|May 11 in recent years
May 11 is the 131st day of the year (132nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 234 days remaining until the end of the year.
- 330 - Byzantium is renamed Nova Roma during a dedication ceremony, but is more popularly referred to as Constantinople.
- 1310 - 54 members of the Knights Templar are burned at the stake in France for being heretics.
- 1502 - Christopher Columbus leaves for his fourth and final voyage to the West Indies.
- 1745 - War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy – At Fontenoy, French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army.
- 1792 - Captain Robert Gray becomes the first documented white person to sail into the Columbia River.
- 1812 - Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons, London.
- 1813 - In Australia, Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, lead an expedition westwards from Sydney. Their route opens up inland Australia for continued expansion throughout the 19th century.
- 1818 - Charles XIV of Sweden-Norway is crowned king of Sweden.
- 1820 - Launch of HMS Beagle the ship that took young Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage.
- 1841 - Lt. Charles Wilkes lands at Fort Nisqually in Puget Sound.
- 1857 - Indian Mutiny: Indian rebels seize Delhi from the British.
- 1858 - Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd U.S. state.
- 1862 - American Civil War: The ironclad CSS Virginia is scuttled in the James River northwest of Norfolk.
- 1864 - American Civil War: Battle of Yellow Tavern – Confederate General JEB Stuart is mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern.
- 1867 - Luxembourg gains its independence.
- 1891 - Otsu Scandal.
- 1894 - Pullman Strike: Four thousand Pullman Palace Car Company workers go on a wildcat strike in Illinois.
- 1907 - A derailment outside Lompoc kills 32 Shriners when their chartered train jumps off the tracks at a switch near Surf Depot.
- 1910 - An act of the U.S. Congress establishes Glacier National Park in Montana.
- 1911 - The United States becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
- 1918 - The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus was officially established.
- 1924 - Mercedes-Benz formed by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merging the two companies.
- 1927 - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is founded.
- 1934 - Dust Bowl: A strong two-day dust storm removes massive amounts of Great Plains topsoil in one of the worst dust storms of the Dust Bowl in North America.
- 1942 - William Faulkner's collections of short stories, Go Down, is published.
- 1943 - World War II: American troops invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces.
- 1944 - World War II: The Allies start a major offensive against the Axis Powers on the Gustav Line.
- 1946 - UMNO is created.
- 1949 - Siam officially changes its name to Thailand, a name in use since 1939.
- 1949 - Israel joins the United Nations.
- 1953 - The Waco Tornado: An F5 tornado hits downtown Waco, killing 114.
- 1960 - In Buenos Aires, Argentina, four Israeli Mossad agents capture fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann, living under the assumed name Ricardo Klement.
- 1960 - The first contraceptive pill is made available on the market.
- 1964 - Terence Conran opened the first Habitat store on London's Fulham Road.
- 1966 - Henry "Dickie" Marrow is murdered in a violent racially-motivated crime in Oxford, N.C..
- 1967 - Andreas Papandreou is imprisoned in Athens by the Greek military junta.
- 1969 - Vietnam War: Operation Apache Snow – Near the Laos border, American and South Vietnamese forces fight North Vietnamese troops for Ap Bia Mountain (aka Hill 937 or "Hamburger Hill").
- 1970 - The Lubbock Tornado: An F5 tornado hits downtown Lubbock, killing 26.
- 1970 - The Beatles song "The Long and Winding Road" is released as a single in the United States. It becomes the group's last number one single in that country.
- 1973 - Citing government misconduct, Daniel Ellsberg has his charges for his involvement in releasing the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times dismissed.
- 1984 - A transit of Earth from Mars takes place.
- 1985 - 56 spectators die when a flash fire strikes a football ground during a match in Bradford.
- 1987 - Klaus Barbie goes on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.
- 1987 - The first heart-lung transplant takes place (Baltimore). The surgery is performed by Dr. Bruce Reitz, of Stanford University School of Medicine.
- 1995 - In New York City, more than 170 countries decide to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.
- 1996 - After taking-off from Miami, a fire started by improperly handled oxygen canisters in the cargo hold of Atlanta-bound ValuJet Flight 592 causes the Douglas DC-9 to crash in the Florida Everglades killing all 110 on board.
