Today In History, 11 December: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (11 December): Birth of Dilip Kumar and Viswanathan Anand, demise of Ravi Shankar, China’s entry in WTO, debut of Angry Birds video game, UNICEF established, and more.
The births of Dilip Kumar and Viswanathan Anand
The births of Dilip Kumar and Viswanathan Anand

Today in History: Only a few weeks are left before 2022 ends and another fabulous year arrives. Today is 11 December. It appears to be an average day on the surface, but holds a key place in world history. Many significant events occurred on this day (11 Dec).

December 11 is a pivotal day in history, commemorating the birth of one of India's most influential actors and the greatest Indian chess player, the release of Angry Birds, the start of the first Chechen War, and the final fight of arguably the greatest boxer of all time.

Dive in to know what happened on this day (Dec. 11) in sports, politics, art, famous birthdays, and deaths.

Historical Events on This day

  • In 1792, King Louis XVI of France was put on trial for treason during the French Revolution.
  • In 1936, King Edward VIII became the first British ruler to voluntarily resign after failing to gain acceptance to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson.
  • In 1941, Adolf Hitler declared war on the United States after the Japanese attacked the country.
  • In 1946, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established to protect disadvantaged children.
  • In 1964, Cuban Marxist revolutionary and beloved figure Che Guevara delivered a lecture at the United Nations General Assembly.
  • In 1972, American astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt became the last humans to walk on the surface of the Moon.
  • In 1978, $6 million was stolen from the air cargo building of the German airline Lufthansa at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. It was the largest cash heist in America at the time and was orchestrated by Jimmy Burke of the Lucchese crime family.
  • In 1981, Salvadoran armed forces killed around 900 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign during the El Mozote massacre.
  • In 1994, the Russian army started the First Chechen War by invading Chechnya to suppress the rising separatist movement led by Dzhokhar Dudayev.
  • In 2001, China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • In 2008, American broker Bernard Madoff was arrested and charged with fraud for running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
  • In 2019, India passed the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, provoking riots across the country.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1951, American baseball legend Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement from the sport.
  • In 1981, the legendary American boxer Muhammad Ali fought his last professional bout. He lost to Trevor Berbick in a decision.

Gaming & Cinema Events Today

  • In 1967, the acclaimed American film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner premiered. The film starred Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Sidney Poitier and dealt with the topic of interracial marriage.
  • In 1992, iconic actress Audrey Hepburn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by US President George H.W. Bush.
  • In 2009, Angry Birds, a Finnish puzzle game, was released to instant success.

Important Days 

  • International Mountain Day

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Emile Picard, French mathematician



Sam Cooke, American singer and one of the most influential soul artists



Bettie Page, American pinup model



Ravi Shankar, Indian musician, sitar player, composer and founder of the National Orchestra of India. He popularised Indian music in the west.



Anne Rice, American author known for her novel Interview with a Vampire

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Pope Leo X, head of the Catholic Church from 1513 to 1521, who is famous for promoting arts but wiping out the treasury



Robert Koch, German physician and one of the founders of bacteriology, who discovered the causes of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax



Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, acclaimed Russian novelist and a critic of communism and Soviet policies



Dilip Kumar, veteran Indian actor and a pioneer of method acting who starred in hit films like Devdas and Mughal-E-Azam



Osho, aka Rajneesh, Indian godman and spiritual leader who gained notoriety in the world, especially the US, for his controversial teachings



Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress known for her roles in West Side Story and Singin’ in the Rain



Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politican and member of the Indian National Congress, who later became the 13th President of India



Viswanathan Anand, Indian chess grandmaster and former five-time World Chess Champion. He was also the first person to win India’s highest sporting honor, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.



Hailey Steinfeld, American actress and singer known for starring in Marvel’s Hawkeye and True Grit

Also Read: Today in History (10 December)

Also Read: Today in History (9 December)

Also Read: Today in History (12 December)

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