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This Day in History - 11th August


1576 English navigator Martin Frobisher, on his search for the Northwest Passage, entered the bay in Canada now named after him.

1587 Walter Raleigh's second expedition to the New World landed in North Carolina.

1858 The Eiger in the Swiss Bernese Alps was ascended for the first time by Irishman Charles Barrington accompanied by guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren. After the ascent, Barrington returned to Ireland and never visited the Alps again. He turned his attention to training a famous racehorse, 'Sir Robert Peel', that won the first Irish Grand National in 1870.

1873 Bertram Mills, British circus proprietor, was born.

1897 The birth of Enid Blyton, English author (also known as Mary Pollock). Her work has been translated into nearly 90 languages and her literary output was an estimated 800 books, with 8,000,000 sales, over roughly 40 years.

1909 The first recorded use of the new emergency wireless signal SOS.

1918 World War I: The end of the Battle of Amiens that ultimately led to the end of the First World War. The battle is also notable for the large number of surrendering German forces. It was one of the first major battles involving armoured warfare and marked the end of trench warfare on the Western Front.

1941 President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter, largely to demonstrate public solidarity between the Allies.

1942 Barnes Wallis patented his 'bouncing bomb', used successfully to destroy German dams in the 2nd World War. The 'Dam Busters' practiced their techniques at the Derwent Dam in Derbyshire where you can see this memorial to them. 

1968 The start of National Apple Week in England. The Beatles launched their new record label, Apple.

1971 The Prime Minister, Edward Heath, steered the British yachting team to victory in the Admiral's Cup.

1975 The Government took ownership of British Leyland, the only major British-owned car company.

1982 The notorious East End gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray were allowed out of prison for the funeral of their mother.

1994 The death of Surrey born actor Peter Cushing, OBE. He is known for his many appearances in Hammer Films, in which he played the distinguished-looking, but sinister scientist Baron Frankenstein, often appearing opposite Christopher Lee, and occasionally Vincent Price.

1998 British Petroleum stunned the money markets by announcing it had agreed to merge with Amoco Corp of the United States in a deal billed as the largest industrial merger.