On this day: Coventry Cathedral bombed by Luftwaffe

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 11 April

In 1941 Coventry Cathedral was destroyed and hundreds were killed in night of saturation bombing by Luftwaffe. Picture: PA

1644: Sir Thomas Fairfax won the Battle of Selby in the English Civil War.

1677: William of Orange was defeated at Cassel, Germany, by Duke of Orleans.

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1689: William and Mary were crowned as joint sovereigns by the Bishop of London – the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to perform the ceremony.

1814: Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated unconditionally as emperor of France and was exiled to Elba.

1855: London’s first six pillar boxes were installed, and were painted green.

1882: Battle of the Braes in Skye between a posse of police and tenants of Lord MacDonald threatened with eviction.

1905: Albert Einstein announced his theory of relativity of time and space.

1941: Coventry Cathedral destroyed and hundreds were killed in night of saturation bombing by Luftwaffe.

1961: Trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, captured by Israelis in Latin America, opened in Jerusalem.

1981: IRA prisoner Bobby Sands won Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election on the 42nd day of his hunger strike in Maze Prison.

1982: Richard Attenborough’s film, Gandhi, won eight Oscars, the most ever won by a British film.

1991: UN Security Council announced a formal end to the Gulf War, accepting Iraq’s pledge that it would pay for war damages and scrap its weapons of mass destruction.

1994: Greek police said they had uncovered a terrorist plot to bomb the warship Ark Royal in the port of Piraeus, Athens.

1996: Jessica Dubroff, seven, trying to become the youngest person to pilot an aircraft across the US, died when her Cessna crashed shortly after take-off in Wyoming.

1997: Scotland caused a cricket upset when they qualified for the 1999 World Cup by finishing third in the ICC Trophy in Malaysia.

2000: Hansie Cronje was sacked as the South African cricket captain after admitting receiving between £6,600 and £10,000 from an Indian bookmaker during a one-day series between South Africa, Zimbabwe and England in February.

2002: An attempted coup in Venezuela against president Hugo Chávez took place.

2006: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran has successfully enriched uranium.


Cerys Matthews, singer and broadcaster, 45; Ian Bell, English cricketer, 32; Jeremy Clarkson, journalist and broadcaster, 54; Vincent Gallo, actor and director, 53; Jill Gascoine, British actress, 77; Zöe Lucker, actor, 40; Derek Martin, actor (EastEnders), 81; Gervase de Peyer, clarinetist and conductor, 88; Peter Riegert, actor, 67; Lisa Stansfield, singer, 48; Joss Stone, singer, 27.


Births: 1755 James Parkinson, physician, discoverer of Parkinson’s Disease, which he first described in The Shaking Palsy in 1817; 1819 Sir Charles Hallé, pianist, conductor and founder of orchestra; 1893 John Nash, artist; 1958 Stuart Adamson, musician (Big Country).

Deaths: 1890: John Merrick, subject of The Elephant Man; 1975 Josephine Baker, singer; 1987 Primo Levi, author who survived Auschwitz; 1987 Erskine Caldwell, American novelist and chronicler of poor white life in Deep South; 2001 Sir Harry Secombe, comedian and singer; 2007 Kurt Vonnegut, novelist.