- 1997 - IBM Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player.
- 1998 - India conducts three underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, including a thermonuclear device.
- 1998 - An election is held in the Philippines where actor Joseph Estrada emerged as winner for President.
- 2000 - Last performance of the musical Cats in London's West End.
- 2002 - Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveiled the Man With Two Hats monument in Ottawa (May 11, 2002) and Apeldoorn (May 2), 2000, symbolically linking both Netherlands and Canada for their assistance throughout the Second World War.
- 2004 - The Stockline Plastics factory explosion in Glasgow kills nine people.
- 2007 - Pope Benedict XVI canonizes the first Brazilian-born saint, Frei Galvão.
- 1571 - Niwa Nagashige, Japanese warlord (d. 1637)
- 1720 - Karl Friedrich Hieronymus Freiherr von Münchhausen, German adventurer (d. 1797)
- 1722 - Petrus Camper, Dutch anatomist (d. 1789)
- 1733 - Victoire of France, daughter of king Louis XV (d. 1799)
- 1752 - Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, German anthropologist (d. 1840)
- 1763 - János Batsányi, Hungarian poet (d. 1845)
- 1799 - John Lowell, American philanthropist (d. 1836)
- 1801 - Henri Labrouste, French architect (d. 1875)
- 1811 - Chang and Eng Bunker, famous conjoined twins (d. 1874)
- 1811 - Jean-Jacques Challet-Venel, member of the Swiss Federal Council (d. 1893)
- 1817 - Fanny Cerrito, Italian ballet dancer (d. 1909)
- 1824 - Jean-Léon Gérôme, French painter and sculptor (d. 1904)
- 1827 - Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, French sculptor and painter (d. 1875)
- 1835 - Kārlis Baumanis, Latvian composer (d. 1905)
- 1838 - Walter Goodman, British painter, illustrator and author (d. 1912)
- 1852 - Charles W. Fairbanks, United States Vice President (d. 1918)
- 1854 - Jack Blackham, Australian cricketer (d. 1932)
- 1861 - Frederick Russell Burnham, father of the international scouting movement (d. 1947)
- 1871 - Stjepan Radic, Croatian politician (d. 1928)
- 1871 - Frank Schlesinger, American astronomer (d. 1943)
- 1875 - Harriet Quimby, American aviator (d. 1912)
- 1881 - Theodore von Kármán, Hungarian physicist (d. 1963)
- 1881 - Al Cabrera, Spanish-born Cuban baseball player (d. 1964)
- 1887 - Paul Wittgenstein, Austrian-born pianist (d. 1961)
- 1888 - Irving Berlin, American composer (d. 1989)
- 1888 - Willis A. Lee, World War II U.S. naval admiral (d. 1945)
- 1890 - Woodall Rodgers, mayor of Dallas (d. 1961)
- 1892 - Margaret Rutherford, English actress (d. 1972)
- 1894 - Martha Graham, American dancer and choreographer (d. 1991)
- 1895 - Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian philosopher (d. 1986)
- 1896 - Josip Štolcer-Slavenski Croatian composer (d. 1955)
- 1897 - Kurt Gerron, German director (d. 1944)
- 1897 - Robert E. Gross, American businessman (d. 1961)
- 1899 - Paulino Masip, Spanish playwright (d. 1963)
- 1903 - Charlie Gehringer, American baseball player (d. 1993)
- 1904 - Salvador Dalí, Spanish painter (d. 1989)
- 1907 - Rose Ausländer, German poet (d. 1988)
- 1907 - Rip Sewell, American baseball player (d. 1989)
- 1909 - Ellis R Dungan, American born Indian film director (d. 2001)
- 1909 - Herbert Murrill, English composer (d. 1952)
- 1911 - Phil Silvers, American actor and comedian (d. 1985)
- 1911 - Mitchell Sharp, Canadian politician (d. 2004)
- 1912 - Foster Brooks, American actor and comedian (d. 2001)
- 1913 - Robert Jungk, Austrian publicist (d. 1994)
- 1914 - Haroun Tazieff, French volcanologist (d. 1998)
