On This Day

Historical Events on May 11

  • 330 Constantinople (Byzantium) becomes the capital of the Roman Empire
  • 868 "The Diamond Sutra", the world's oldest surviving and dated printed book is printed in Chinese and made into a scroll

Royal Coronation

1068 Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror, is crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey, London

Historic Event

1189 Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and 100,000 crusaders depart Regensburg for the Third Crusade

  • 1310 Fifty-four members of the Knights Templar are burned at the stake in France for being heretics
  • 1421 Jews are expelled from Styria Austria

Historic Event

1502 Christopher Columbus begins 4th & last trip to the "Indies"

  • 1625 Peasants besiege Frankenburg estate in Upper Austria
  • 1647 Peter Stuyvesant arrives in New Amsterdam
  • 1674 Netherlands & Cologne sign peace treaty
  • 1678 French admiral Jean d'Estrees' naval fleet runs aground on Aves-islands, Curacao, ends French control and ushers in an age of Piracy in the Caribbean
  • 1689 Battle of Bantry Bay, French & English naval battle
  • 1690 English troops of W Phips conquer Port Royal, Nova Scotia
  • 1745 Battle of Fontenoy (Doornik): Austrian Succession war
  • 1749 British parliament accepts Consolidation Act, to reorganise the Royal Navy

Historic Event

1751 Pennsylvania Hospital founded by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin, in Philadelphia

  • 1752 1st US fire insurance policy issued, in Philadelphia
  • 1772 Amsterdam Theater destroyed by fire, 18 killed, in Amsterdam, Northern Netherlands
  • 1784 Britain & Tippu Sahib of Mysore sign peace treaty
  • 1792 Columbia River discovered & named by US Captain Robert Gray

Historic Event

1800 French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck give a lecture first outlining his theories of evolution at the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle in Paris, France

  • 1812 Waltz introduced into English ballrooms. Some observers consider it disgusting and immoral.

Assassination of a British Prime Minister

1812 British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons, London. Ironically, descendants of both later stand for the same seat in Parliament at the same time but neither win.

  • 1813 In Australia, William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth, lead an expedition westwards from Sydney. Their route opens up inland Australia for continued expansion throughout the 19th century.
  • 1816 American Bible Society forms (NY)

Historic Event

1820 Launch of HMS Beagle, the ship that would later take a young Charles Darwin on his famous scientific voyage

  • 1833 "Lady-of-the-Lake" strikes iceberg & sinks in North Atlantic; kills 215

Historic Event

1841 American Charles Wilkes lands at Fort Nisqually in Puget Sound

  • 1850 Work starts on 1st brick building in San Francisco
  • 1858 Minnesota admitted as 32nd US state
  • 1862 Confederates scuttle CSS Virginia off Norfolk, Virginia
  • 1864 Battle of Yellow Tavern, Virginia (Sheridan's Raid, South Anna Bridge)

Historic Event

1864 Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart is mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern

  • 1865 Confederate Brigadier General Meriwether Jeff Thompson surrenders at Jacksonport, Arkansas
  • 1867 Treaty of London drawn, granting Luxembourg full independence and neutrality
  • 1875 George "Charmer" Zettlein pitches the 1st 9 inning shutout
  • 1881 Bedřich Smetana's opera "Libuše" premieres iat the Natonal Theater, in Prague
  • 1887 13th Kentucky Derby: Isaac Lewis aboard Montrose wins in 2:39.25
  • 1888 16th Preakness: F Littlefield aboard Refund wins in 2:49

Assassination Attempt

1891 The Otsu Scandal: While visiting Japan, Prince Nicholas (later Tsar Nicholas II) survives an assassination attempt

  • 1892 18th Kentucky Derby: Lonnie Clayton aboard Azra wins in 2:41½

World Record

1893 Henri Desgrange establishes world's 1st bicycle world record, travelling 35.325 km (21.95 miles) an hour

  • 1894 American RR Union strikes Pullman Sleeping Car Co
  • 1897 Washington Senator catcher Charlie Farrell throws out 8 attempted stealers

Boxing Title Fight

1900 James J. Jeffries KOs James J Corbett in 23 for heavyweight boxing title

Historic Event

1904 Andrew Carnegie donates $1.5M to build a peace palace

  • 1907 Bank of San Francisco incorporated
  • 1907 A derailment outside Lompoc, California, kills 32 Shriners when their chartered train jumps off the tracks at a switch near Surf Depot
  • 1910 Montana's Glacier National Park forms
  • 1911 The United States becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty
  • 1912 38th Kentucky Derby: Carol H Shilling aboard Worth wins in 2:09.4

