Today in History


Today is Saturday, Feb. 11, the 42nd day of 2023. There are 323 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 11, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement, in which Stalin agreed to declare war against Imperial Japan following Nazi Germany’s capitulation.

On this date:

In 660 B.C., tradition holds that Japan was founded as Jimmu ascended the throne as the country’s first emperor.

In 1847, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio.

In 1937, a six-week-old sit-down strike against General Motors ended, with the company agreeing to recognize the United Automobile Workers Union.

In 1963, American author and poet Sylvia Plath was found dead in her London flat, a suicide; she was 30.

In 1975, Margaret Thatcher was elected leader of Britain’s opposition Conservative Party.

In 1979, followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (hoh-MAY’-nee) seized power in Iran.

In 1990, South African Black activist Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in captivity.

In 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded Harry Whittington, a companion during a weekend quail-hunting trip in Texas.

In 2008, the Pentagon charged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (HAH’-leed shayk moh-HAH’-med) and five other detainees at Guantanamo Bay with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.

In 2011, Egypt exploded with joy after pro-democracy protesters brought down President Hosni Mubarak, whose resignation ended three decades of authoritarian rule.

In 2020, the World Health Organization gave the official name of COVID-19 to the disease caused by the coronavirus that had emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Ten years ago: With a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI did what no pope had done in more than half a millennium: announced his resignation. The bombshell came during a routine morning meeting of Vatican cardinals. (The 85-year-old pontiff was succeeded by Pope Francis.)

Five years ago: A Russian passenger plane crashed into a snowy field six minutes after taking off from Moscow, killing all 65 passengers and six crew members; investigators would blame human error, saying the pilots had received flawed air speed readings after failing to turn on a heating unit for the measurement equipment. Amid swirling winds, 17-year-old snowboarder Red Gerard won the United States’ first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, capturing the men’s slopestyle event. Singer Vic Damone, who possessed what Frank Sinatra once called “the best pipes in the business,” died in Florida at the age of 89.

One year ago: President Joe Biden called on President Vladimir Putin to pull back more than 100,000 Russian troops massed near Ukraine’s borders and warned that the U.S. and its allies would “respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs” if Russia invades. A tense standoff at a key U.S.-Canadian border bridge eased as protesters opposed to COVID-19 restrictions withdrew their vehicles.

Today’s birthdays: Gospel singer Jimmy Carter is 91. Actor Tina Louise is 89. Fashion designer Mary Quant is 89. Bandleader Sergio Mendes is 82. Actor Philip Anglim is 71. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is 70. Actor Catherine Hickland is 67. Rock musician David Uosikkinen (The Hooters) is 67. Actor Carey Lowell is 62. Singer Sheryl Crow is 61. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is 59. Actor Jennifer Aniston is 54. Actor Damian Lewis is 52. Actor Marisa Petroro is 51. Singer D’Angelo is 49. Actor Brice Beckham is 47. Rock vocalist Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) is 46. Singer-actor Brandy is 44. Country musician Jon Jones (The Eli Young Band) is 43. Actor Matthew Lawrence is 43. R&B singer Kelly Rowland is 42. Actor Natalie Dormer is 41. Singer Aubrey O’Day is 39. Actor Q’orianka Kilcher is 33. Actor Taylor Lautner is 31.

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