- 1916 - Camilo José Cela, Spanish writer, Nobel laureate (d. 2002)
- 1918 - Richard Feynman, American physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1988)
- 1921 - Hildegard Hamm-Brücher, German politician
- 1922 - Nestor Chylak, American baseball umpire (d. 1992)
- 1924 - Antony Hewish, English radio astronomer, Nobel laureate
- 1924 - Eugene Dynkin, Russian mathematician
- 1927 - Mort Sahl, Canadian comedian and political commentator
- 1927 - Gene Savoy, American author, explorer, scholar and cleric (d. 2007)
- 1928 - Yaacov Agam, Israeli sculptor
- 1928 - Brother Andrew, Dutch missionary
- 1928 - Marco Ferreri, Italian film director and screenwriter (d. 1997)
- 1930 - Edsger Dijkstra, Dutch computer scientist (d. 2002)
- 1930 - Bud Ekins, American stuntman (d. 2007)
- 1933 - Louis Farrakhan, American Black Muslim leader
- 1935 - Doug McClure, American actor (d. 1995)
- 1935 - Francisco Umbral, Spanish novelist (d. 2007)
- 1936 - Carla Bley, American musician and composer
- 1939 - Carlos Lyra, Brazilian musician
- 1940 - Juan Downey, Chilean video artist (d. 1993)
- 1941 - Eric Burdon, British singer (The Animals)
- 1941 - Graham Miles, English snooker player
- 1942 - Rachel Billington, British author
- 1943 - Juliet Harmer, English actress
- 1943 - Nancy Greene, Canadian alpine skier
- 1946 - Robert Jarvik, American physician and inventor
- 1946 - Plume Latraverse, Quebec singer and musician
- 1947 - Butch Trucks, American drummer (The Allman Brothers Band)
- 1948 - Shigeru Izumiya, Japanese folk musician
- 1948 - Nirj Deva, Sri Lankan-British politician
- 1950 - Jeremy Paxman, British journalist and author
- 1950 - Dane Iorg, American baseball player
- 1952 - Renaud Séchan, French composer
- 1952 - Mike Lupica, American sports journalist
- 1952 - Shohreh Aghdashloo, Iranian actress
- 1952 - Frances Fisher, English-born actress
- 1953 - David Gest, American television producer
- 1953 - Céline Lomez, Quebec singer and actress
- 1954 - Lubomir Stoykov, Bulgarian journalist and broadcaster
- 1954 - John Gregory, English football manager
- 1955 - John DeStefano, American politician
- 1956 - Theresa Burke, Canadian journalist
- 1956 - Alex Lester, British broadcaster
- 1957 - Peter North, Canadian porn star
- 1958 - Walt Terrell, American baseball player
- 1958 - Phil Smyth, Australian basketball player
- 1959 - Martha Quinn, American television personality
- 1963 - Natasha Richardson, English-born actress
- 1963 - Gunilla Carlsson, Swedish politician
- 1964 - John Parrott, English snooker player
- 1964 - Katie Wagner, American television reporter
- 1964 - Floyd Youmans, American professional baseball player
- 1965 - Greg Dulli, American musician
- 1966 - Christoph Schneider, German drummer (Rammstein)
- 1970 - Nicky Katt, American actor
- 1972 - Anita Hegh, Australian actress
- 1973 - James Haven, American actor
- 1974 - Kevin Brown, English-born Canadian ice hockey player
- 1974 - Billy Kidman, American professional wrestler
- 1974 - Benoît Magimel, French actor
- 1974 - Darren Ward, Welsh footballer
- 1975 - Francisco Cordero, American baseball player
- 1977 - Janne Ahonen, Finnish ski jumper
- 1977 - Gonzalo Colsa, Spanish footballer
- 1977 - Pablo García, Uruguayan footballer
- 1977 - Victor Matfield, South African rugby player
- 1977 - Matthew Newton, Australian actor
- 1978 - Laetitia Casta, French supermodel and actress
- 1979 - Erin Lang, Canadian musician
- 1981 - Lauren Jackson, Australian basketball player
- 1981 - Dan Ortmeier, American baseball player
- 1982 - Jonathan Jackson, American actor
