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On This Day in History, June 11

What Happened On This Day – June 11

  • 2010 Africa hosts the FIFA World Cup for the first time

    The 19th association football world cup was opened in Johannesburg, South Africa. The winner of this historic edition was Spain.

  • 1959 Christopher Cockerell first presents the hovercraft

    The amphibious air-cushion vehicle first crossed the English Channel just weeks after Cockerell first demonstrated his prototype, the SR.N1. The scheduled “flights” between Dover (U.K.) and Calais (France) were discontinued in 2000.

  • 1955 More than 80 people die in the Le Mans car race disaster

    In one of history's worst car racing accidents, Pierre Levegh's Mercedes crashed into a crowd of spectators and burst into flames.

  • 1938 China launches the 1938 Yellow River flood

    In what Steven Dutch, a Professor at the University of Wisconsin, called “the world's largest act of environmental warfare in history”, the Chinese government created the flood to halt invading Japanese forces.

  • 1817 The first predecessor of the bicycle is demonstrated

    Using his revolutionary Laufmaschine, also known as Draisine, a two-wheeler without pedals, German inventor Karl Drais completed a 14 km test run in less than an hour, presenting a viable alternative to transportation by horse.

Births On This Day – June 11

  • 1956 Joe Montana

    . American football player

  • 1933 Gene Wilder

    American actor

  • 1910 Jacques Cousteau

    French biologist, author, inventor, co-developed the aqua-lung

  • 1864 Richard Strauss

    German composer, conductor

  • 1572 Ben Jonson

    English writer

Deaths On This Day – June 11

  • 1979 John Wayne

    American actor, singer, director, producer

  • 1974 Julius Evola

    Italian philosopher

  • 1936 Robert E. Howard

    American author

  • 1934 Lev Vygotsky

    Russian psychologist

  • 1859 Klemens von Metternich

    German/Austrian politician, 1st State Chancellor of the Austrian Empire

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