On This Day

Historical Events on December 11

  • 359 Honoratus, first known Prefect of the City of Constantinople, takes office
  • 384 St Damasus I dies and ends his reign as Catholic Pope. Began reign 366
  • 1282 Llywelyn ab Gruffydd/Llywelyn the Last, last native Prince of Wales is killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, south Wales. Reigned from 1259.
  • 1395 John "Eleanor" Rykener, a male cross-dressing prostitute, is brought to court in London for "committing that detestable unmentionable and ignominious vice" in late medieval England's only recorded case on same-sex intercourse (verdict unknown)
  • 1419 Heretic Nicolaas Serrurier exiled from Florence
  • 1477 Duchess Maria of Burgundy ends the 'Great Privilege' in states of The Netherlands
  • 1572 Spanish troops begin siege of Haarlem
  • 1602 Surprise attack by forces of the Duke of Savoy and his brother-in-law, Philip III of Spain repelled by citizens of Geneva. Commemorated since as Fête de l'Escalade.
  • 1618 The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Tsardom of Russia agree to the Truce of Deulino ending the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618)
  • 1620 Mayflower Pilgrims come ashore at in Plymouth Bay, traditionally thought to be at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts [NS, Dec 21]

Historic Event

1620 Myles Standish and a group of 18 settlers are attacked by 30 Native Americans, which became known as the "First Encounter"

  • 1665 "Messiah" Sjabtai Tswi festival in Smyrna
  • 1688 King James II captured in Kent
  • 1710 Battle of Villa Viciosa: France beats the Habsburgers
  • 1719 1st recorded display of Aurora Borealis in north American colonies (New England)

Historic Event

1730 Voltaire's tragedy "Brutus" premieres in Paris

Historic Event

1792 France's King Louis XVI goes on trial, accused of high treason and crimes against the state

  • 1812 1st newspaper on Curacao (Curacao Gazette & Commercial Advertiser)
  • 1816 Citizens of Geneva thwart Savoyard invaders
  • 1816 Indiana becomes 19th state of the Union
  • 1844 1st dental use of nitrous oxide in Hartford, Connecticut

Battle of Interest

1862 Battle of Fredricksburg in Virginia begins between Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General Ambrose Burnside

  • 1866 1st yacht race across Atlantic Ocean; schooners Fleetwing, Vesta and the Henrietta, with NY playboy Gordon Bennett on board, leave Sandy Hook for the Scilly Isles (the Henrietta wins)
  • 1872 Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback takes office as the first African American US Govenor in Louisiana

Anglo-Zulu War

1878 Anglo-Zulu War: British high commissioner Henry Bartle Frere presents an ultimatum to the Zulu Kingdom to submit to British rule or face war

  • 1882 Boston's Bijou Theatre, 1st American playhouse lit exclusively by electricity, 1st performance, Gilbert & Sullivan's "Iolanthe"

Theater Premiere

1882 Victorien Sardous play "Fedora" with Sarah Bernhardt premieres in Paris

  • 1888 French Panama Canal Company fails
  • 1893 11 fishing ships wash up at Wadden Sea, 22 killed

Marconi's Dream: Telegraphy Without Wires

1896 Chief Electrical Engineer of the British Post Office, William Preece, gives a public lecture in London called "Telegraphy without Wires", praising the work of 22 year old Guglielmo Marconi

  • 1902 The US signs a treaty with Cuba allowing for a 20 percent reduction of tariff rates on imported Cuban products
  • 1903 British forces under MacDonald & Younghusband march into Tibet
  • 1905 120°F (49°C), Rivadavia, Argentina (South American record)
  • 1905 British government of Campbell-Bannerman forms
  • 1905 A workers uprising occurs, establishing the Shuliavka Republic in Kiev

Historic Event

1906 US President Theodore Roosevelt attacks abuses in the Congo

  • 1907 New Zealand Parliament Buildings almost completely destroyed by fire
  • 1908 Frederick Delius' orchestral work "In a Summer Garden" premieres in London
  • 1909 Colored moving pictures demonstrated at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1909 Canadian Football exhibition game played in Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, Hamilton Tigers beat Ottawa Rough Riders, 11-6 before 15,000
  • 1913 "Mona Lisa" recovered 2 years after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum
  • 1914 Stockton Street Tunnel (San Francisco) completed

Historic Event

1916 David Lloyd George forms British war government

  • 1917 13 black soldiers hanged for participation in Houston riot
  • 1917 German-occupied Lithuania proclaims independence from Russia
  • 1919 Boll weevil monument dedicated in Enterprise, Alabama

