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.
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
1847 Thomas Edison
American businessman, invented the light bulb, phonograph
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
1650 René Descartes
French philosopher, mathematician