On This Day … 11 August


  • 2492 BC – Traditional date of the defeat of Bel by Hayk, progenitor and founder of the Armenian nation.
  • 106 – The south-western part of Dacia (modern Romania) becomes a Roman province: Roman Dacia.
  • 355 – Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaims himself Roman Emperor against Constantius II.
  • 490 – Battle of Adda: The Goths under Theodoric the Great and his ally Alaric II defeat the forces of Odoacer on the Adda River, near Milan.
  • 1332 – Wars of Scottish Independence: Battle of Dupplin Moor: Scots under Domhnall II, Earl of Mar are routed by Edward Balliol.
  • 1473 – The Battle of Otlukbeli: Mehmed the Conqueror of the Ottoman Empire decisively defeats Uzun Hassan of Aq Qoyunlu.
  • 1675 – Franco-Dutch War: Forces of the Holy Roman Empire defeat the French in the Battle of Konzer Brücke.
  • 1786 – Captain Francis Light establishes the British colony of Penang in Malaysia.
  • 1804 – Francis II assumes the title of first Emperor of Austria.
  • 1812 – Peninsular War: French troops engage British-Portuguese forces in the Battle of Majadahonda.
  • 1813 – In Colombia, Juan del Corral declares the independence of Antioquia.
  • 1898 – Spanish–American War: American troops enter the city of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
  • 1918 – World War I: The Battle of Amiens ends.
  • 1919 – Germany’s Weimar Constitution is signed into law.
  • 1920 – The Latvian–Soviet Peace Treaty, which relinquished Russia’s authority and pretenses to Latvia, is signed, ending the Latvian War of Independence.
  • 1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.
  • 1945 – Poles in Kraków engage in a pogrom against Jews in the city, killing one and wounding five.
  • 1960 – Chad declares independence from France (Independence Day).
  • 1961 – The former Portuguese territories in India of Dadra and Nagar Haveli are merged to create the Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
  • 1962 – Vostok 3 launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev becomes the first person to float in microgravity.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: The last United States ground combat unit leaves South Vietnam.
  • 1975 – East Timor: Governor Mário Lemos Pires of Portuguese Timor abandons the capital Dili, following a coup by the Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) and the outbreak of civil war between UDT and Fretilin.
  • 1984 – “We begin bombing in five minutes”: United States President Ronald Reagan, while running for re-election, jokes while preparing to make his weekly Saturday address on National Public Radio.
  • 2003 – NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.
  • 2003 – Jemaah Islamiyah leader Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, is arrested in Bangkok, Thailand.

People (Births)

  • 1718 – Frederick Haldimand, Swiss-English general and politician, 22nd Governor of Quebec (d. 1791).
  • 1807 – David Rice Atchison, American general, lawyer, and politician (d. 1886).
  • 1833 – Robert G. Ingersoll, American soldier, lawyer, and politician (d. 1899).
  • 1833 – Kido Takayoshi, Japanese samurai and politician (d. 1877).
  • 1911 – Thanom Kittikachorn, Thai field marshal and politician, 10th Prime Minister of Thailand (d. 2004).
  • 1943 – Pervez Musharraf, Pakistani general and politician, 10th President of Pakistan.
  • 1950 – Gennadiy Nikonov, Russian engineer, designed the AN-94 rifle (d. 2003).

Peole (Deaths)

  • 353 – Magnentius, Roman usurper (b. 303).
  • 991 – Byrhtnoth, English soldier (b. 956).
  • 1456 – John Hunyadi, Hungarian general and politician (b. 1387).
  • 1656 – Ottavio Piccolomini, Austrian-Italian field marshal (b. 1599).
  • 1908 – Khudiram Bose, Indian Bengali revolutionary (b. 1889).
  • 1977 – Frederic Calland Williams, British co-inventor of the Williams-Kilborn tube, used for memory in early computer systems (b. 1911).
  • 2009 – Eunice Kennedy Shriver, American activist, founded the Special Olympics (b. 1921).
  • 2017 – Yisrael Kristal, Polish-Israeli supercentenarian; oldest living Holocaust survivor and one of the ten oldest men ever (b. 1903).

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