Catholic Encyclical

1925 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Quas Primas

  • 1926 Leo O'Connor is unbeaten on 143 as Queensland wins their first Sheffield Shield match by 5 wickets vs NSW at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Historic Event

1928 Buenos Aires police thwart an attempt on President-elect Herbert Hoover

  • 1930 Bank of the United States closes in New York City
  • 1931 Japan leaves the Gold Standard
  • 1931 Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland (Free State), and Newfoundland (not then part of Canada)
  • 1932 San Francisco's coldest day (27°F) - it snows
  • 1934 1935 All-Star Game is assigned to Cleveland
  • 1934 1st Toronto Maple Leaf penalty shot, Conacher unsuccessful vs Rangers
  • 1934 Ford C. Frick becomes president of baseball's National League
  • 1934 NL votes to permit night baseball (up to 7 games per home team)
  • 1937 25th CFL Grey Cup, Varsity Stadium, Toronto: Toronto Argonauts claim their 4th Championship; beat Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 4-3
  • 1937 Italy withdraws from League of Nations

NFL Championship

1938 National Football League Championship, Polo Grounds, NYC: New York Giants beat Green Bay Packers, 23-17; record title game attendance 48,120

Historic Event

1940 Russian general Georgy Zhukov warns of German assault

Sports History

1941 Australian state cricket associations, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales decide at meetings with new Prime Minister John Curtin to abandon all interstate first class matches for the duration of WWII

  • 1941 Dutch government in London declares war on Italy
  • 1941 Germany & Italy declare war on USA
  • 1941 NY Giants acquire future Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Johnny Mize from Cardinals for 3 players & $50,000
  • 1941 Japanese attack Wake Island (only failed WW II-landing)
  • 1941 Japanese occupy Guam
  • 1942 Australian Dutch guerrilla troops evacuated to Timor near Australia
  • 1944 Surprise attack on House of Keeping Axe, 29 prisoners freed
  • 1945 Het Parool publishes 1st Captain Rob-strip

Music History

1946 Hank Williams begins to record on Sterling label

  • 1946 Spain suspended from UN
  • 1946 UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) established (Nobel 1965)
  • 1947 Bob Hilliard and Sigman's musical "Angel in the Wings" opens at Coronet Theater NYC for 308 performances
  • 1947 Pacific Coast League application for major league status rejected
  • 1948 WHEN (now WTVH) TV channel 5 in Syracuse, NY (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1948 WMC TV channel 5 in Memphis, Tennessee (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1949 Chicago Bear Johnny Lujack passes for 6 touchdowns vs Chicago Cards (52-29)
  • 1949 Cleveland Browns beat SF '49ers 21-7 in final AAFC championship game
  • 1949 WOAI (now KMOL) TV channel 4 in San Antonio, TX (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • 1950 Baseball owners vote 9-7 not to renew Commissioner Chandler's contract

Music Premiere

1950 Paul Hindemith's Concerto for Clarinet premieres with Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy, and Benny Goodman as soloist, at the Academy of Music

Nobel Prize

1950 British Physicist Cecil Frank Powell awarded Nobel Prize in Physics for his study of nuclear processes and the discovery of the pion

Sports History

1951 Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball

  • 1951 "The Wild Side of Life" single recorded by Hank Thompson and His Brazos Valley Boys (Billboard Song of the Year, 1952)
  • 1953 KTVA TV channel 11 in Anchorage (CBS) becomes Alaska's 1st TV station
  • 1954 Phillies purchase Connie Mack Stadium
  • 1954 USS Forrestal christened in Newport News, Virginia
  • 1956 Anti-Russian demonstrations in Stettin & Wroclaw, Poland
  • 1958 4th (last) Dutch government of Drees falls
  • 1958 Archibald MacLeish's play "JB" premieres in NYC
  • 1958 Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) gains autonomy from France

Sports History

1959 NY Yankees trade Marv Thronberry, Don Larsen, Hank Bauer and Norm Seibern for Roger Maris, Kent Hadley and Joe Deaestri

Historic Publication

1959 Emilio G. Segrè publishes his discovery of the antiproton, a sub-atomic antiparticle for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1959

  • 1960 Black Sunday - Riot in Algiers; pro-independence demonstrations turn violent, 114 die

Music Premiere

1960 Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh's musical "Wildcat" with Lucille Ball premieres in New York City

  • 1960 Cleveland Brown's Bernie Parrish sets club record for longest interception return with a 92 yard run
  • 1961 "Please, Mr. Postman" by Marvelettes released

#1 in the Charts

1961 Elvis Presley's "Blue Hawaii" album goes #1 & stays #1 for 20 wks

Historic Event

1961 JFK provides US military helicopters & crews to South Vietnam

United Nations Speech

1964 Che Guevara speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. An unknown terrorist fires a mortar shell at the building during the speech.

