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On this day in history: May 11

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In 868, a copy of the Diamond Sutra was printed in China, making it the oldest known dated printed book.

In 912, Alexander became Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

In 1310, 54 members of the Knights Templar are burned at the stake as heretics in France.

In 1812, Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons.

In 1820, HMS Beagle, the ship that took Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage, was launched.

In 1944, The Allies began a major offensive against the Axis Powers on the Gustav Line.

In 1949, Siam officially changes its name to Thailand for the second time. The name had been in use since 1939 but was reverted in 1945.

In 1949, Israel joined the United Nations.

1985, 56 spectators were killed and more than 200 injured at a flash fire at Valley Parade football ground, Bradford, during a match against Lincoln City.

In 1997, chess-playing supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov to become the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.

In 2010, David Cameron became Prime Minister following talks between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to form the UK’s first coalition government since World War II after elections produced a hung parliament.

 

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