Today In History Spotlights Mar. 11, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt Signs the Lend-Lease Act

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Today’s History Spotlight

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act. With World War II raging in Europe and Asia, the United States remained neutral at this time. Nonetheless, Roosevelt sought to provide the Allies with supplies. The Lend-Lease Act authorized the sending of food and material aid to Britain, Free France, the Soviet Union, China, and other Allied nations.

America entered the war in December of that year, following the Japanese attack on the US naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Lend-Lease Act remained in effect until the Japanese defeat in 1945, in which it was then dissolved virtually overnight.

What Happened On This Day – March 11

  • 2011 The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster strikes Japan. The nuclear meltdowns occurred after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. It was the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
  • 2004 191 people die as several bombs explode on Madrid commuter trains. The bombings were conducted by an Islamist terrorist cell and came 3 days before Spain’s general elections.
  • 1990 Lithuania becomes the first Soviet republic to declare its independence. The Baltic country’s secession marked an important step in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • 1990 Patricio Aylwin becomes Chile’s first democratically elected president since the end of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. Pinochet had been in power since a CIA-backed coup d’état in 1973. Under his command, thousands of political opponents were interned, tortured, and killed.
  • 1851 Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, Rigoletto, receives its premiere. Rigoletto is one of the most popular operas of all time. The piece was premiered at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy.

Births On This Day – March 11

  • 1978 Didier Drogba – Ivorian footballer
  • 1952 Douglas Adams – English/American author, playwright
  • 1950 Bobby McFerrin – American singer-songwriter, producer, conductor
  • 1931 Rupert Murdoch – Australian/American businessman, founded News Corporation
  • 1916 Harold Wilson – English politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Deaths On This Day – March 11

  • 2006 Slobodan Milošević Serbian politician, 3rd President of Serbia, Montenegro
  • 1971 Philo Farnsworth – American inventor, invented the Fusor
  • 1955 Alexander Fleming – Scottish scientist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1898 William Rosecrans – American general, diplomat
  • 1874 Charles Sumner – American politician

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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