- 1982 - Andrew Walter, American football player
- 1983 - Matt Leinart, American football player
- 1983 - Holly Valance, Australian-born actress and singer
- 1984 - Andres Iniesta, Spanish football player
- 1985 - sifow, Japanese pop star and business woman
- 1986 - Abou Diaby, French footballer
- 1986 - Ronny, Brazilian footballer
- 1987 - Justin King, American football player
- 1987 - Monica Roşu, Romanian gymnast
- 1989 - Giovanni dos Santos, Mexican footballer
- 912 - Leo VI, Byzantine Emperor (b. 866)
- 1304 - Mahmud Ghazan, Mongol ruler (b. 1271)
- 1610 - Matteo Ricci, Italian Jesuit missionary (b. 1552)
- 1672 - Charles Seton, English royalist (b. 1615)
- 1708 - Jules Hardouin Mansart, French architect (b. 1646)
- 1723 - Jean Galbert de Campistron, French dramatist (b. 1656)
- 1777 - George Pigot, British governor of Madras (b. 1719)
- 1778 - William Pitt, the Elder, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1708)
- 1812 - Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (assassinated) (b. 1762)
- 1848 - Tom Cribb, English boxer (b. 1781)
- 1849 - Jeanne Françoise Julie Adélaïde Récamier, French socialite (b. 1777)
- 1871 - John Herschel, British mathematician and astronomer (b. 1792)
- 1887 - Jean Baptiste Boussingault, French chemist (b. 1802)
- 1891 - A. E. Becquerel, French physicist (b. 1820)
- 1916 - Max Reger, German composer (b. 1873)
- 1916 - Karl Schwarzschild, German astronomer and physicist (b. 1873)
- 1920 - William Dean Howells, American writer (b. 1837)
- 1929 - Jozef Murgaš, Slovak inventor (b. 1864)
- 1934 - Orest Khvolson, Russian physicist (b. 1852)
- 1938 - Evgenii Miller, Russian counter-revolutionary (b. 1867)
- 1955 - Gilbert Jessop, English cricketer (b. 1874)
- 1960 - John D. Rockefeller, American philanthropist (b. 1874)
- 1963 - Herbert Spencer Gasser, American physiologist, Nobel laureate (b. 1888)
- 1970 - Johnny Hodges, American musician (b. 1906)
- 1973 - Lex Barker, American actor (b. 1919)
- 1976 - Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect (b. 1898)
- 1979 - Lester Flatt, American bluegrass musician (b. 1914)
- 1981 - Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1897)
- 1981 - Bob Marley, Jamaican singer and musician (b. 1945)
- 1985 - Chester Gould, American cartoonist (b. 1900)
- 1986 - Henry P. McIlhenny, American philanthropist (b. 1910)
- 1986 -Fritz Pollard, American football player (b. 1894)
- 1988 - Kim Philby, British spy (b. 1912)
- 1996 - Ademir Marques de Menezes, Brazilian footballer (b. 1922)
- 2000 - Paula Wessely, Austrian actress (b. 1907)
- 2001 - Douglas Adams, English author (b. 1952)
- 2002 - Joseph Bonanno, Italian-born gangster (b. 1905)
- 2002 - Renaude Lapointe, French Canadian journalist and senator (b. 1912)
- 2003 - Noel Redding, English bassist (The Jimi Hendrix Experience) (b. 1945)
- 2004 - Mick Doyle, Irish international rugby player and coach
- 2004 - John Whitehead, American singer (McFadden & Whitehead) (b. 1949)
- 2005 - Michalis Genitsaris, Greek rebetiko singer and composer (b. 1917)
- 2006 - Floyd Patterson, American boxer (b. 1935)
- 2006 - Frankie Thomas, American actor (b. 1921)
- 2006 - Yossi Banai, Israeli singer (b. 1932)
- 2007 - Malietoa Tanumafili II, Sovereign Ruler of Samoa (b. 1913)
- 2007 - Bernard Gordon, blacklisted American author. (b. 1918)
Holidays and observances
- ^ Holweck, F. G. A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co. 1924.
119 Familypedia people were born on May 11
124 Familypedia people died on May 11
109 Familypedia people were first married on May 11