On this day: King Henry VIII recognised as supreme head of Church in England | Damian Lewis born | French forces took Rome

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A selection of historic events from 11 February


1531: King Henry VIII was recognised as supreme head of the Church in England.

1798: French forces took Rome.

1810: Napoleon married Princess Marie-Louise of Austria, having rejected Josephine because of her inability to fill the imperial nursery.

1888: King Lobengda of the Matabele, Rhodesia, accepted British protection.

1929: Lateran Treaty established an independent Vatican City.

1956: Traitors Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean appeared in Moscow after escaping from Britain.

1956: Referendum in Malta favoured integration with Britain.

1958: Tunisia informed France that French warships no longer could use Bizerta.

1963: US recognised new government in Iraq after revolt.

1967: Military rule was imposed in Peking during civil strife in China.

1968: Communist troops executed 300 civilians in South Vietnam and buried them in mass grave during fighting for the city of Hue.

1970: Japan launched its first earth satellite.

1971: Treaty banning nuclear weapons from ocean floor was signed by 63 nations in ceremonies in Washington, London and Moscow.

1975: Margaret Thatcher became the first woman leader of a British political party at the age of 49.

1990: Mike Tyson knocked out by James Douglas in tenth round of fight in Japan, but Tyson’s camp accused referee of mistiming a count in the eighth round when Douglas should have lost. The bout was later declared void.

1990: Nelson Mandela freed in South Africa after 27 years in prison.

1991: British Rail gave as reason for chaos in the bad weather “the wrong kind of snow, like fine talcum powder”.

1991: Iraqi radio mocked United States defence chiefs’ visit to Middle East as a sign of defeatism.

1993: John Major told the Commons that the Queen would pay income tax and capital gains tax on her private income.

1994: Spanish sea captain found guilty of smuggling £100 million of cocaine into Scotland.

1997: Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

2001: Ellen McArthur became the fastest woman and youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe in a single-handed race.

2008: Tolls ended on the Forth and Tay road bridges.

2011: The Egyptian revolution culminated in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak and the transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 18 days of protests.


Jennifer Aniston, actress, 44; Sheryl Crow, singer and songwriter, 51; Ross Finnie, MSP, former minister for environment and rural development, 66; Damian Lewis, actor, 42; Mary Quant OBE, fashion designer, 79; Burt Reynolds, actor, director and producer, 77; Neil Archibald Primrose, 7th Earl of Rosebery, 84; Dennis Skinner, Labour MP, 81; John Surtees OBE, motorcycle and motor racing champion, 79.


Births: 1800 William Fox Talbot, photography pioneer; 1847 Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the electric light; 1926 Sir Alexander Gibson, conductor and musical director.

Deaths: 1650 Rene Descartes, philosopher; 1892 James Augustus Grant, explorer who traced the Nile to Lake Victoria (Nairn); 1940 John Buchan, First Baron Tweedsmuir, novelist (notably The Thirty-Nine Steps) and governor-general of Canada.