Today in History – March 11

1702 – The Daily Courant, England’s first national daily newspaper, was published for the first time.

1861 – American Civil War: The Constitution of the Confederate States of America was adopted.

1888 – The Great Blizzard of 1888 began along the eastern seaboard of the United States, which shut down commerce and killed more than 400 people.

1918 – US Army mess cook Private Albert Gitchell of Fort Riley, Kansas became the first documented case of Spanish flu. Thus began the worldwide pandemic which killed 50-100 million people.

1927 – In New York City, Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened the Roxy Theatre.

1941 – World War II: United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, which allowed American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.

1945 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy attempted a large-scale kamikaze attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi atoll in Operation Tan No. 2.

1945 – World War II: The Empire of Vietnam, a short-lived Japanese puppet state, was established.

1946 – Rudolf Höss, the first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, was captured by British troops.

1958 – An American B-47 accidentally dropped a nuclear bomb from 15,000 feet onto a family home in Mars Bluff, South Carolina.  The bomb created a crater 75 feet across.  The bomb did not detonate because it did not have its nuclear capsule.

1967 – Pink Floyd released its first single, “Arnold Layne”.

1968 – Otis Redding was the first person in the US to posthumously receive a gold record.  It was for his single “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”.

1971 – Jim Morrison left for Paris to reorient himself emotionally and creatively and to avoid the jail sentence given to him in Miami, Florida. He died less than four months later in Paris.

1977 – The 1977 Hanafi Siege: Around 150 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims were set free after ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined negotiations.

1985 – Mikhail Gorbachev was elected to the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, making Gorbachev the USSR’s de facto, and last, head of state.

1997 – Beatle Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

2012 – A U.S. soldier killed 16 civilians in the Panjwayi District of Afghanistan near Kandahar.

2020 – The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 virus a pandemic.

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