February 11

1752 Through the efforts of Benjamin Franklin, the first American hospital, called Pennsylvania Hospital, opened in Philadelphia.

1794 The first session of the United States Senate was open to the public.

1809 Robert Fulton patented the steamboat.

1810 Napoleon Bonaparte married Marie-Louise of Austria.

1847 Inventor Thomas Alva Edison is born. He dies in 1931.

1858 The blessed Virgin Mary Of Lourdes is said to have appeared for the first time to Saint Bernadette.

1916 The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presented its first concert. The symphony was the first by a municipal orchestra to be supported by taxes.

1919 Actress Eva Gabor (GigiGreen Acres) is born. She dies in 1995.

1929 The Lateran Treaty was signed with Italy, recognizing the independence and sovereignty of Vatican City.

1935 Gene Vincent (“Be-Bop-A-Lula”) is born. He dies in 1971.

1937 A sit-down strike against General Motors ended, with the company agreeing to recognize the United Automobile Workers Union.

1958 Ruth Carol Taylor was the first black woman to become a flight attendant, making her initial flight on Mohawk Airlines from Ithaca, New York, to New York City.

1960 Tonight Show host Jack Paar walked off during a show, angry over being censored for a joke using the term “water closet.” Sidekick Hugh Downs filled in. When Parr returned a few weeks later, his first line was: “As I was saying before I was interrupted.”

1963 The Beatles record 10 songs for their debut album Please Please Me in one nine-hour-and-45-minute session at Abbey Road studios in London.

1963 Author Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar) dies at age 30.

1964 The Beatles play their first U.S. concert, which takes place at the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C. Also on the bill are Tommy Roe, the Chiffons, and the Carvelles.

1965 Ringo Starr and Maureen Starkey Tigrett are married. They later divorce.

1972 David Bowie plays a concert in England backed by guitarist Mick Ronson, bass player Trevor Bolder, and drummer Mick Woodmansey. The group is billed for the first time as the Spiders From Mars, and Bowie unveils his Ziggy Stardust persona.

1979 Followers of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah and seized power in Iran, nine days after the religious leader returned to his home country following 15 years of exile.

1983 The Rolling Stones concert movie Let’s Spend The Night Together opens.

1984 “That’s All!” by Genesis peaks at Number Six on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.

1984 “Pink Houses” by John Cougar Mellencamp peaks at Number Eight on the pop chart.

1984 “Middle Of The Road” by the Pretenders peaks at Number 19 on the pop chart.

1989 “Angel Of Harlem” by U2 peaks at Number 14 on the pop chart.

1990 South African black activist Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in prison. Mandela assumed the forefront of the African black struggle after his release from prison.

1993 President Bill Clinton announced Miami prosecutor Janet Reno as his choice to be the nation’s first female attorney general.

1995 Balance by Van Halen enters the album chart at Number One.

1999 A federal jury in New York City found several gun makers responsible in three area shootings for letting guns fall into the hands of criminals.