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11th August

1877 The moons of Mars: Phobos and Deunos were discovered by Professor Asaph Hall.

1892: * Hugh MacDiarmid, Scottish poet and founder of the Scottish Nationalist Party.

1897 * Enid Blyton, English author of children's stories such as Noddy and the Famous Five.

1909 Arapahoe became the first ship to use the S.O.S. distress signal.

1921 * Alex Haley, US author of the novel Roots about slavery in the US.

1934 The first inmates arrived at the federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.

1935 * Anna Massey, English actress who starred in the TV film Hotel du Lac (1986).

1942 The new Waterloo Bridge was opened to traffic in London.

1952 Crown Prince Hussein succeeded his father King Talal of Jordan.

1954 More than seven years of fighting in Indochina formerly ended with the cessation of French control.

1960 The French colony of Chad became independent.

1971 Prime Minister Edward Heath steered the British yachting team to victory in the Admiral's Cup.

1982 The notorious East End gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray were allowed out of prison for their mother's funeral.

1984 British athlete Zola Budd sparked unfounded controversy in the 3,000m Olympics final as American favourite Mary Decker tripped over her.

1999 The last total eclipse of the Sun of the millennium was visible from the North Atlantic Ocean to the Bay of Bengal.

2000 Two boisterous drunken men were jailed after an incident of "air rage" on board a holiday jet bound for Jamaica in January 1999.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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