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This Day in History: July 11


1796 – The United States takes possession of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty.

1798 – The United States Marine Corps is re-established; they had been disbanded after the American Revolutionary War.

1804 – A duel occurs in which the Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr mortally wounds former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Fort Stevens; Confederate forces attempt to invade Washington, D.C.

1906 – Murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette in the United States, inspiration for Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy.

1914 – Babe Ruth makes his debut in Major League Baseball.

1914 – USS Nevada (BB-36) is launched.

1921 – Former President of the United States William Howard Taft is sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person ever to hold both offices.

1922 – The Hollywood Bowl opens.

1924 – Eric Liddell won the gold medal in 400m at the 1924 Paris Olympics, after refusing to run in the heats for 100m, his favoured distance, on the Sunday

1936 – The Triborough Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic.

1940 – World War II: Vichy France regime is formally established. Philippe Pétain becomes Prime Minister of France.

1943 – World War II: Allied invasion of Sicily – German and Italian troops launch a counter-attack on Allied forces in Sicily.

1960 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is first published, in the United States.

1962 – First transatlantic satellite television transmission.

1962 – Project Apollo: At a press conference, NASA announces lunar orbit rendezvous as the means to land astronauts on the Moon, and return them to Earth.

1977 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

1979 – America's first space station, Skylab, is destroyed as it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

2012 – Astronomers announce the discovery of Styx, the fifth moon of Pluto.


1653 – Sarah Good, American woman accused of witchcraft (d. 1692)

1767 – John Quincy Adams, American lawyer and politician, 6th President of the United States (d. 1848)

1897 – Bull Connor, American police officer (d. 1973)

1899 – E. B. White, American author and poet (d. 1985)

1946 – Martin Wong, American painter (d. 1999)

1953 – Leon Spinks, American boxer

1956 – Sela Ward, American actress

1975 – Lil' Kim, American rapper, producer, and actress


1937 – George Gershwin, American pianist and composer (b. 1898)

2004 – Laurance Rockefeller, American financier and philanthropist (b. 1910)

2007 – Lady Bird Johnson, American businesswoman, 43rd First Lady of the United States (b. 1912)

2014 – Tommy Ramone, Hungarian-American drummer and producer (Ramones and Uncle Monk) (b. 1949)