August 11th in History

 This day in historyIn August 11th is the 223rd day of the year (224th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 142 days remaining until the end of the year

Holidays

History

In 3114 BC – The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, notably the Mayans, begins.

In 2492 BC – Traditional date of the defeat of Bel by Hayk, progenitor and founder of the Armenian nation.

Helmed Hoplite Sparta.JPGIn 480 BC,  Leonidas I, (“son of the lion”)Agiad King of Sparta dies. He was a warrior king of the Greek city-state of Sparta. He was the husband of Gorgo, the daughter of Cleomenes I of Sparta and the 17th of the Agiad line; a dynasty which claimed descent from the mythological demigod Heracles. Leonidas had a notable participation in the Second Persian War, where he led the allied Greek forces to a last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC) while attempting to defend the pass from the invading Persian army.

According to Herodotus, Leonidas’ mother was not only his father’s wife but also his niece and had been barren for so long that the ephors, the five annually elected administrators of the Spartan constitution, tried to prevail upon King Anaxandridas II to set her aside and take another wife. Anaxandridas refused, claiming his wife was blameless, whereupon the ephors agreed to allow him to take a second wife without setting aside his first. This second wife, a descendent of Chilon of Sparta (one of the Seven Sages of Greece), promptly bore a son, Cleomenes. However, one year after Cleomenes’ birth, Anaxandridas’ first wife also gave birth to a son, Dorieus. Leonidas was the second son of Anaxandridas’ first wife, and either the elder brother or twin of Cleombrotus. Because Leonidas was not heir to the throne, he was not exempt from attending the agoge, the public school education which the sons of all Spartans had to complete in order to qualify for citizenship. Leonidas was thus one of the few Spartan kings to have ever undergone the notoriously harsh training of Spartan youth.

In 106 – The south-western part of Dacia (modern Romania) becomes a Roman province: Roman Dacia.

In 355Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaims himself Roman Emperor against Constantius II.

In 490 – Battle of Adda: The Goths under Theodoric the Great and his ally Alaric II defeat the forces of Odoacer on the Adda River, near Milan.

In 1332Wars of Scottish Independence: Battle of Dupplin Moor – Scots under Domhnall II, Earl of Mar are routed by Edward Balliol.

In 1467 – Born this day Mary of York (d. 1482)

In 1473 – The Battle of Otlukbeli: Mehmed the Conqueror of the Ottoman Empire decisively defeats Uzun Hassan of Aq Qoyunlu.

In 1675Franco-Dutch War: forces of the Holy Roman Empire defeat the French in the Battle of Konzer Brücke.

In 1786 – Captain Francis Light establishes the British colony of Penang in Malaysia.

In 1804Francis II assumes the title of first Emperor of Austria.

In 1812Peninsular War: French troops engage BritishPortuguese forces in the Battle of Majadahonda.

In 1858 – The Eiger in the Bernese Alps is ascended for the first time by Charles Barrington accompanied by Christian Almer and Peter Bohren.

In 1898Spanish–American War: American troops enter the city of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

In 1918World War I: the Battle of Amiens ends.

Andrew Carnegie, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing slightly left, 1913.jpg

Library of Congress

In 1919,  Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist, founded the Carnegie Steel Company and Carnegie Hall (b. 1835) dies  at his Shadow Brook estate, of bronchial pneumonia. He was a Scottish American industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. He is often identified as one of the richest people in history, alongside John D. Rockefeller and Jakob Fugger. He built a leadership role as a philanthropist for the United States and the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away to charities, foundations, and universities about $350 million (in 2015 share of GDP, $78.6 billion) – almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming “The Gospel of Wealth” called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, and it stimulated a wave of philanthropy.

In 1919 – The constitution of the Weimar Republic is adopted.

In 1920 – The Latvian–Soviet Peace Treaty, which relinquished Russia‘s authority and pretenses to Latvia, is signed, ending the Latvian War of Independence.

In 1921 – Born this day, Alex Haley, American historian (d. 1992)

In 1929Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career with a home run at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1934 – The first civilian prisoners arrive at the Federal prison on Alcatraz Island.

In 1933 – Born this day, Jerry Falwell, American pastor and evangelist (d. 2007)

In 1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.

