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This Day in History: August 11


1898 – Spanish–American War: American troops enter the city of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

1918 – World War I: The Battle of Amiens ends.

1929 – Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career with a home run at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio.

1934 – The first civilian prisoners arrive at the Federal prison on Alcatraz Island.

1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.

1965 – Race riots (the Watts Riots) begin in the Watts area of Los Angeles, California.

1972 – Vietnam War: The last United States ground combat unit leaves South Vietnam.

1982 – A bomb explodes on Pan Am Flight 830, en route from Tokyo, Japan to Honolulu, Hawaii, killing one passenger and injuring 15 others.

1984 – "We begin bombing in five minutes" – United States President Ronald Reagan, while running for re-election, jokes while preparing to make his weekly Saturday address on National Public Radio.

1999 – The Salt Lake City Tornado tears through the downtown district of the city, killing one.

2003 – NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.

2015 – For the first time in Major League Baseball history, all 15 home teams won their game. Prior to this happening, the record was 12 which was reached over a century ago in 1914.


1897 – Louise Bogan, American poet and critic (d. 1970)

1921 – Alex Haley, American historian and author (d. 1992)

1933 – Jerry Falwell, American minister and television host (d. 2007)

1944 – Frederick W. Smith, American businessman, founded FedEx

1950 – Steve Wozniak, American computer scientist and programmer, co-founded Apple Inc.

1952 – Reid Blackburn, American photographer (d. 1980)

1953 – Hulk Hogan, American wrestler and actor

1962 – Brian Azzarello, American author

1976 – Will Friedle, American actor and screenwriter


1919 – Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist, founded the Carnegie Steel Company and Carnegie Hall (b. 1835)

1937 – Edith Wharton, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1862)

1956 – Jackson Pollock, American painter (b. 1912)

1972 – Max Theiler, South African-American virologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1899)

2003 – Herb Brooks, American ice hockey player and coach (b. 1937)

2009 – Eunice Kennedy Shriver, American activist, founded the Special Olympics (b. 1921)

2014 – Robin Williams, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1951)