On This Day … 11 July


  • 472 – After being besieged in Rome by his own generals, Western Roman Emperor Anthemius is captured in St. Peter’s Basilica and put to death.
  • 813 – Byzantine emperor Michael I, under threat by conspiracies, abdicates in favour of his general Leo the Armenian, and becomes a monk (under the name Athanasius).
  • 911 – Signing of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between Charles the Simple and Rollo of Normandy.
  • 1174 – Baldwin IV, 13, becomes King of Jerusalem, with Raymond III, Count of Tripoli as regent and William of Tyre as chancellor.
  • 1302 – Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag in Dutch): A coalition around the Flemish cities defeats the king of France’s royal army.
  • 1405 – Ming admiral Zheng He sets sail to explore the world for the first time.
  • 1410 – Ottoman Interregnum: Süleyman Çelebi defeats his brother Musa Çelebi outside the Ottoman capital, Edirne.
  • 1576 – While exploring the North Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to find the Northwest Passage, Martin Frobisher sights Greenland, mistaking it for the hypothesized (but non-existent) island of “Frisland”.
  • 1789 – Jacques Necker is dismissed as France’s Finance Minister sparking the Storming of the Bastille.
  • 1796 – The United States takes possession of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty.
  • 1798 – The United States Marine Corps is re-established; they had been disbanded after the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Fort Stevens; Confederate forces attempt to invade Washington, D.C.
  • 1882 – The British Mediterranean Fleet begins the Bombardment of Alexandria in Egypt as part of the Anglo-Egyptian War.
  • 1889 – Tijuana, Mexico, is founded.
  • 1893 – A revolution led by the liberal general and politician José Santos Zelaya takes over state power in Nicaragua.
  • 1914 – USS Nevada (BB-36) is launched.
  • 1920 – In the East Prussian plebiscite the local populace decides to remain with Weimar Germany.
  • 1921 – A truce in the Irish War of Independence comes into effect.
  • 1921 – The Red Army captures Mongolia from the White Army and establishes the Mongolian People’s Republic.
  • 1940 – World War II: Vichy France regime is formally established. Philippe Pétain becomes Chief of the French State.
  • 1943 – Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army within the Reichskommissariat Ukraine (Volhynia) peak.
  • 1943 – World War II: Allied invasion of Sicily: German and Italian troops launch a counter-attack on Allied forces in Sicily.
  • 1960 – France legislates for the independence of Dahomey (later Benin), Upper Volta (later Burkina) and Niger.
  • 1960 – Congo Crisis: The State of Katanga breaks away from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • 1995 – Yugoslav Wars: Srebrenica massacre begins; lasts until 22 July.
  • 2010 – The Islamist militia group Al-Shabaab carried out multiple suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, killing 74 people and injuring 85 others.

People (Births)

  • 1628 – Tokugawa Mitsukuni, Japanese daimyō (d. 1701).
  • 1760 – Peggy Shippen, American wife of Benedict Arnold and American Revolutionary War spy (d. 1804).
  • 1903 – Rudolf Abel, English-Russian colonel (d. 1971)
  • 1916 – Gough Whitlam, Australian lieutenant, lawyer, and politician, 21st Prime Minister of Australia (d. 2014).
  • 1933 – Frank Kelso, American admiral and politician, United States Secretary of the Navy (d. 2013).
  • 1973 – Konstantinos Kenteris, Greek runner.
  • 1978 – Massimiliano Rosolino, Italian swimmer.
  • 1980 – Kevin Powers, American soldier and author.

People (Deaths)

  • 1599 – Chōsokabe Motochika, Japanese daimyō (b.1539).
  • 1774 – Sir William Johnson, 1st Baronet, Irish-English general (b. 1715).
  • 1825 – Thomas P. Grosvenor, American soldier and politician (b. 1744).
  • 2012 – Donald J. Sobol, American soldier and author (b. 1924).
  • 2015 – James U. Cross, American general (b. 1925).

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