Today in History, 11/11

Highlights in history on this date:

1880 – Australian bushranger Ned Kelly, 25, is hanged in Melbourne for the murder of Constable Thomas Lonigan.

1941 – The War Memorial opens in Canberra.

1965 – Ian Smith declares Rhodesian independence, and Britain says regime is illegal.

1973 – Egypt and Israel sign ceasefire agreement sponsored by United States and begin discussions to carry out the pact.

1989 – El Salvador rebels launch major, three-week offensive against right-wing government, with at least 400 people dying in fighting.

1991 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir vows not to give up occupied territories.

1992 – Israeli bombers raid an alleged Lebanese guerrilla base in South Lebanon and officers order civilians in Israel’s north to go to underground shelters.

1994 – A 72-page manuscript of Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific diagrams and notes is sold at an auction in New York for a record $US30.8 million ($A33.32 million).

1995 – An avalanche buries a Japanese trekking group in the Mount Everest region in Nepal, killing 26.

1996 – Guatemalan President Alvaro Arzu announces a peace agreement with the guerrilla movement and an end to 36 years of fighting.

1998 – UN personnel leave Baghdad and US President Bill Clinton orders more warplanes and ships to the Persian Gulf after Iraq refuses to allow weapons inspections to continue.

1999 – British hereditary lords end 700 years in parliament when they pass legislation stripping away their right to sit in the House of Lords.

2000 – A cable car crammed with skiers and snowboarders catches fire while being pulled through an Alpine tunnel in Austria, killing 155 people.

2001- The World Trade Organisation approves Taiwan’s entry, a day after welcoming China into the global trade club.

2002 – Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates pledges $US100 million ($A108.20 million) to fight AIDS in India.

2003 – At least six people are killed when police fire rubber bullets at rock-throwing protesters rallying against blackouts and the rising costs of food and gas in the Dominican Republic.

2004 – Palestinian President Yasser Arafat dies aged 75.

2005 – Syrian-born Hollywood producer Moustapha Akkad dies, two days after being wounded in a suicide bomb attack on the hotel in which he was staying in Jordan. He was best known for producing the series of Halloween horror films.

2006 – Australian actor Belinda Emmett dies, aged 32, following an eight-year-battle with cancer.

2007 – The largest Protestant paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, the outlawed Ulster Defence Association, renounces violence, officially ending the decades of terror it inflicted on the province’s Catholic minority.

2009 – Nearly 200 million children in poor countries have stunted growth because of insufficient nutrition, according to a new report published by UNICEF before a three-day international summit on the problem of world hunger.

2010 – The Australian High Court makes landmark ruling in the case of two Tamil men that will allow asylum seekers who arrive on Christmas Island to challenge any rejection of refugee claims in Australian courts.

2011 – The UN atomic agency shares satellite images, letters and diagrams with 35 nations as it seeks to underpin its case that Iran apparently worked secretly on developing a nuclear weapon.

2012 – Israel is drawn into fighting in neighbouring Syria for the first time, firing warning shots across the border after an errant mortar shell landed near an Israeli military installation in the Golan Heights.

2013 – The Vatican ambassador to the US tells Roman Catholic bishops at their first national meeting since Pope Francis was elected they should not “follow a particular ideology” and should be more welcoming to church members.

2014 – Tony Abbott confronts Vladimir Putin over the MH17 aircraft attack, telling him Russia must fully cooperate with the investigation.

2015 – Researchers say they have observed for the first time chimpanzees in the wild caring for a baby with severe disabilities, which may help shed light on the development of human social behaviours.

2016 – Australian Maria Exposto faces the first day of her trial in Malaysia over drug trafficking charges.

2017 – Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk slaps down One Nation’s claims that teachers are showing children sex tricks in the classroom, labelling them “absolutely atrocious”.

Today’s Birthdays:

George Patton, US general (1885-1945); Elizabeth Evatt, Australian reformist lawyer and jurist (1933-); Doug Frost, Australian swimming coach (1943-); Fuzzy Zoeller, US golfer (1951-); Kathy Lette, Australian writer (1958-); Demi Moore, US actress (1962-); James Morrison, Australian jazz musician (1962-); Calista Flockhart, US actress (1964-); Vince Colosimo, Australian actor (1966-); Leonard DiCaprio, US actor (1974-).

Thought For Today:

Private opinion creates public opinion. … That is why private opinion, and private behaviour, and private conversation are so terrifyingly important – Jan Struther (nee Joyce Anstruther), English poet (1901-53).

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