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On this day in history - May 11

What Happened On This Day – May 11

  • 1998 India executes a series of nuclear weapons tests

    The detonations raised fears of a nuclear conflict in the area and sparked international protests. On May 13, 1998, India officially declared itself a nuclear power.

  • 1996 ValuJet flight 592 crashes into the Florida Everglades shortly after takeoff

    All 110 people on board lost their lives in the crash that was caused by a fire in the cargo compartment.

  • 1985 56 football fans die in a stadium fire

    During a match against Lincoln City, the wooden stands at Valley Parade football ground went up in flames. The exits were locked. A burning cigarette thrown into a waste bin has been determined as the probable cause of the disaster.

  • 1981 The musical Cats is premiered

    The piece sparked a musical craze around the world and catapulted the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber to stardom.

  • 868 The earliest surviving dated printed book is produced in China

    The “Diamond Sutra” is one of the most important texts in Mahayana Buddhism. The British Library in London presently houses the copy.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
May 11

  • 1918 Richard Feynman

    American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate

  • 1904 Salvador Dalí

    Spanish painter

  • 1888 Irving Berlin

    American composer

  • 1861 Frederick Russell Burnham

    American soldier, adventurer

  • 1838 Walter Goodman

    English painter, illustrator, author

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
May 11

  • 2001 Douglas Adams

    English/American author, playwright

  • 1988 Kim Philby

    British spy, Soviet double agent

  • 1981 Bob Marley

    Jamaican/American singer-songwriter, guitarist

  • 1778 William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

    English politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

  • 1760 Alaungpaya

    Burmese king