On this Day … 11 November


  • 308 – At Carnuntum, Emperor emeritus Diocletian confers with Galerius, Augustus of the East, and Maximianus, the recently returned former Augustus of the West, in an attempt to end the civil wars of the Tetrarchy.
  • 1100 – Henry I of England marries Matilda of Scotland, the daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland and a direct descendant of the Saxon king Edmund Ironside; Matilda is crowned in the same day.
  • 1500 – Treaty of Granada: Louis XII of France and Ferdinand II of Aragon agree to divide the Kingdom of Naples between them.
  • 1620 – The Mayflower Compact is signed in what is now Provincetown Harbour near Cape Cod.
  • 1673 – Second Battle of Khotyn in Ukraine: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces under the command of Jan Sobieski defeat the Ottoman army.
    • In this battle, rockets made by Kazimierz Siemienowicz are successfully used.
  • 1778 – Cherry Valley massacre: Loyalists and Seneca Indian forces attack a fort and village in eastern New York during the American Revolutionary War, killing more than forty civilians and soldiers.
  • 1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Dürenstein: Eight thousand French troops attempt to slow the retreat of a vastly superior Russian and Austrian force.
  • 1813 – War of 1812: Battle of Crysler’s Farm: British and Canadian forces defeat a larger American force, causing the Americans to abandon their Saint Lawrence campaign.
  • 1839 – The Virginia Military Institute is founded in Lexington, Virginia.
  • 1865 – Treaty of Sinchula is signed whereby Bhutan cedes the areas east of the Teesta River to the British East India Company.
  • 1918 – World War I: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in the forest of Compiègne.
  • 1918 – Józef Piłsudski assumes supreme military power in Poland – symbolic first day of Polish independence.
  • 1918 – Emperor Charles I of Austria relinquishes power.
  • 1919 – The Industrial Workers of the World attack an Armistice Day parade in Centralia, Washington, ultimately resulting in the deaths of five people.
  • 1919 – Latvian forces defeat the West Russian Volunteer Army at Riga in the Latvian War of Independence.
  • 1921 – The Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated by US President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery.
  • 1923 – Adolf Hitler was arrested in Munich for high treason for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch.
  • 1930 – Patent number US1781541 is awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator.
  • 1934 – The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia is opened.
  • 1940 – World War II: In the Battle of Taranto, the Royal Navy launches the first all-aircraft ship-to-ship naval attack in history.
  • 1940 – World War II: The German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis captures top secret British mail from the Automedon, and sends it to Japan.
  • 1942 – World War II: France’s zone libre is occupied by German forces in Case Anton.
  • 1960 – A military coup against President Ngô Đình Diệm of South Vietnam is crushed.
  • 1961 – Thirteen Italian Air Force servicemen, deployed to the Congo as a part of the UN peacekeeping force, are massacred by a mob in Kindu.
  • 1965 – Southern Rhodesia’s Prime Minister Ian Smith unilaterally declares the colony independent as the unrecognised state of Rhodesia.
  • 1967 – Vietnam War: In a propaganda ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, three American prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong and turned over to “new left” antiwar activist Tom Hayden.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: Operation Commando Hunt initiated. The goal is to interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh trail, through Laos into South Vietnam.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: Vietnamisation: The United States Army turns over the massive Long Binh military base to South Vietnam.
  • 1975 – Independence of Angola.
    • Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Angola from Portugal in 1975.
  • 1977 – A munitions explosion at a train station in Iri, South Korea kills at least 56 people.
  • 1993 – A sculpture honouring women who served in the Vietnam War is dedicated at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • 2001 – Journalists Pierre Billaud, Johanne Sutton and Volker Handloik are killed in Afghanistan during an attack on the convoy they are traveling in.
  • 2004 – New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is dedicated at the National War Memorial, Wellington.
  • 2006 – Queen Elizabeth II unveils the New Zealand War Memorial in London, United Kingdom, commemorating the loss of soldiers from the New Zealand Army and the British Army.
  • End of World War I-related observances:
    • Armistice Day (New Zealand, France, Belgium and Serbia).
    • National Independence Day (Poland), commemorates the anniversary of Poland’s assumption of independent statehood in 1918.
    • Remembrance Day (United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations, including Australia and Canada).
    • Veterans Day, called Armistice Day until 1954, when it was rededicated to honour American military (Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force) veterans. (United States).
  • Independence of Cartagena (Colombia).
  • Lāčplēsis Day, celebrates the victory over the Bermontians at the Battle of Riga in 1919 (Latvia).

People (Births)

  • 1599 – Ottavio Piccolomini, Austrian-Italian field marshal (d. 1656).
  • 1885 – George S. Patton, American general (d. 1945).
  • 1914 – Henry Wade, American soldier and lawyer (d. 2001).
  • 1915 – William Proxmire, American soldier, journalist, and politician (d. 2005).
  • 1919 – Kalle Päätalo, Finnish soldier and author (d. 2000).
  • 1920 – Roy Jenkins, Welsh-English captain, academic, and politician, President of the European Commission (d. 2003).
  • 1920 – Walter Krupinski, German captain and pilot (d. 2000).
  • 1921 – Terrel Bell, American sergeant, academic, and politician, 2nd United States Secretary of Education (d. 1996).
  • 1927 – Martin Špegelj, Croatian general and politician, 2nd Croatian Minister of Defence (d. 2014).

People (Deahts)

  • 865 – Petronas, Byzantine general.
  • 1583 – Gerald FitzGerald, 15th Earl of Desmond, Irish rebel.
  • 1862 – James Madison Porter, American lawyer and politician, 18th United States Secretary of War (b. 1793).
  • 1918 – George Lawrence Price, Canadian soldier (b. 1892).
  • 1940 – Muhittin Akyüz, Turkish general and diplomat (b. 1870).
  • 1961 – Behiç Erkin, Turkish colonel and politician, Turkish Minister of Environment and Urban Planning (b. 1876).
  • 1962 – Joseph Ruddy, American swimmer and water polo player (b. 1878).
  • 1988 – Charles Groves Wright Anderson, South African-Australian colonel and politician (b. 1897).
  • 1994 – John A. Volpe, American soldier and politician, 61st Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1908).
  • 2008 – Mustafa Şekip Birgöl, Turkish colonel (b. 1903).
  • 2012 – Rex Hunt, English lieutenant, pilot, and diplomat, Governor of the Falkland Islands (b. 1926).

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