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On this day in history - February 11

What Happened On This Day – February 11

  • 1990 Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years as a political prisoner

    The anti-apartheid campaigner's release was a high point in South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy.

  • 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini seizes power in Iran

    Few days after Khomeini's triumphant return from French exile, the Iranian army steps aside, making way for the creation of an Islamic theocracy.

  • 1975 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female leader of the British Conservative Party

    Thatcher won the general elections in 1979 and became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

  • 1938 The BBC broadcasts Karel Čapek's “R.U.R.”, the world's first science fiction TV program

    The Czech play whose abbreviated title stands for “Rossum's Universal Robots” introduced the word “robot” to the English language.

  • 1858 Bernadette Soubirous sees a vision of the Virgin Mary near Lourdes

    The small town in southern France became one of the most important Christian places of pilgrimage.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
February 11

  • 1969 Jennifer Aniston

    American actress, director, producer

  • 1964 Sarah Palin

    American politician, 9th Governor of Alaska

  • 1934 Manuel Noriega

    Panamanian general, politician, Military Leader of Panama

  • 1926 Leslie Nielsen

    Canadian/American actor

  • 1847 Thomas Edison

    American businessman, invented the light bulb, phonograph

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
February 11

  • 2012 Whitney Houston

    American singer, actress, producer, model

  • 2010 Alexander McQueen

    English fashion designer, founded

  • 1978 James Bryant Conant

    American chemist, academic, diplomat, 1st United States Ambassador to West Germany

  • 1963 Sylvia Plath

    American poet

  • 1650 René Descartes

    French philosopher, mathematician