On This Day In History – March 11


  • 1596 Isaac Elsevier, book publisher
  • 1870 Louis Bachelier, French mathematician (d. 1946)


  • 1903 Dorothy Schiff, American owner and publisher (NY Post), born in NYC, New York (d. 1989)
  • 1903 James Franklin Hyde, American inventor who created silica, born in Solvay, New York (d. 1999)
  • 1916 Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister (Labour: 1964-70, 1974-76), born in Huddersfield, England (d. 1995)
  • 1931 Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born American media mogul (NY Post, News of the World, FOX-TV), born in Melbourne, Victoria



  • 1744 English auction house Sotheby’s holds its first-ever auction (of books) in London
  • 1789 Benjamin Banneker and Pierre Charles L’Enfant begin to lay out Washington, D.C.
  • 1862 Abraham Lincoln removes George McClellen as general-in-chief


  • 1892 1st public basketball game (Springfield, Massachusetts)
  • 1917 British forces occupy Baghdad, the capital of Mesopotamia, after Turkish forces evacuated
  • 1918 Moscow becomes capital of revolutionary Russia
  • 1935 Hermann Goering officially creates the Luftwaffe (German Air Force)
  • 1954 US Army charges Senator Joseph McCarthy used undue pressure tactics
  • 1966 Military coup led by Indonesian General Suharto breaks out
  • 1967 Pink Floyd releases 1st single “Arnold Layne”
  • 1971 Jim Morrison leaves for Paris to reorient himself emotionally and creatively and to avoid the jail sentence given to him in Miami. He will never return to the US
  • 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev replaces Konstantin Chernenko as Soviet leader


  • 1988 British pound note ceases to be legal tender, replaced by one pound coin
  • 1997 Beatle Paul McCartney knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 2006 Michelle Bachelet is inaugurated as the first female president of Chile
  • 2011 9.0 magnitude earthquake strikes 130 km (80 miles) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people and causing the second worst nuclear accident in history
  • 2018 China’s National People’s Congress approves removal of term limits for a leader, will allow Xi Jinping presidency for life 
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