On this day: Remembering historic events that happened on 11 January


The day, 11 January has witnessed a number of major events in different fields over the years. Some of them have marked their places in history for their respective significance. On this day in 1935, American aviator Amelia Earhart completed the first solo flight from Hawaii to California. On the same day in 1964, a report by US Surgeon Luther L. Terry warned “Smoking causes cancer.” Kiwi mountaineer Edmund Hillary who climbed Mount Everest in 1953, breathed his last on 11 January 2008. On that very day in 2016, Argentina legend Lionel Messi received his fifth of seven Ballon d’Or titles.

11 January – Historic Events:

The first solo flight from Hawaii to California; 1935:

On 11 January 1935, US aviator Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California. The journey totalling 2,408 miles was longer than that from the United States to Europe. Despite the fact that some referred to it as a publicity stunt for Earhart and promoters of Hawaiian sugar plantations, it was a risky flight that had previously taken a number of lives. Before her, 10 pilots had lost their lives attempting the dangerous trip. Earhart set records for distances between Los Angeles and Mexico City and Mexico City and Newark, New Jersey, later that year. Additionally, she finished fifth in the 1935 Bendix Race.

The first report saying “Smoking caused cancer” was published; 1964:

On 11 January 1964, A US Surgeon General of the Public Health Service – Luther L. Terry – released the initial reports of the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health. The Advisory Committee came to the conclusion that smoking causes lung cancer and laryngeal cancer in both men and women based on more than 7,000 publications about smoking and disease that were already available at the time in the biomedical literature. Additionally, smoking was cited as the primary contributor to chronic bronchitis in the reports. The report served as the lead stories on television news broadcasts for several days as well as national print headlines. It was later listed as one of the best news stories of 1964.

New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary passed away, 2008:

One of the first men to summit Mount Everest, Edmund Hillary died at the age of 88 on 11 January 2008. A mountain climber from New Zealand, Hillary started hiking the Southern Alps during his high-school days. He developed his interest to reach the highest peak in the world after returning from military service in World War II. In the spring of 1953, Hillary, joining hands with his fellow Nepalese climber, Tenzing Norgay finally stood atop Mount Everest becoming the first expedition unit to achieve the feat.

Lionel Messi received his fifth Ballon d’Or; 2016:

On 11 January 2016, Argentine forward Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or title for the record fifth time with 41.33% of the votes edging past Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr who were in the top three. In the 2015 season, Messi was in exceptional form while playing for his club Barcelona. The Spanish side took as many as five trophies home throughout the season including three majors – La Liga, Champions League and Club World Cup. Messi went on to receive the coveted title twice later in 2019 and 2021, increasing his tally to a record seven times.

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On this day: Remembering historic events that happened on 11 January
On this day: Remembering historic events that happened on 11 January
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