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On this day: March 11

Today’s birthdays

Rupert Murdoch, media magnate, 88

Bobby McFerrin, singer, 69

Alex Kingston, actress, 56

Shane Richie, actor and presenter (pictured), 55

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, interior designer and TV personality, 54

Lisa Loeb, singer, 51

Thora Birch, actress, 37

It happened today…

1682: The Chelsea Hospital for old soldiers (Chelsea Pensioners), also the venue for the world-famous flower show, was founded.

1702: The first successful English daily newspaper, a single broadsheet called the Daily Courant, was published.

1819:Sir Henry Tate, a sugar refiner who left his art collection to the nation and which formed the basis for the Tate Gallery, was born in Chorley, Lancashire.

1845: In New Zealand, a Maori uprising against the British began.

1864: The Bradfield Reservoir, near Sheffield, burst its banks, killing 270 people.

1925:No, No, Nanette was premiered at the Palace Theatre, London, with Binnie Hale playing Nanette.

1941: The US Congress passed the Lend-Lease Bill enabling Britain to borrow millions of dollars to buy food and arms needed for the Second World War.

1945: The huge Krupps factory in Germany was destroyed when 1,000 Allied bombers took part in the biggest-ever daylight raid.

1960: Riot police stood by in the Belgian Congo as Patrice Lumumba, the future controversial independence premier, was allowed to speak in public for the first time. He was found executed in the bush less than a year later.

1974:Kenneth and Keith Littlejohn, allegedly MI6 spies inside the IRA, escaped from prison.

1981:Sir Maurice Oldfield, British intelligence chief considered to be the model for Ian Fleming’s ‘M’ in the Bond novels, died.

1985: The Al-Fayed brothers won control of the House of Fraser Group to become owners of Harrods.

1988: The Bank of England pound note ceased to be legal tender at midnight, and was replaced by the pound coin.

1993:North Koreapulled out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty.

Quote of the day

‘Sadly, Steve Coogan has morphed in recent years from media-loving, hard-partying comic genius into a fake-halo-clad moralising newspaper-loathing teetotal bore’ — TV’s Piers Morgan (pictured) on the Alan Partridge creator

Thought for the day

‘The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions’ — Leonardo da Vinci