In 1945 – Poles in Kraków engage in a pogrom against Jews in the city, killing 1 and wounding 5.

In 1947Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founding father of Pakistan, gives a speech to the Constituent Assembly, the contents and meaning of which remain contentious today.

In 1952Hussein bin Talal is proclaimed King of Jordan.

In 1953 – Born this day, Hulk Hogan, American wrestler and actor

Namuth - Pollock.jpgIn 1956,  Jackson Pollock, American painter (b. 1912) died in a single-car crash in his Oldsmobile convertible while driving under the influence of alcohol. At the time Krasner was visiting friends in Europe and she abruptly returned on hearing the news from a friend. One of the passengers, Edith Metzger, was also killed in the accident, which occurred less than a mile from Pollock’s home. The other passenger, Ruth Kligman, an artist and Pollock’s mistress, survived. He was an American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He was well known for his unique style of drip painting.

During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety; he was a major artist of his generation. Regarded as reclusive, he had a volatile personality, and struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. In 1945, he married the artist Lee Krasner, who became an important influence on his career and on his legacy.

In 1959Sheremetyevo International Airport, the second-largest airport in Russia, opens.

In 1960Chad declares independence.

In 1961 – The former Portuguese territories in India of Dadra and Nagar Haveli are merged to create the Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

In 1962Vostok 3 launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev becomes the first person to float in microgravity.

In 1965 – Born this day,  Viola Davis, American actress

In 1965 – Race riots (the Watts Riots) begin in the Watts area of Los Angeles, California.

In 1968 – The last steam hauled train runs on British railways

In 1972Vietnam War: the last United States ground combat unit leaves South Vietnam.

In 1975East Timor: Governor Mário Lemos Pires of Portuguese Timor abandons the capital Dili, following a coup by the Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) and the outbreak of civil war between UDT and Fretilin.

In 1982 – A bomb explodes on Pan Am Flight 830, en route from Tokyo, Japan to Honolulu, Hawaii, killing one teenager and injuring 15 passengers.

In 1983 – For the ladies out there, Chris Hemsworth, Australian actor was born this day.

In 1984 – “We begin bombing in five minutes” – United States President Ronald Reagan, while running for re-election, jokes while preparing to make his weekly Saturday address on National Public Radio.

Peter Cushing in 1955.jpgIn 1994,  Peter Cushing, English actor (b. 1913) dies. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1982, but managed to survive for 12 years without surgery, although his health remained fragile. In 1989, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire; his friend Christopher Lee publicly opined that the honour was “too little, too late”. Cushing retired to Whitstable, on the Kent coast, where he had bought a seafront home in 1959, and continued his hobby of birdwatching while writing two autobiographies. He also worked as a painter, specialising in watercolours, and wrote and illustrated a children’s book of Lewis Carroll–style humour, The Bois Saga. He was a patron of the Vegetarian Society from 1987 until his death. He was an English actor and a BAFTA TV Award Best Actor winner in 1956. He is mainly known for his prolific appearances in Hammer Films, in which he played strong character roles like the sinister scientist Baron FrankensteinSherlock Holmes and the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing, among many other roles. He appeared frequently opposite Christopher Lee and, occasionally, Vincent Price. A familiar face on both sides of the Atlantic, Cushing is best known outside the Hammer productions for playing Dr. Who in Doctor Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks – Invasion Earth (1966), and for his performance as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars (1977). Cushing’s likeness was extensively recreated using digital effects in Rogue One (2016), which raised questions about the morality of using a deceased actor’s likeness.

In 1999 – The Salt Lake City Tornado tears through the downtown district of the city, killing one.

In 2003NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.

In 2003Jemaah Islamiyah leader Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, is arrested in Bangkok, Thailand.

In 2006 – The oil tanker M/T Solar 1 sinks off the coast of Guimaras and Negros Islands in the Philippines, causing the country’s worst oil spill.

In 2012 – At least 306 people are killed and 3,000 others injured in a pair of earthquakes near Tabriz, Iran.

In 2015,  For the first time in Major League Baseball history, all 15 home teams won their game. Prior to this happening, the record was 12 which was reached over a century ago in 1914.

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