Historic Event

1917 King George V grants Royal Letters Patent to New Zealand

  • 1918 44th Kentucky Derby: William Knapp on Exterminator wins in 2:10.8
  • 1919 Cincinnati Reds Hod Eller no-hits St Louis Cards, 6-0

Sports History

1919 Washington Senators future Baseball Hall of Fame ace Walter Johnson pitches 12 scoreless innings in a famous 0-0 duel with Jack Quinn of the NY Yankees at the Polo Grounds

  • 1921 Tel Aviv is 1st all Jewish municipality
  • 1921 The Allied Supreme Council warns Germany to pay reparations or the entire Ruhr Valley will be occupied; Germany agrees
  • 1923 10 HRs hit in Phillies 20-14 victory over St Louis Cardinals at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia
  • 1924 Cartel des Gauches wins French parliamentary election

Historic Event

1924 Pulitzer Prize awarded to Robert Frost (New Hampshire)

  • 1925 Communist Party of Holland splits
  • 1925 Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Region constituted in RSFSR
  • 1926 Airship Norge leaves Spitsbergen for 1st air crossing of Arctic Ocean
  • 1927 Belgium beats England 9-1 in soccer
  • 1927 Louis B Mayer forms Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • 1928 53rd Preakness: Raymond Sonny Workman aboard Victorian wins in 2:00.2

British Golf Open

1928 British Open Men's Golf, Royal St George's GC: Walter Hagen wins 3rd of his 4 Open Championship titles, 2 strokes ahead of fellow American Gene Sarazen

  • 1928 General Electric opens 1st TV-station (Schenectady, NY)
  • 1929 1st regularly scheduled TV broadcasts (3 nights per week)
  • 1929 Dr Annie Webb Blanton forms Delta Kappa Gamma Society in Austin, Texas
  • 1931 Credit-Anstalt, Austria's largest bank, fails, beginning financial collapse of Central Europe
  • 1931 "M" Fritz Lang's first sound film starring Peter Lorre premieres in Berlin
  • 1935 60th Preakness: Willie Saunders aboard Omaha wins in 1:58.4
  • 1937 Los Glaciares National Park established in Patagonia, Argentina, the country's largest national park (UNESCO World Heritage Site 1981) [1]
  • 1940 65th Preakness: Fred A Smith aboard Bimelech wins in 1:58.6
  • 1940 NY World's Fair reopens
  • 1941 1st Messerschmidt 109F shot down above England
  • 1942 Japanese troops conquer Kalewa

Historic Publication

1942 William Faulkner's collections of short stories, "Go Down, Moses", is published

Victory in Battle

1943 Hermann Goering division in Tunisia surrenders

  • 1943 US 7th div lands on Attu, Aleutian, (1st US territory recaptured)
  • 1944 Opposition group surprise attack post office Washer
  • 1945 US Marines conquer Awatsha Draw, Okinawa
  • 1946 1st night game at Boston Braves Field (Giants 5, Braves 1)
  • 1946 71st Preakness: Warren Mehrtens aboard Assault wins in 2:01.4
  • 1946 United Malays National Organisation is created.
  • 1947 BF Goodrich announced the development of tubeless tire (Akron Ohio)
  • 1947 Laos accepts constitution for parliamentary democracy
  • 1948 Haganah takes control of Safed & port of Haifa
  • 1948 Luigi Einaudi elected President of Italy
  • 1949 By a vote of 37-12, Israel becomes 59th member of UN
  • 1949 Siam renames itself Thailand
  • 1950 Belgium mine disaster at Borinage, 39 die
  • 1950 Eugene Ionesco's first play "La Cantatrice Chauve" (The Bald Soprano) premieres in Paris
  • 1951 American engineer Jay Forrester applies for patent for computer core memory
  • 1953 Tornado kills 114 in Waco Texas ($39M damage)
  • 1955 Israel attacks Gaza
  • 1956 Pinky Lee Show last airs on NBC-TV

Music History

1956 Elvis Presley's 1st entry on UK charts with "Heartbreak Hotel"

  • 1957 Gabriel Paris forms government of Colombia
  • 1958 US performs its second atmospheric nuclear test of the day, this one at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands
  • 1958 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island
  • 1959 "Kookie, Kookie Lend Me Your Comb" by Byrnes & Connie Stevens hits #4

