Written by Michael

Modified & Updated: 21 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

August 11th

Throughout history, August 11th has been a witness to a multitude of significant events and moments. This date has seen events from various domains, such as politics, science, culture, and sports. In this article, we will delve into some of the most remarkable events and facts that occurred on August 11th throughout history.

Table of Contents

Historical Events

3114 BCE: According to the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, the first day of creation is believed to have occurred. This date marks the start of the Mayan calendar system. This calendar is based on cycles of time and has been used to mark significant events in history.

Scientific Breakthroughs

1942: Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian-American actress, and George Antheil, an American composer, received a patent for their “Secret Communications System. The invention, which is a precursor to frequency hopping spread spectrum technology, has significant implications for the development of modern wireless communication systems. Notably, these include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

1989: Voyager 2 discovered two partial rings of Neptune. The inner ring, known as the LeVerrier ring, is located just outside of Neptune’s atmosphere and is composed of dark particles. The outer ring, known as the Lassell ring, is much larger and is located further away from the planet. It is made up of brighter particles that are thought to be ice and dust. The discovery of the rings was a major breakthrough. It provided scientists with new insights into the formation and evolution of planets and their surrounding environments.

Voyager 2 discovered two partial rings of Neptune
Image from Picryl

Political Milestones

1786: Captain Francis Light established the British colony of Penang on the Malay Peninsula. This event marked the beginning of British expansion in Southeast Asia. It leads to the eventual formation of British Malaya and modern-day Malaysia.

1919: The Weimar Republic Constitution was adopted in Germany. This marked the birth of the first democratic government in the country. Unfortunately, it was short-lived, as Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party came to power shortly after, in 1933.

1965: Race riots broke out in the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles, California. The riots were the result of long-standing racial tensions in the city, as well as frustrations over police brutality and poverty. Lasting for six days, the riots resulted in the deaths of 34 people, over 1,000 injuries, and widespread property damage.

Watts Riots of 1965
Image from Collections – GetArchive

Cultural Events

1956: Abstract artist Jackson Pollock, one of the leading figures in the American Abstract Expressionist movement, died in a car accident at the age of 44. Pollock’s innovative “drip painting” technique has a lasting impact on the art world. It continues to influence numerous artists and movements even today.

1934: The first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz. Alcatraz was a notorious prison located on an island in San Francisco Bay. It is known for its strict regulations and was considered one of the most secure prisons in the world. The first batch of prisoners included 14 men considered to be the most dangerous inmates, who were sent to Alcatraz to serve out their sentences in isolation. Alcatraz remained in operation until 1963, when it was closed due to high operating costs and deteriorating facilities. Today, it is a prison tourist attraction and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

2008: Airbnb was founded by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. Airbnb is a website that allows people to rent out their homes or apartments to travelers. The company quickly gained popularity, with users praising the convenience and affordability of using the website to book accommodations. Today, the success of Airbnb has made it one of the most valuable startups in the world, with a market valuation of over $100 billion as of 2021.

Airbnb home holiday rental logo on a smartphone screen
Image from Adobe Stock

Notable Birthdays

  1. Robert G. Ingersoll (1833–1899) – An American lawyer and orator. Ingersoll was known for his speeches on social issues, including women’s rights and slavery. He was a vocal advocate for rationalism and was nicknamed “The Great Agnostic.”
  2. Alex Haley (1921–1992) – An American novelist. Haley is best remembered for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The book, which traces Haley’s ancestry back to Africa, became a cultural phenomenon. It inspired millions of African Americans to explore their own family histories and contributed to an increased interest in genealogy.
  3. Steve Wozniak (1950) – An American inventor and co-founder of Apple Inc. Wozniak’s engineering genius, coupled with the business acumen of his co-founder, Steve Jobs, has led to the creation of some of the most influential personal computers in history. These include the Apple I and Apple II.
  4. Hulk Hogan (1953) – A retired American professional wrestler, actor, and television personality. He is one of the most recognizable figures in professional wrestling and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
  5. Chris Hemsworth (1962) – An American actor and comedian. Best known for his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hemsworth’s career spans a wide range of film genres, including action, comedy, and drama.

Final Word

August 11th is a date filled with historical significance, encompassing events from various fields and time periods. By exploring these events, we gain a deeper understanding of the world we live in and the accomplishments of the individuals who have shaped it. From pivotal political moments and groundbreaking technological advancements to cultural milestones and notable birthdays, August 11th offers a unique and fascinating glimpse into the past.

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