This Day in History — October 11

This is the 284th day of 2022. There are 81 days left in the year.


1984: Challenger space shuttle astronaut Kathryn D Sullivan becomes the first American woman to walk in space.


1138: An earthquake in Aleppo, Syria, kills an estimated 230,000.

1531: Swiss Catholics defeat Protestants at the Battle of Kappel, and Protestant leader Huldrych Zwingli is killed.

1634: The Burchardi flood — “the second Grote Mandrenke” — kills about 15,000 in North Friesland, Denmark and Germany.

1811: The first steam-powered ferryboat, the Juliana, is put into operation in the United States between New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey.

1922: The first woman FBI “special investigator”, Alaska Davidson, is appointed.

1933: Latin American countries sign the Rio de Janeiro non-aggression pact.

1938: American jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong weds long-time girlfriend Alpha Smith; they divorce in 1942.

1939: Actor Jackie Coogan divorces actress Betty Grable after two years of marriage.

1942: The World War II Battle of Cape Esperance begins in the Solomon Islands, resulting in an American victory over the Japanese.

1945: A Chinese civil war begins between the Kuomintang Government led by Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong’s Communist Party.

1946: Roman Catholic Archbishop Aloysius Stepinatz of Yugoslavia is convicted on charges of provoking racial hatred and of forcibly converting Serbs to Catholicism.

1948: Fellow students Fidel Castro and Mirta Diaz-Balart marry; they divorce in 1955.

1962: The Second Vatican Council, announced by Pope John XXIII in 1959, opens this day in 1962, lasts for three years, and remains a symbol (controversial to some) of the church’s readiness to adapt to modern life.

1963: The United Nations condemns repression in South Africa by a 106-1 vote.

1968: A cyclone that strikes the Bay of Bengal in India leaves a half-million people homeless. Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, is launched.

1975: Saturday Night Live, created by Lorne Michaels, premieres on NBC with George Carlin as host.

1983: Can’t Slow Down, the second studio album by Lionel Richie, is released.

1986: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev open talks at a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland.

1987: Indian peacekeeping troops, using artillery and mortars, kill more than 120 Tamil rebels on the Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka.

1991: During the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas — who had been nominated to the US Supreme Court — American lawyer Anita Hill testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee and accuses him of sexual harassment; her allegations polarise Americans, and Thomas is narrowly confirmed 52– 48.

1993: US President Bill Clinton defends his Administration’s foreign policy and assails efforts by members of Congress to limit the president’s authority to commit US armed forces to peacekeeping efforts in foreign countries.

1996: American military forces begin withdrawing from Bosnia.

1998: Drawing criticism from Jewish leaders, the pope canonises Edith Stein who was born Jewish but converted to Catholicism and died in Auschwitz.

1999: Israel confirms that 400 Cuban Jews were brought to the country in the past five years in an operation that had the blessing of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

2002: French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie says investigators found traces of explosives that indicate an explosion and fire aboard a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen on October 6 was the result of a terrorist attack. The US Congress passes a Bill, by a wide margin, granting US President George W Bush broad authority to use force against Iraq.

2008: A strong earthquake hits Chechnya and other parts of Russia’s North Caucasus, killing at least 12 people and damaging scores of hospitals, schools and other buildings.

2010: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization says US forces may have detonated a grenade that killed a captive British aid worker during a rescue attempt to free Linda Norgrove in eastern Afghanistan; British Prime Minister David Cameron defends the mission, saying his Government authorised it only after learning that Norgrove’s life was in grave danger.

2011: The US Barack Obama Administration accuses agents of the Iranian Government of being involved in a plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States.


Eleanor Roosevelt, US first lady and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1884-1962); Francois Mauriac, French writer and Nobel laureate (1885-1970); Daryl Hall, US singer (1946- ); Luke Perry, US actor (1966-2019 ); Nesta Carter, former Jamaican sprinter (1985- ); Cardi B, American rapper (1992- )

— AP/Jamaica Observer

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