Music Premiere

1959 Mary Rodgers & Marshall Barer's musical "Once Upon A Mattress", starring Carol Burnett and directed by George Abbott, opens at Phoenix Theatre, NYC; runs for 244 performances

Sports History

1959 New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra's errorless streak of 148 games ends

  • 1960 French liner "France" launched

Historic Event

1962 Antonio Segni becomes President of Italy

  • 1962 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island
  • 1962 US sends troops to Thailand
  • 1963 "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" by Peter, Paul & Mary hits #2

Sports History

1963 LA Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax throws his second career no-hitter; beats Juan Marichal and the SF Giants, 8-0

  • 1963 Racial bomb attacks in Birmingham Alabama
  • 1965 "Flora, the Red Menace" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 87 performances
  • 1965 1st of 2 cyclones in less than a month kills 35,000 (India)
  • 1965 Bangladesh windstorm kills 17,000

Statue of Liberty

1965 Ellis Island added to Statue of Liberty National monument

  • 1965 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1965 West Indies becomes 1st holders of the Frank Worrell Cricket Trophy
  • 1966 European Cup Final, Heysel Stadium, Brussels: Fernando Serena scores the winner as Real Madrid beats Partizan Belgrade, 2-1; Madrid's 6th title
  • 1967 "Sing, Israel Sing" opens at Brooks Atkinson Theatre NYC for 14 performances
  • 1967 100,000,000th US phone connected
  • 1967 Great Britain, Ireland & Denmark apply for membership of the EEC

Music Single

1968 Irish actor Richard Harris releases single "MacArthur Park"; it becomes a million-seller topping the charts in Canada and Australia, and peaking at #2 in US and #4 in UK

  • 1968 Stanley Cup Final, Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec: Defenceman J. C. Tremblay fires home the winner as Montreal Canadiens edge St Louis Blues, 3-2 for a 4-0 series sweep
  • 1968 Students & police battle in Paris, 100s injured
  • 1968 Toronto Transit Commission opens the largest expansion of its Bloor-Danforth Line, going to Scarborough in the east, Etobicoke in the west

Film & TV History

1969 British comedy troupe Monty Python forms, made up of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin

  • 1970 "The Long and Winding Road" becomes Beatles' last American single release
  • 1970 Henry Marrow is murdered in a violent racially-motivated crime in Oxford, North Carolina.
  • 1971 Cleveland's pitcher Steve Dunning hits a grand slam off Oakland Athletics pitcher Diego Seguí

Sports History

1972 Giants trade Willie Mays to Mets for pitcher Charlie Williams & cash

Music History

1972 John Lennon says his phone is tapped by FBI on "The Dick Cavett Show"

  • 1972 Stanley Cup Final, Madison Square Garden, NYC: Wayne Cashman scores twice as Boston Bruins beat NY Rangers, 3-0 to take title, 4-2
  • 1972 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1973 Dutch government of Uyl forms
  • 1973 Citing government misconduct, Daniel Ellsberg has his charges for his involvement in releasing the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times dismissed

Film Release

1973 Ground-breaking Indian crime film "Zanjeer" directed by Prakash Mehra and starring "The Angry Young Man" Amitabh Bachchan released

  • 1974 "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield hits #7

Music History

1974 Steely Dan releases "Rikki Don't Lose That Number"

  • 1975 Israel signs an agreement with European Economic Market

Album Release

1975 Natalie Cole releases her debut album "Inseparable" (wins 2 Grammys)

  • 1976 Emmy 3rd Daytime Award presentation
  • 1976 Last broadcast of "Marcus Welby, MD" on ABC-TV

Sports History

1977 Ted Turner manages an Atlanta Braves game

  • 1978 Margaret A Brewer is 1st female general in the US Marine Corps

Baseball Record

1980 Pete Rose, 39, steals second, third, & home in one inning for Phillies

Music Premiere

1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats" (based on poetry by T. S. Eliot) directed by Trevor Nunn first premieres in the West End, London

  • 1983 Alan Jay Lerner and Charles Strouse's musical "Dance a Little Closer" opens & closes at Minskoff Theater, NYC, after 1 performance
  • 1983 Aberdeen of Scotland win 23rd European Cup Winner's Cup against Real Madrid of Spain 2-1 in Gothenburg
  • 1983 Comet C/1983 H1 (IRAS-Araki-Alcock) approaches 0.0312 AUs of Earth
  • 1984 Johan Cruijff quits soccer
  • 1984 Tigers set best 30 game start record (26-4)
  • 1984 Transit of Earth as seen on Mars
  • 1985 56 die and at least 265 are injured at Bradford City football ground in the worst fire in English football history
  • 1985 Booby trap bomb kills 86 people in India

