It happened today – this day on history – March 11

537: Goths lay siege to Rome.

1513: Giovanni de’ Medici chosen as Pope Leo X.

1702: The first English daily newspaper The Daily Courant published.

1708: Queen Anne withholds Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill – the last time a British monarch vetoes legislation.

1845: In New Zealand, chiefs Hone Heke and Kawiti lead 700 Māoris to chop down the British flagpole and drive settlers out of the British colonial settlement of Kororareka because of breaches of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.

1851: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Rigoletto” premieres in Venice.

1867: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Don Carlos” premieres in Paris.

1876: In the FA Cup Final at Kennington Oval, Wanderers and Old Estonians draw, 1-1; Wanderers win the replay, 3-0.

1900: Prime Minister Lord Salisbury rejects peace overtures from Boer leader Paul Kruger.

1915: Britain declares a blockade of all German ports.

1917: British forces occupy Baghdad.

1918: Moscow becomes the capital of revolutionary Russia.

1919: A general strike in Germany is crushed.

1938: Artur Seyss-Inquart replaces Kurt von Schuschnigg as Chancellor of Austria and German troops enter the country.

1941: President Franklin D Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Bill. On the same day, Old Trafford, home of Manchester United is severely damaged in a German bombing raid. The team is unable to play there for eight years.

1942: The first deportation train leaves Paris for Auschwitz concentration camp. On the same day, Japanese troops land on North Sumatra.

1945: Flemish Nazi collaborator Maria Huygens is sentenced to death.

1955: Sir Alexander Fleming – the man who first discovered penicillin – dies of a heart attack aged 73.

1958: An American B-47 plane accidentally drops a nuclear bomb 15,000 ft on a family home in Mars Bluff, South Carolina, creating a crater 75 ft across. Luckily the bomb did not contain its nuclear capsule. On the same day, Ole Kirk Christiansen, inventor of LEGO, dies of a heart attack aged 66.

1959: The Eurovision Song Contest in Cannes is won by Teddy Scholten for The Netherlands with the song Een Beetje.

1963: Somalia cuts off diplomatic relations with Britain.

1966: A military coup breaks out in Indonesia.

1969: Sci-fi author John Wyndham dies aged 65.

1970: Death of writer Earl Stanley Gardner aged 80.

1971: The Doors singer Jim Morrison leaves the US for Paris to reorient himself emotionally and creatively and to avoid the jail sentence given to him in Miami. He will never return.


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1974: Two self-proclaimed British spies escape from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin. On the same day, Mt Etna erupts on Sicily.

1975: A military coup in Portugal fails.

1977: Film director Roman Polanski is charged with statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in Hollywood.

1978: French singer Claude Francois is electrocuted changing a light bulb while standing in his bathtub.

1979: Singles chart:

  1. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  2. Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  3. Tragedy – The Bee Gees
  4. Lucky Number – Lene Lovich
  5. Can You Feel The Force – The Real Thing
  6. Something Else – The Sex Pistols
  7. I Want Your Love – Chic
  8. Heart Of Glass – Blondie
  9. Keep On Dancing – Gary’s Gang
  10. Contact – Edwin Starr
1979: Blondie – Parallel Lines

Album chart:

  1. Spirits Having Flown – The Bee Gees
  2. Parallel Lines – Blondie
  3. Manilow Magic – Barry Manilow
  4. Armed Forces – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  5. C’est Chic – Chic
  6. Thank You Very Much: The Reunion Concert – Cliff Richard and the Shadows
  7. The Great Rock n Roll Swindle – The Sex Pistols
  8. Live (X-Cert) – The Stranglers
  9. The Marty Robbins Collection – Marty Robbins
  10. 52nd Street – Billy Joel

1983: Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dead win at the Ice Dance Championship in Helsinki.

1985: Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of the Soviet Union following the death of Konstantin Chernenko.

1986: Blues artist Sonny Terry dies aged 74.

1988: The pound note ceases to be legal tender, replaced by one pound coin.

1990: Lithuania declares its Independence from the Soviet Union.

1993: Oasis record their first demos at The Real People’s studio in Liverpool.

1997: The ashes of Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry are launched into space. On the same day, Paul McCartney is knighted by The Queen.

2003: The International Criminal Court holds its inaugural session in The Hague.

2004: 191 people die as explosions rip through three Madrid train stations during the morning rush-hour.

2006: Death of Slobodan Milosevic, former president of Serbia

2009: Seventeen people are killed at a school shooting in Winnenden, Germany.

2011: A 9.0 magnitude earthquake strikes 80 miles east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami that kills thousands of people and causes the second worst nuclear accident in history at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

2013: North Korea cuts the phone line with South Korea, breaching the 1953 armistice.

2016: Keyboards legend Keith Emerson commits suicide by shooting himself in the head.

2018: Death of comedian Ken Dodd aged 90.

2019: Drummer Hal Blaine of the Wrecking Crew, one of the most recorded musicians in pop music history dies aged 90.

2020: Film producer Harvey Weinstein is sentenced to 23 years in prison for a criminal sex act and rape in New York .

BIRTHDAYS: Rupert (Keith) Murdoch, media magnate, 91; Mark Stein, vocals/keyboards (Vanilla Fudge) 75; Elias Koteas, actor, 61; Alex Kingston, actress, 59; Shane Richie, actor, 58; John Barrownam, actor, 55; Lisa Loeb, singer, 54; Rami Jaffee, keyboards (Foo Fighters) 53; Terence Howard, actor, 53; Johnny Knoxville, actor, 51; Didier Drogba, footballer, 44; Joel and Benji Madden, musicians (Good Charlotte) 43; Thora Birch, actress,40; Jodie Comer, actress, 29; Andrew Robertson, footballer, 28.

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