On This Day … 11 February [2023]


  • 660 BC – Traditional date for the foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu.
    • National Foundation Day.
  • 55 – The death under mysterious circumstances of Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman empire, on the eve of his coming of age clears the way for Nero to become Emperor.
  • 951 – Guo Wei, a court official, leads a military coup and declares himself emperor of the new Later Zhou.
  • 1584 – A naval expedition led by Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa founds Nombre de Jesús, the first of two short-lived Spanish settlements in the Strait of Magellan.
  • 1586 – Sir Francis Drake with an English force captures and occupies the Spanish colonial port of Cartagena de Indias for two months, obtaining a ransom and booty.
  • 1659 – The assault on Copenhagen by Swedish forces is beaten back with heavy losses.
  • 1808 – Jesse Fell burns anthracite on an open grate as an experiment in heating homes with coal.
  • 1840 – Gaetano Donizetti’s opera La fille du régiment receives its first performance in Paris, France.
  • 1856 – The Kingdom of Awadh is annexed by the British East India Company and Wajid Ali Shah, the king of Awadh, is deposed.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: The United States House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution guaranteeing non-interference with slavery in any state.
  • 1889 – Meiji Constitution of Japan is adopted.
  • 1929 – Kingdom of Italy and the Vatican sign the Lateran Treaty.
  • 1938 – BBC Television produces the world’s first ever science fiction television programme, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Čapek play R.U.R., that coined the term “robot”.
  • 1942 – World War II: Second day of the Battle of Bukit Timah is fought in Singapore.
  • 1959 – The Federation of Arab Emirates of the South is created as a protectorate of the United Kingdom.
  • 1971 – Cold War: the Seabed Arms Control Treaty opened for signature outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor in international waters.
  • 1979 – The Iranian Revolution establishes an Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
  • 2008 – Rebel East Timorese soldiers seriously wound President José Ramos-Horta.
    • Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado is killed in the attack.
  • 2011 – Arab Spring: The first wave of the Egyptian revolution culminates in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak and the transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 17 days of protests.
  • 2013 – Militants claiming to be from the Sultanate of Sulu invade Lahad Datu District, Sabah, Malaysia, beginning the Lahad Datu standoff.
  • 2014 – A military transport plane crashes in a mountainous area of Oum El Bouaghi Province in eastern Algeria, killing 77 people.
  • 2017 – North Korea test fires a ballistic missile across the Sea of Japan.
  • Armed Forces Day (Liberia).

People (Births)

  • 1845 – Ahmet Tevfik Pasha, Ottoman soldier and politician, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire (d. 1936).
  • 1847 – Thomas Edison, American engineer and businessman, developed the light bulb and phonograph (d. 1931).
  • 1915 – Patrick Leigh Fermor, English soldier, author, and scholar (d. 2011).
  • 1920 – Daniel James, Jr., American general and pilot (d. 1978).
  • 1934 – Manuel Noriega, Panamanian general and politician, Military leader of Panama (d. 2017).
  • 1982 – Ľubomíra Kalinová, Slovak biathlete.
  • 1984 – Maarten Heisen, Dutch sprinter.
  • 1984 – Marco Marcato, Italian cyclist.
  • 1987 – Ellen van Dijk, Dutch cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 1898 – Félix María Zuloaga, Mexican general and unconstitutional interim president (b. 1813).
  • 1918 – Alexey Kaledin, Russian general (b. 1861).
  • 1931 – Charles Algernon Parsons, English-Irish engineer, invented the steam turbine (b. 1854).
  • 1963 – John Olof Dahlgren, Swedish-American soldier, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1872).
  • 1975 – Richard Ratsimandrava, Malagasy colonel and politician, President of Madagascar (b. 1931).
  • 2004 – Shirley Strickland, Australian runner (b. 1925).
  • 2012 – Aharon Davidi, Israeli general (b. 1927).

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