1689 - On this day in history, Peter the Great became Tsar of Russia. He led a cultural revolution that replaced the traditionalist and medieval social and political system with a modern, scientific, Europe-centric system.
1726 - Today in history, Benjamin Franklin returned to Philadelphia from England. "Yesterday in the afternoon we left London, and came to an anchor off Gravesend about eleven at night. I lay ashore all night, and this morning' took a walk up to the Windmill Hill, from whence I had an agreeable prospect of the country for above twenty miles round."
1737 - On this day in history, an earthquake killed 300,000 and destroyed half of Calcutta, India.
1811 - Today in history, The Juliana, the first steam-powered ferryboat, began operation.
1852 - On this day in history, The University of Sydney, Australia's oldest university, was inaugurated in Sydney.
1861 - Today in history, The Battle of Dumfries, VA (Quantico Creek) took place. When Confederate forces attacked the United States garrison at Fort Sumter in South Carolina in April of 1861, Prince William County was an agricultural area, home to almost 600 farms and approximately 8,600 people. Nearly 2,400 were enslaved laborers of African ancestry.
1864 - Om this day in history, slavery was abolished in Maryland.
1871 - Today in history, the Great Chicago Fire was finally extinguished after 3 days, with 300 killed.
1890 - On this day in history, the Daughters of American Revolution was founded.
1906 - Today in history, San Francisco established a school for "Asians." The San Francisco public school board sparked a United States diplomatic crisis with Japan by ordering Japanese students to be taught in racially segregated schools.
1922 - Today in history, the first woman FBI "special investigator" was appointed (Alaska Davidson).
1929 - JC Penney opened store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states, on this day in history.
1932 - Today in history, the first political telecast (Democratic National Committee) happened at CBS, NYC.
1939 - On this day in history, the NAACP organized a Legal Defense & Education Fund for the first time.
1944 - Today in history, the Allies bombed the sea wall at Veere. WWII marched on toward a conclusion in 1945.
1945 - On this day in history, the Chinese civil war began -Nationalist Chiang Kai-Shek versus Communist Mao Tse-Tung.
1950 - Today in history, The U.S. Federal Communications Commission issued the first license to broadcast television in color, to CBS in NY.
1976 - On this day in history, Mao Tse-Tung's widow Jiang Qing and the "Gang of Four" were arrested and charged with plotting a coup.
1984 - Today in history, the first spacewalk by an American woman took place (Dr. Kathryn Sullivan).
1987 - On this day in history, 200,000 gays marched for civil rights in Washington, at the height of the AIDS epidemic.
1990 - Today in history, oil hit a record $40.42 per barrel. Time for a change?
2001 - On this day in history, the Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection. The digital revolution had had an impact on what was once a revolutionary camera.
SCIENCE, INVENTIONS, PATENTS - Today in History, October 11th
1868 - Today in history, Thomas Edison patented his first invention: the electric-voice machine.
1881 - On this day in history, David Houston patented roll film for cameras.
1887 - Today in history, A. Miles patented the elevator.
1939 - On this day in history, Albert Einstein informed FDR of the possibilities of atomic bomb.
1968 - Today in history, Apollo 7 made 163 orbits in 260 hours.
SPORTS - Today in History, October 11th
1902 - On this day in history, the 8th US Golf Open made history: Laurie Auchterlonie shoot a 307 at Garden City, NY.
1919 - Today in history, the first transcontinental air race ended.
1971 - On this day in history, the 60th Davis Cup took place: USA beat Romania in Charlotte (3-2).
CULTURE, LIFESTYLE - Today in History, October 11th
1936 - Today in history, "Professor Quiz," premiered on the radio.
1967 - On this day in history, the "Yoko Plus Me" art exhibit opened in London (the me is John Lennon).
1975 - Today in history, legendary "Saturday Night Live" premiered with guest host George Carlin.
1981 - On this day in history, unknown rocker Prince opened for The Rolling Stones at LA Coliseum.
1991 - Today in history, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart was seen soliciting a prostitute.
FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS - October 11th
1884 - On this day in history, Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York to become first lady (1933-1945) and crusader (Nobel 1931).
1918 - Today in history, Jerome Robbins was born in NY, to become a famed choreographer (Tony-West Side Story).
1962 - On this day in history, actress Joan Cusack was born in Evanston, Illinois (SNL, Addams Family Values).