#1 in the Charts

1985 Madonna's "Crazy For You" single goes #1

  • 1985 Pope John Paul II arrival in Netherlands marred by violent protest
  • 1985 Dave Concepcion becomes 4th Cincinnati Red teammate to get 2,000 hits, others include Pete Rose, Tony Perez & Cesar Cedeno
  • 1987 1st heart-lung transplant take place in Baltimore
  • 1988 France performs nuclear test
  • 1988 KV Mechelen of Belgium win 28th European Cup Winner's Cup against Ajax of Netherlands 1-0 in Strasbourg
  • 1988 NHL Clarence Campbell Conference Final: Edmonton Oilers beat Detroit Red Wings, 4 games to 1
  • 1989 217th & final episode of TV soap "Dynasty" is aired
  • 1989 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • 1989 Kenya announces worldwide ban on ivory to preserve its elephant herds

Historic Event

1989 US President George H. W. Bush orders nearly 2,000 troops to Panama

  • 1989 NHL Prince of Wales Conference Final: Montreal Canadians beat Philadelphia Flyers, 4 games to 2

Sports History

1990 NY Yankees trade Dave Winfield to Angels for Mike Witt

  • 1991 NHL Prince of Wales Conference Final: Pittsburgh Penguins beat Boston Bruins, 4 games to 2

Music Awards

1993 28th Academy of Country Music Awards: Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, and Mary Chapin Carpenter win

  • 1993 Paramaribo Suriname TV studio destroyed by fire
  • 1994 Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's musical "Grease" opens at Eugene O' Neill Theater, NYC; runs for 1,503 performances
  • 1994 "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult" released in France
  • 1994 6 white racists sentenced to death in South Africa
  • 1995 More than 170 countries agree to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons [1]
  • 1996 Florida Marlin Al Leiter no hits Colorado Rockies, 11-0
  • 1996 Valujet DC-9 crashes in Miami, 109 die
  • 1997 "Play On!" closes at Brooks Atkinson Theatre NYC after 61 performances
  • 1997 NY Mets C Everett & Butch Huskey are 9th to hit consecutive pinch HRs

Sports History

1997 Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov 3.5-2.5 in chess

  • 1998 India conducts three underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, including a thermonuclear device
  • 2000 India's population officially reaches 1 billion - Astha Arora named India's billionth baby
  • 2002 Last performance of the musical Cats in London's West End
  • 2002 Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveils the Man With Two Hats monument in Ottawa and Apeldoorn (May 2), 2000, symbolically linking both the Netherlands and Canada for their assistance throughout the Second World War.


2007 Pope Benedict XVI canonizes the first Brazilian-born saint, Frei Galvão

TV Show Appearance

2008 Charo makes a guest appearance on the Latin-themed VH1 reality show Viva Hollywood

  • 2008 PGA Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass: Sergio García of Spain claims the biggest win of his career to date in a sudden-death playoff over American Paul Goydos
  • 2009 An American soldier in Iraq opened fire on a counseling center at Camp Liberty in Bagdhad, leaving 5 other US soldiers dead and 3 soldiers wounded

Election of Interest

2010 Imelda Marcos wins election to the House of Representatives of the Philippines, representing Ilocos Norte province

Election of Interest

2010 David Cameron becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after forming a coalition government between the Liberal Democrats and his own Conservative Party

  • 2012 Chinese scientists break world record by transferring photons over 97 kilometers using quantum teleportation
  • 2013 43 people are killed in two car bombings in Reyhanlı, Turkey

Sports History

2013 Bayern Munich set a new  Bundesliga points record of 91

  • 2013 Barcelona wins its fourth La Liga title in four years
  • 2013 English FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, London (86,254): Wigan Athletic upsets Manchester City, 1-0; Ben Watson scores 90+1' winner
  • 2014 Thousands protest against the construction of a waste incineration plant in Hangzhou, China
  • 2014 PGA Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass: German Martin Kaymer leads after each round to win by 1 stroke ahead of Jim Furyk; first 8-figure purse in golf with winner's share $1.8 million

Historic Event

2015 Record price for a work of art at auction: Picasso's The Women of Algiers (Version ‘O’) sells for US$179.3 million at Christies in New York