On This Day … 11 May


  • 1745 – War of the Austrian Succession: French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch–Hanoverian army.
  • 1812 – Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the British House of Commons.
  • 1813 – William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth discover a route across the Blue Mountains, opening up inland Australia to settlement.
  • 1846 – President James K. Polk asked for a Declaration of War against Mexico, starting the Mexican–American War.
  • 1857 – Indian Rebellion of 1857: Indian rebels seize Delhi from the British.
  • 1889 – An attack upon a US Army paymaster and escort results in the theft of over $28,000 and the award of two Medals of Honour.
  • 1943 – World War II: American troops invade Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces.
  • 1945 – World War II: Off the coast of Okinawa, the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill is hit by two kamikazes.
  • 1960 – Adolf Eichmann is captured by the Mossad in Argentina.
  • 1987 – Klaus Barbie goes on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.
  • 1998 – India conducts three underground atomic tests in Pokhran.
  • 2000 – Second Chechen War: Chechen separatists ambush Russian paramilitary forces in the Republic of Ingushetia.

People (Births)

  • 1797 – José Mariano Salas, Mexican general and politician. President (1846, 1859) Regent during the Second Mexican Empire (d. 1867).
  • 1905 – Lise de Baissac, Mauritian-born SOE agent, war hero (d. 2004).
  • 1934 – Jim Jeffords, American captain, lawyer, and politician (d. 2014).

People (Deaths)

  • 1778 – William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, English soldier and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1708).
  • 2005 – Léo Cadieux, Canadian politician, 17th Canadian Minister of National Defence (b. 1908).
  • 2009 – Sardarilal Mathradas Nanda, Indian admiral (b. 1915).

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