11 May 1708

Death at Marly near Paris of Baroque architect Jules Hardouin Mansart. His work includes the north and south wings and the Grand Trianon at the palace of Versailles, and the Place Vendôme in Paris.


11 May 1812

British prime minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons. He was shot by John Bellingham, a failed businessman who harboured a grudge against the British government for what he considered to be its inexcusable failure to help him during and after his five-year imprisonment for debt in St Petersburg. Bellingham gave himself up, was tried for murder at the Old Bailey, found guilty and hanged on 18 May.

11 May 1857

Indian mutineers seize Delhi from British forces.

11 May 1949

Following the Security Council's recommendation that it should be admitted to the United Nations, UN General Assembly Resolution 273 admits the state of Israel as its 59th member.

11 May 1960

Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was kidnapped by Israeli Mossad agents in Buenos Aires where he had been working for Mercedes Benz under an assumed name. Ten days later he was smuggled to Israel where he was tried and convicted on 15 criminal charges and executed by hanging in May 1962. As a lieutenant-colonel in the SS he had managed the mass deportations of Jews to the death camps of eastern Europe and has often been described as one of the chief architects of the Holocaust.

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11 May 1981

Jamaican musician Bob Marley died of cancer in Miami. He was 36. The songs he recorded with his band the Wailers were largely instrumental in introducing reggae music to a mainstream audience. His greatest hits collection, 'Legend' – which includes classics such as 'No Woman, No Cry', 'Could You Be Loved' and 'Redemption Song' – is the bestselling reggae album of all time with sales of more than 20 million copies.

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