4. Young Hearts Run Free – Candi Staton
  5. Kiss And Say Goodbye – The Manhattans
  6. You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing
  7. You’re My Best Friend – Queen
  8. Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry
  9. You Might Just See Me Cry – Our Kid
  10. Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore
1976: ABBA – Greatest Hits

Album chart:

  1. A Night On The Town – Rod Stewart
  2. Greatest Hits – ABBA
  3. 20 Golden Greats – The Beach Boys
  4. Changesonebowie – David Bowie
  5. A Kind Of Hush – The Carpenters
  6. Forever And Ever – Demis Roussos
  7. Happy To Be – Demis Roussos
  8. Laughter And Tears – Neil Sedaka
  9. Live In London – John Denver
  10. Beautiful Noise – Neil Diamond

1977: The Gay News and its editor, Denis Lemon, are found guilty of blasphemous libel in a private prosecution by the secretary of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, Mary Whitehouse over a poem published in the paper about a homosexual centurion’s love for Christ at the Crucifixion.

1979: Skylab I, plunges back to Earth scattering debris across the southern Indian Ocean and the Australian desert.

1980: American hostage Richard Queen is freed by Iranian militants.

1981: Neva Rockefeller becomes the first woman ordered to pay her husband alimony.

1982: Italy beats West Germany, 3-1 to win the FIFA World Cup in Madrid.

1986: Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway runs 10,000m in world record 30:13.74.

1988: Mike Tyson hires Donald Trump as an advisor.

1989: Acting great Sir Laurence Olivier dies aged 82.

1991: Labour MP Terry Fields is sentenced to 60 days in prison for refusing to pay his poll tax. On the same day, a Nigeria Airways DC-8 crashes at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing all 261 passengers and crew on board.

1995: The Bosnian Serb army seizes control of the United Nations “safe haven” of Srebrenica after Dutch peacekeepers are forced to withdraw.

1996: Jonathan Melvoin, keyboards player with the Smashing Pumpkins and brother of former Prince and the Revolution guitarist Wendy, dies from a heroin overdose in New York aged 34.

2000: Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, dies aged 78.

2010: Andrés Iniesta scores an extra time winner as Spain beats the Netherlands, 1-0 to win the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

2012: S/2012 P 1, the fifth moon of Pluto is discovered.

2014: Producer and drummer Tommy Ramone (Thomas Erdelyi) of The Ramones dies aged 65 from bile duct cancer.

2015: Mexican drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán escapes from Altiplano maximum-security prison west of Mexico City via a specially constructed 1.5 km tunnel from his cell to a nearby house.

BIRTHDAYS: Georgio Armani, fashion designer, 87; Stephen Lang, actor, 69; John Kettley, weatherman, 69; Peter Murphy, singer-songwriter (Bauhaus) 64; Mark Lester, child actor, 63; Richie Sambora, guitarist, 62; Suzanne Vega, singer-songwriter, 62; Caroline Quentin, actress, 61; Pauline McLynn, actress, 59; Craig Charles, actor/broadcaster, 57; Tony Cottee,footballer, 56; Greg Grunberg, actor, 55; Justin Chambers, actor, 51; Lil’ Kim (Kimberly Jones), singer, 46; Rick McMurray, drummer, (Ash) 46; Rachael Taylor, actress, 37; Serinda Swan, actress, 37; Caroline Wozniacki, tennis star, 31.