HomeToday in HistoryWhat Happened on February 11

What Happened on February 11

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Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years as a political prisoner
After so many years of being separated from his family and his country, Mandela’s resilience and determination never wavered. His release brought renewed energy to the movement for equality and justice, and paved the way for a new South Africa.

The rise of Ayatollah Khomeini
The toppling of the Pahlavi dynasty and the formation of an Islamic Republic marked a major shift in the political landscape of the Middle East. It was also a pivotal moment for the Islamic world, as Khomeini’s vision of a revolutionary Islamic state inspired many other Muslims around the globe.

Margaret Thatcher is the first female leader of the British Conservative Party
Her victory not only broke the glass ceiling for women in British politics, but it also heralded a new era of economic and social reform in the UK. Thatcher’s “Iron Lady” persona was a symbol of strength and resolve, and her uncompromising policies transformed the country.

Bernadette Soubirous sees a vision of the Virgin Mary near Lourdes
The story of Saint Bernadette’s visions at the grotto in Lourdes is one of the most famous miracles in the history of the Catholic Church. On February 11, 1858, 14-year-old Bernadette claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in a vision near a cave. Over the course of the next several months, she had a total of 18 visions, in which the Virgin Mary allegedly spoke to her. These visions inspired a wave of religious devotion and a shrine that still attracts millions of pilgrims each year. Bernadette’s life is a testament to faith and the power of belief.

  • 1969 Jennifer Aniston
    American actress, director, producer
  • 1964 Sarah Palin
    American politician, 9th Governor of Alaska
  • 1934 Manuel Noriega
    Panamanian general, politician, Military Leader of Panama
  • 1926 Leslie Nielsen
    Canadian/American actor
  • 1847 Thomas Edison
    American businessman, invented the light bulb, phonograph
  • 2012 Whitney Houston
    American singer, actress, producer, model
  • 2010 Alexander McQueen
    English fashion designer, founded
  • 1978 James Bryant Conant
    American chemist, academic, diplomat, 1st United States Ambassador to West Germany
  • 1963 Sylvia Plath
    American poet
  • 1650 René Descartes
    French philosopher, mathematician
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