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This Day in U.S. History: April 11


1876 – The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized.

1881 – Spelman College is founded in Atlanta, Georgia as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, an institute of higher education for African-American women.

1945 – World War II: American forces liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp.

1951 – Korean War: President Harry Truman relieves General of the Army Douglas MacArthur of overall command in Korea.

1965 – The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965: Fifty-one tornadoes hit in six Midwestern states, killing 256 people.

1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.

1970 – Apollo 13 is launched.

1976 – The Apple I is created.


1794 – Edward Everett, American educator and politician, 15th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1865)

1862 – Charles Evans Hughes, American lawyer and politician, 44th United States Secretary of State (d. 1948)


1906 – James Anthony Bailey, American businessman, co-founded Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (b. 1847)

1906 – Francis Pharcellus Church, American journalist and publisher, co-founded Armed Forces Journal and The Galaxy Magazine (b. 1839)

1970 – John O'Hara, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1905)

1987 – Erskine Caldwell, American author (b. 1903)

2007 – Kurt Vonnegut, American novelist, short story writer, and playwright (b. 1922)

2013 – Maria Tallchief, American ballerina (b. 1925)