On this day: 1948 Olympic Games opened in London

EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on August 11.

On this day in 1948 the Olympic Games opened in London. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1948 the Olympic Games opened in London. Picture: Getty

1306: At the Battle of Dalry, Robert I attacked and defeated John MacDougall of Lorne.

1492: Rodrigo Borgia bribed enough cardinals to become Pope Alexander VI. He openly enjoyed a series of mistresses, and was the father of seven illegitimate children before election, and three afterwards.

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1832: About 50,000 people gathered at the Links, in Edinburgh, to celebrate the passing on 17 July of the Scottish Reform Bill.

1835: George Airy was appointed Astronomer royal, a position he would hold for 46 years.

1858: The first ascent of the Eiger in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland, was made by Swiss guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren and Irishman Charles Barrington.

1877: Deimos, the smaller of Mars’s two moons, was discovered by Asaph Hall.

1929: Babe Ruth became the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs.

1934: The first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.

1935: Nazi Stormtroopers staged mass demonstrations against Jews in Germany.

1937: Bakr Sidqi, dictator of Iraq, was assassinated.

1941: Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt signed the Atlantic Charter, giving Britain and the US joint war aims.

1942: Barnes Wallis patented the bouncing bomb, which was used against the German Mohne and Eder dams in 1943 by the RAF Dambusters Squadron.

1948: The Olympic Games opened in London.

1952: King Hussein succeeded as King of Jordan on the deposition of his father, King Talal, because of mental illness.

1965: Riots erupted in the Watts district of Los Angeles, and would last for six days.

1968: A selection of four steam locomotives ran the last steam locomotive service on the British Rail network, from Liverpool to Manchester, to Carlisle and back to Liverpool. It was known as the fifteen-guinea special.

1972: Last American troops left South Vietnam.

1972: Two IRA members were killed when the bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely.

1974: A head-on collision of two buses killed 21 people in ankara, Turkey.

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

1978: The funeral of pope Paul VI took place at the Vatican.

1984: Carl Lewis repeated Jesse Owens’ 1936 achievement when he won four track and field gold medals at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

1988: Al Qaeda was formed by Osama bin Laden and other militants.

1989: Voyager 2 discovered two partial rings of Neptune.

1990: Troops from Egypt and Morocco arrived in Saudi Arabia to prevent an Iraqi invasion.

1995: The Japanese prime minister expressed “profound remorse” for his country’s wartime atrocities against Allied prisoners-of-war and civilians, starting a row over whether he was actually apologising for them – he did later.

2003: The highest temperature ever seen in the UK – 38.1C – was recorded at Gravesend, Kent.

2009: It was revealed that the BBC had spent £406,832 on bottled water for coolers in its buildings.

2012: Two earthquakes in Iran resulted in 153 deaths.


Ashley Jensen, Annan-born actress, 46; Don Boyd, film director, 67; Alan Halsall, actor, 33; Nigel Harman, actor, 42; Hulk Hogan, wrestler, 62; Joe Jackson, rock singer, 61; Raymond Leppard CBE, conductor, 88; Sandi Thom, singer-songwriter, 34; Chris Hemsworth, actor, 32; Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, designer of Apple I and Apple II computers, 65; Ian McDiarmid, Scottish actor and director, 71; Ted Robbins, actor and TV presenter, 60; Pervez Musharraf, retired military general and president of Pakistan 2001 to 2008, 72; Nigel Martyn, former England international goalkeeper, 49; Richie Ramone, drummer, 58.


Births: 1086 Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor; 1892 Hugh MacDiarmid (Christopher Murray Grieve), Langholm-born poet; 1897 Enid Blyton, writer of children’s books; 1917 Dik Browne, cartoonist (Hägar the Horrible); 1926 Bernard Ashley, businessman, co-founder of Laura Ashley fashion empire; 1937 Anna Massey CBE, actress; 1949 Ian Charleson, Scottish actor.

Deaths: 1919 Andrew Carnegie, industrialist and philanthropist; 1937 Edith Wharton, novelist; 1939 Jean Bugatti, French-Italian automotive designer; 1956 Jackson Pollock, painter; 1994 Peter Cushing, actor; 2005 James Booth, actor; 2008 Bill Cotton, managing director, BBC Television 1984-88; 2014 Robin Williams, actor, comedian.