On This Day in History: May 11

Today in history, a body was exhumed in an attempt to find evidence against the “Queen of Poisoners.” What else happened on May 11 throughout history?

NPG 4,Spencer Perceval,by George Francis Joseph1812: The Assassination of Spencer Perceval

Just three years into his term, Spencer Perceval was assassinated in the House of Commons lobby. John Bellingham gave himself up after doing it, saying that he angry at being unable to obtain compensation from the government for his war debts while he was in Russia. Prime Minister Perceval was in charge of the financially costly Napoleonic Wars and made numerous political enemies, including King George IV of Britain. The situation was improving before his assassination. Bellingham was executed the following week.

1858: Minnesota Becomes the 32nd State

Today in history, the United States grew by another state. Minnesota joined the union, becoming the 32nd State of America. In the 1850s, Minnesota had grown from 6,500 to 150,000 people, after becoming American territory in 1849. During the Civil War, the state sided with the Unions and in the years to come it saw an influx of Scandinavian immigrants.

1949: The Exhumation of Leon Besnard

Leon Besnard’s body was exhumed in Loudun, France. The authorities were looking for traces of poison, believing his wife Marie had killed him. His body and those of family members connected to the couple were found with traces of arsenic, Marie had allegedly used to kill them all. She was never convicted, despite 13 murders. She had managed to force two mistrials, and the third case had so little evidence left that she could not be convicted beyond reasonable doubt. Marie was nicknamed the “Queen of Poisoners.”

1985: 50 Killed in Football Stadium Fire

On this day in history, 56 football fans were killed during a fire at Bradford City’s ground. Hundreds of others were taken to hospital for injuries. Five minutes before halftime, there was a small fire noticed in the Valley Parade Stadium, possibly started due to a dropped cigarette or match. The fire soon grew, and police quickly evacuated. The roof of the wooden stands caught fire, and many of the deaths were due to burns or crushing as people panicked to get out of the grounds. The disaster led to a change in safety regulations.

Famous Birthdays on May 11

Christian I, ruler of Anhalt-Bernburg–1568

Victoire of France, daughter of king Louis XV–1733

Ballet dancer, Fanny Cerrito–1817

Jazz bandleader “King” Joseph Oliver—1885

Composer Irving Berlin—1888

Composer William Grant Still—1895

Comedian Phil Silvers—1912

Religious leader Louis Farrakhan—1933

Reality star David Gest—1953

Golfer Andrew Bonhomme–1972

Glee actor Cory Monteith—1982

Kiss Kiss singer Holly Vallance—1983

Gymnast, Monica Roşu–1987

Sources:

Birthdays from OnThisDay.com, HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Spencer Perceval: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spencer_Perceval#/media/File:Spencer_Perceval.jpg


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