Today's History Trivia for August 11
1984 Bombing of Russia Will Begin in 5 minutes U.S. President Ronald Reagan jokingly announces, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." Listen
1993 Nazi's son nominated to nation's top military post Pres. Clinton nominates Army general John Shalikashvili to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His father, Dimitri Shalikashvili, had been an officer in an elite Nazi military unit during World War II.
1989 Dan Quayle Apparently a little misinformed on astronomical data, the U.S. Vice-President states, "Mars is essentially in the same orbit. Mars is somewhat the same distance from the sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen, that means we can breathe."
1981 Personal Computer IBM introduces the IBM Personal Computer (PC).
1978 First transatlantic balloon crossing Three Americans take off from Maine. They arrived in France six days later.
1965 Watts Riots Six day of rioting begins in Los Angeles after the arrest of Marquette Frye. 34 people were killed with $200,000,000 in damage.
1960 First object successfully recovered from orbit A 350-pound payload is ejected and recovered from the U.S. Earth satellite Discoverer XIII.
1877 First discovery of a Mars moon by Asaph Hall.
Today's Birthdays for August 11
1894 Frank Epperson d. 1983 American inventor. Invented the Popsicle (1923) when he accidentally left a glass of soda with a mixing stick on a windowsill overnight causing it to freeze. He originally called it the "Epsicle."
David Rice Atchison
American politician. U.S. President for a Day? Some claim that on March 4, 1849 he became president of the U.S. Outgoing President James K. Polk's term ended at noon on March 4, which was a Sunday. His successor, Zachary Taylor, refused to be sworn into office on Sunday. Under the presidential succession law in place at the time, Atchison who was President pro tempore and therefore Acting Vice President, was believed by some to have become Acting President. And at 41 years of age, this would have made him the youngest ever U.S. President.
1778 Friedrich Ludwig Jahn d. 1852 German patriot, father of gymnastics. His teaching of gymnastics (1809) to young Berlin boys quickly spread to other cities. He introduced the balance beam, horizontal bar, the parallel bars, and the vaulting horse to gymnastics.
1954 Joe Jackson British singer. Music: Is She Really Going Out with Him? (1979) and Steppin' Out (1982).
1953 Hulk Hogan (Terry Gene Bollea), American wrestler. He played Thunderlips in Rocky III (1982).
1933 Jerry Falwell d. 2007 American fundamentalist Baptist pastor, televangelist.
1925 Carl Thomas Rowan d. 2000 American columnist, "strict gun control" advocate. In 1988 he was arrested for shooting a trespasser with an illegal hand gun. He had previously stated in his column that "…anyone found in possession of a handgun except a legitimate officer of the law goes to jail—period." He also founded "Project Excellence," a college scholarship program for black high school seniors.
1921 Alex Haley d. 1992 American Pulitzer-winning author. Writings: Roots (Pulitzer. It had the largest printing for a hard-cover book in U.S. history). In 1978, Haley admitted that he copied large passages of Roots from The African by Harold Courlander and settled out-of-court for $650,000.
1920 Mike Douglas d. 2006 (Michael Dowd, Jr.), American Emmy-winning TV host, singer. Film: Cinderella (1950, singing voice of Prince Charming). TV: The Mike Douglas Show (1961-81). One of his guests was two-year-old Tiger Woods who showed off his golf swing.
1917 Dik Browne d. 1989 cartoonist, created Hagar the Horrible (1973).
1862 Carrie Jacobs Bond d. 1946 American composer. Music: I Love You Truly and A Perfect Day.
1086 Henry V d. 1125 King of Germany (1099-1125) and Holy Roman Emperor (1111-25).
Deaths for August 11
2014 Robin Williams b. 1951 American actor. Film: The World According to Garp (1982), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), and Aladdin (1992, the voice of the genie). TV: Mork & Mindy (Mork from Ork).
2006 Mike Douglas b. 1920 (Michael Dowd, Jr.), American Emmy-winning TV host, singer. Film: Cinderella (1950, singing voice of Prince Charming). TV: The Mike Douglas Show (1961-81). One of his guests was two-year-old Tiger Woods who showed off his golf swing.
1994 Peter Cushing b. 1913 English-born American actor. Film: Star Wars (Grand Moff Tarkin) and numerous portrayals of Baron Frankenstein and Dracula.
1987 Clara Peller b. 1902 American TV personality. The "Where's the beef?" lady for the Wendy's commercials.
1919 Andrew Carnegie b. 1835 American steel-magnate, philanthropist.
1868 Thaddeus Stevens b. 1792 American political leader. He introduced the 14th Amendment and the Reconstruction Act of Feb. 6, 1867.