Historic Event

1964 "Time" magazine calls Susan Sontag "one of Manhattan's brightest intellectuals" in a review of her groundbreaking essay "Notes on Camp"

  • 1965 "Anya" closes at Ziegfeld Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • 1965 "Yearling" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 3 performances
  • 1966 Al Nelson sets NFL record returning missed field goal, 100 yards
  • 1967 6.5 earthquake in West India, 170 killed
  • 1967 Beatles' Apple Music signs its 1st group - Grapefruit
  • 1967 People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) established
  • 1967 Supersonic airliner prototype "Concorde" 1st shown (France)

Film Premiere

1967 "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, premieres in NYC (Hepburn - Academy Award for Best Actress 1968)

  • 1968 KECC (now KECY) TV channel 9 in El Centro, CA (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1968 US Soccer Football Association refuses to let NASL disband

Historic Event

1968 Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill sacks Home Affairs Minister, William Craig

  • 1969 Libya adopts constitution
  • 1970 Start of the 1st Test match at the WACA, Australia v England
  • 1971 The Libertarian Party of the United States is formed
  • 1971 A bomb explodes outside a furniture showroom on the mainly-Protestant and loyalist Shankill Road, Belfast; four civilians (including two babies) were killed and nineteen wounded
  • 1972 American Astronauts Eugene Cernan & Harrison 'Jack" Schmitt, a become 11th & 12th people on the Moon
  • 1972 New York Jets' Don Maynard becomes all time pro reception leader (632)
  • 1973 Houston Astro Caesar Cedino jailed for the death of 19 year old woman
  • 1973 NA Soccer League awards LA, San Francisco, Seattle & Vancouver franchises

Historic Event

1973 West German chancellor Willy Brandt normalizes trade with Czechoslovakia

  • 1975 US 1st class postage rises from 10 cents to 13 cents

Sports History

1975 Great Yankee trade getting Willie Randolph, Dock Ellis & Ken Brett from Pirates for George "Doc" Medich

  • 1977 Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams, leaders of the group 'Peace People' (an organization dedicated to encouraging a peaceful resolution of 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland) receive the Nobel Peace Prize
  • 1978 6 masked men bound 10 employees at Lufthansa cargo area at NYC Kennedy Airport & made off with $5.8m in cash & jewelry
  • 1978 NBC premiere of "A Woman Called Moses"
  • 1979 Geoff Boycott scores cricket century in a limited-over international
  • 1980 Dirk Wellham scores 100 on 1st-class debut, NSW v Victoria
  • 1980 The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (known as either CERCLA or Superfund) is enacted by the U.S. Congress.

Television Premiere

1980 "Magnum P.I." starring Tom Selleck premieres on CBS

  • 1981 Argentine President General Roberto Viola flees

Boxing Title Fight

1981 Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali's 61st and last fight; loses to Trevor Berbick by unanimous decision in 10 rounds at Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, Nassau, Bahamas

  • 1981 Spacelab I arrives at Kennedy Space Center
  • 1981 UN Security Council chooses Javier Pérez de Cuélla of Peru as the 5th Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • 1981 Wash Capitals biggest margin of victory (9) beating Toronto 11-2
  • 1981 El Mozote massacre: Salvadoran armed forces kill an estimated 900 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign during the country's civil war.

Papal Visit

1983 1st visit to Lutheran church by a pope (John Paul II in Rome)

  • 1984 "Doug Henning & His World..." opens at Lunt-Fontanne NYC for 60 performances
  • 1984 Mauretania military coup under Col Maawiya Ould Sid'ahmed Taya
  • 1985 Computer store owner in Sacramento California killed by package bomb
  • 1985 Dow Jones closes above 1,500 for 1st time (1,511.70)
  • 1985 General Electric acquires RCA Corp & its subsidiary, NBC
  • 1985 NHL Record 62 points scored, Edmonton (36) beats Chicago (26) 12-9 & ties record of 21 goals
  • 1986 South Africa censors press
  • 1987 Test debut of Carl Hooper, WI v India at Bombay

Film Premiere

1987 Martin Ritt's dramatic film "Nuts", starring Barbra Streisand and Richard Dreyfus premieres

Film Release

1987 "Wall Street" film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen is released

  • 1989 Cy Coleman and David Zippel's musical "City of Angels" opens at Virginia Theater, NYC; runs for 878 performances, wins 6 Tony Awards and 8 Drama Desk Awards
  • 1989 Mark Davis signs record $3.25 million per year KC Royals contract
  • 1990 13 die in 83 vehicle accident in Chattanooga Tn I-75, due to fog
  • 1990 US 69th manned space mission STS 35 (Columbia 11) returns from space
  • 1991 William Kennedy Smith found not guilty of rape

