#TodayInHistory – April 114 min read
April 11 – Some important events on this day
1512 👉🏼 Battle of Ravenna: French forces under Gaston de Foix defeat the Holy League in a major battle of the Italian Wars.
In 1508, as the Venetian trading republic secured more influence in northern Italy, Pope Julius II created the League of Cambrai, an anti-Venetian alliance consisting of the Papal States, France, Holy Roman Empire, Spain and the Duchy of Ferrara.
By 1512 however that alliance had morphed into the Holy League. Venice was now allied with the Papal States while France and the Duchy of Ferrara were ousted. Their armies would meet at the Battle of Ravenna. The Spanish and the Papal States were routed by the Franco-Ferrarese alliance, with 9,000 losses.
The war would last four more years and involve more alliance switching – but in the end, the Franco-Venetian alliance which had been formed in 1513 was victorious.
1783 👉🏼 Hostilities formally cease in the American Revolutionary War
1814 👉🏼 Napoleon abdicates unconditionally. He is exiled to Elba
1848 👉🏼 Hungary becomes constitutional monarchy under King Ferdinand of Austria
1868 👉🏼 The Shogunate is abolished in Japan 🇯🇵
1898 👉🏼 President McKinley asks for Spanish-American War declaration.
1900 👉🏼 The first modern submarine designed and built by John Philip Holland is purchased by the U.S. Navy
1912 👉🏼 RMS Titanic leaves Queenstown, Ireland, for NY 🚢
1955 👉🏼 Chartered Air India plane the “Kashmir Princess” is bombed and crashes into the South China Sea in a failed assassination attempt on Zhou Enlai by a Kuomintang secret agent.
Zhou Enlai was First Premier of the People’s Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976.
He was instrumental in consolidating the control of the Communist Party’s rise to power, forming foreign policy, and developing the Chinese economy.
1961 👉🏼 Trial of SS officer Adolf Eichmann for war crimes in World War II begins in Jerusalem, Israel. One of the primary organizers of the Holocaust, Eichmann oversaw the mass deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied territories to the death camps.
Toward the end of World War II, he said “I will leap into my grave laughing because the feeling that I have five million human beings on my conscience is for me a source of extraordinary satisfaction”.
Tasked by Reinhard Heydrich, regarded by many historians as the darkest figure in the Nazi elite, with managing the logistics of the Final Solution, Eichmann was a participant in the infamous Wannsee Conference where the decision exterminate the Jews was made. He and his staff were responsible for organizing the deportations to death camps.
After Germany’s defeat Eichmann fled to Argentina. One of the most wanted Nazis, the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad located him in 1960. After extensive surveillance, on 11 May 1960 a team of Mossad agents launched a successful and audacious operation to abduct him and fly him to Israel to stand trial.
During his trial, reporter Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe Eichmann, who appeared stiff and lackluster in comparison to the enormity of his crimes. Sentenced to death, Eichmann was executed by hanging on 1 June 1962.
1968 👉🏼 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs 1968 Civil Rights Act
1976 👉🏼 The Apple I computer, created by Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak, is released 💻
1979 👉🏼 Tanzanian army captures Kampala, the capital of Uganda forcing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin to flee into exile in Libya.
Idi Amin was president of Uganda from 1971 until 1979. Gained international notoriety for a rule characterized by mass repression, corruption, nepotism and economic mismanagement.
After launching a war against Tanzania in 1979, Amin was overthrown and lived in exile in Saudi Arabia until his death in 2003.
2013 👉🏼 Fossilized dinosaur eggs with embryos are discovered in China 🦖
2015 👉🏼 44th US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro meet in Panama, the 1st meeting of US and Cuban heads of state since the Cuban Revolution
2019 👉🏼 Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir overthrown and arrested by the army in Khartoum after 29 years in power 🇸🇩