August 11 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on August 11.

August 11

Events on August 11

1853 A French protectorate is established in Cambodia, following years of attacks by the Thais and Vietnamese.

1930 England went broke America and France each lent £25 million ($46 million), while US bankers extended another £60 million ($111 million).

1932 US President Herbert Hoover says it is time to scrap Prohibition.

1942 Russian composer Shostakovich’s “Leningrad Symphony” was premiered in Leningrad by a half-starved orchestra, many of whose members had just returned from the Russian front-line.

1952 Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan is named successor to his schizophrenic father King Talal.

1962 Chad becomes independent from France.

1965 Violent race riots begin in the Watts area of Los Angeles.

2004 The first licence for the cloning of human embryos was issued in the UK.

2008 Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra wins the gold medal for the Men’s 10 m Air Rifle final at the Beijing Olympics.

Famous Birthdays on August 11

Richard Meade 1673, English physician to royalty and pioneer of preventative medicine.

Mary Roberts Rinehart 1876, American thriller writer whose books include Haunted Lady and The Circular Staircase.

Hugh MacDairmid 1892, Scottish dialect poet and founder of the Scottish National Party.

Enid Blyton 1897, British author of children’s books and creator of “Noddy”, the “Famous Five” and the “Secret Seven”.

Alex Haley 1921, American author of Roots, which traced his ancestors from Africa to slavery and was made into a major television film.

Anna Massey 1935, English stage and screen actress who has made telling appearances in films such as Bunny Lake Is Missing.

Quotes from Legend

Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn't have any beginning or any end. He didn't mean it as a compliment, but it was. It was a fine complement.

- Jackson Pollock, the innovative abstract artist who died today, 1956.

Historical News on August 11

Jackson Pollock killed

1956 Avant-garde artist Jackson Pollock was killed today when his car hit a tree near East Hampton, New York.

He was 44.

Pollock was recognized as a major talent, although recognition in some quarters was accompanied by derision in others.

His search for a process by which he could transfer his personality into his art led him to develop “drip painting” – pouring paint onto a flat canvas in a seemingly haphazard manner.

According to Pollock, this demanded a great deal of mental preparation first.

Pollock the man was plagued by alcoholism and psychiatric problems for much of his adult life.

Only through his art, it is said, did he achieve equilibrium.

Heath Takes The Helm

British PM Edward Heath takes the helm on August 11
British PM Edward Heath takes the helm

1971 British PM Edward Heath proved his abilities as a team captain at sea today by leading the British contingent to victory in the 605 miles (973-km) Fastnet race for the Admiral’s Cup.

Heath, 55, will need all his skills at the political rudder if he is to steer his government’s policy on Northern Ireland into calmer waters.

So far the introduction of emergency powers enabling the army to round up 300 IRA suspects and intern them without trial has produced an escalation rather than a reduction in violence in the province.

1519 Johann Tetzel died in Leipzig priory aged 54.

Tetzel’s forgiveness-for-cash career began when the Archbishop of Mainz hit on it as a way of raising money for the rebuilding of St Peter’s in Rome.

Tetzel saw nothing wrong in peddling indulgences, defending the practice in 50 theses.

The jockey knight dismounts

1954 Sir Gordon Richards, the king of flat race jockeys, announced his retirement yesterday.

The decision was expected after the severe injuries he suffered at Sandown Park last month when his mount, the Queen’s filly Abergeldie, threw him as they were leaving the parade ring.

The fall left Sir Gordon with a broken pelvis and several cracked ribs.

In his 38-year career, the diminutive Richards, 50, rode a staggering 4869 winners.

He was champion jockey 26 times.

The Derby, the world’s most prestigious flat race, eluded him until his 28th and final attempt when he romped home on Pinza.

He was knighted in June 1953, the first jockey to be so honored.

Diesel overheats

1893 The attempt by eminent German engineer Rudolf Diesel to devise a heat engine has once more almost cost him his life.

In Augsburg yesterday, Diesel’s latest model generated 80 atmospheres, the highest mechanically created pressure ever recorded, before the indicator plate exploded, narrowly missing the 35-year-old engineer’s head.

Despite this setback, Diesel plans to have a revised engine ready in six months.

Diesel has spent 12 years developing his engine that can be adapted to suit all industrial requirements, including those of large-scale manufacturers.

In 1888 Diesel was almost killed when the ammonia gas he was testing as a fuel for the engine exploded.

Steel man's gold heart

Andrew Carnegie Steel man's gold heart on August 11
Andrew Carnegie Steel man's gold heart

1919 Andrew Carnegie, the steel baron with a heart of gold, died at his home in Lennox, Massachusetts.

He was 84.

The Carnegie family moved from Scotland to the US in 1848.

Andrew joined the Penn Railway Co. and worked his way up to Superintendent.

He first struck oil on his own land and in business invested in iron manufactures.

By the turn of the century, 25 percent of steel output in the USA was produced by Carnegie-owned companies.

In 1901 Carnegie retired.

In his lifetime he set aside $350 million (£189 million) for philanthropic purposes.

Foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York will ensure he is not forgotten.

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