Film Premiere

1991 "Hook", a swashbuckling film sequel to the Peter Pan story, directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman premieres

  • 1992 Nor'easter storm hits NY, doing $ Billion worth of damage
  • 1992 WNEW AM radio on 1130 in NYC ends transmitting after 58 years

Film & TV History

1992 US President George H.W. Bush awards actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn the Presidential Medal of Freedom

  • 1993 59th Heisman Trophy Award: Charlie Ward, Florida State (QB)
  • 1993 Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle elected President of Chile
  • 1994 Russian troops enter Chechnya
  • 1995 Thomas O Hicks buys NHL Dallas Stars for $84 million
  • 1997 Federal judge orders Microsoft not to bundle IE4 in Windows
  • 1997 Delegates from 150 industrial nations attending a UN climate conference in Kyoto, Japan, reach agreement to control heat-trapping greenhouse gases
  • 1998 Thai Airways Airbus A310-200 crashes near Surat Thani Airport, killing 101
  • 2000 66th Heisman Trophy Award: Chris Weinke, Florida State (QB)
  • 2001 The People's Republic of China joins the World Trade Organization.

NHL Record

2002 Joe Sakic scores his 500th career goal at Vancouver

  • 2004 70th Heisman Trophy Award: Matt Leinart, USC (QB)
  • 2005 The Buncefield Oil Depot in Hemel Hempstead, England, is rocked by explosions, causing a huge oil fire.
  • 2005 Cronulla riots: thousands of white Australians demonstrate against ethnic violence, resulting in a riot against anyone thought to be Lebanese (and many who were not) in Cronulla Sydney. These are followed by ethnic attacks on Cronulla.

Theatrical Finale

2005 Twyla Tharp's rock ballet "Movin' Out", set to songs of Billy Joel, closes at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, NYC after 1,303 performances

Conference of Interest

2006 International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust is opened in Tehran, Iran by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

  • 2007 Two car bombs go off at the Constitutional Court building in Algiers and the United Nations office. An estimated 45 people are killed in the bombings.

Historic Event

2008 Bernie Madoff arrested and charged with securities fraud in $50 billion Ponzi scheme

Sports History

2009 Tiger Woods announces an indefinite leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage.

  • 2009 Angry Birds, a Finnish puzzle video game released internationally
  • 2010 Two explosions occur in a busy shopping district of Stockholm, Sweden, killing one and injuring two others. Officials say the incident is being treated as a terrorist attack.

Film & TV History

2011 Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek suffers a minor heart attack in his home and is admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

  • 2011 Mosconi Cup nine-ball pool, Las Vegas, Nevada: Team Europe retains trophy with an 11-7 win over US; MVP: Niels Feijen (Netherlands)
  • 2012 125 people are killed and 200 are injured by bombings in Aqrab, Syria
  • 2012 HSBC bank settles with US authorities to pay $1.9 billion for drug cartel money laundering

Historic Event

2012 British physicist, Stephen Hawking, wins the $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize, the most lucrative academic prize in the world

Historic Event

2013 Pope Francis is named Time magazine's person of the year

  • 2013 20 people are killed by the bubonic plague in a small Madagascan village

Historic Event

2014 CIA Director John Brennan defends interrogation methods used after 9/11 but admits some methods were "abhorrent"

  • 2014 World's 1st penis transplant procedure by a team from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2015 Unrest in Burundi leads to clashes between authorities and protesters in Bujumbura, killing at least 87

Historic Publication

2015 "Playboy" magazine publishes its last nude issue, features Pamela Anderson on the cover

  • 2016 Bombing at a chapel in Cairo, Egypt, kills 25 and wounds 45

Election of Interest

2016 Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh says he will contest his election defeat in court, after his 1st election loss in 22 years

  • 2016 Kyrgyzstan votes in a referendum to change the constitution to give the government more power
  • 2017 Saudi Arabia announces an end to its 35 year ban on cinemas

Historic Event

2017 US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand calls for the resignation of President Donald Trump given 16 women have accused him of sexual harassment

  • 2017 Landmark trial for Huntington's disease in London announces positive results - first time a drug has been able to slow an incurable brain disorder
  • 2017 Rahul Gandhi, son of former Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi, is elected leader of the Indian National Congress
  • 2017 Six wildfires in Southern California now cover area larger than New York City and Boston combined
  • 2017 Attempted suicide terrorist bomb attack in New York wounds 3, bomb fails to fully detonate

Historic Event

2018 Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018 is "the Guardians" journalists targeted for their work, including Jamal Khashoggi