This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
April 11 is the 101st day of the year (102nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 264 days remaining until the end of the year.
There was a lull in fighting over the winter of 1812-13 while both the Russians and the French rebuilt their forces; Napoleon was then able to field 350,000 troops. Heartened by France’s loss in Russia, Prussia joined with Austria, Sweden, Russia, Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal in a new coalition. Napoleon assumed command in Germany and inflicted a series of defeats on the Coalition culminating in the Battle of Dresden in August 1813. Despite these successes, the numbers continued to mount against Napoleon, and the French army was pinned down by a force twice its size and lost at the Battle of Leipzig. This was by far the largest battle of the Napoleonic Wars and cost more than 90,000 casualties in total.
Napoleon withdrew back into France, his army reduced to 70,000 soldiers and 40,000 stragglers, against more than three times as many Allied troops. The French were surrounded: British armies pressed from the south, and other Coalition forces positioned to attack from the German states. Napoleon won a series of victories in the Six Days Campaign, though these were not significant enough to turn the tide; Paris was captured by the Coalition in March 1814.
When Napoleon proposed the army march on the capital, his marshals decided to mutiny. On 4 April, led by Ney, they confronted Napoleon. Napoleon asserted the army would follow him, and Ney replied the army would follow its generals. Napoleon had no choice but to abdicate. He did so in favour of his son; however, the Allies refused to accept this, and Napoleon was forced to abdicate unconditionally on 11 April.
The Allied Powers having declared that Emperor Napoleon was the sole obstacle to the restoration of peace in Europe, Emperor Napoleon, faithful to his oath, declares that he renounces, for himself and his heirs, the thrones of France and Italy, and that there is no personal sacrifice, even that of his life, which he is not ready to do in the interests of France.
Done in the palace of Fontainebleau, 11 April 1814.
-Act of abdication of Napoleon
In the Treaty of Fontainebleau, the victors exiled him to Elba, an island of 12,000 inhabitants in the Mediterranean, 20 km off the Tuscan coast. They gave him sovereignty over the island and allowed him to retain his title of emperor. Napoleon attempted suicide with a pill he had carried since a near-capture by Russians on the retreat from Moscow. Its potency had weakened with age, and he survived to be exiled while his wife and son took refuge in Austria. In the first few months on Elba he created a small navy and army, developed the iron mines, and issued decrees on modern agricultural methods.
491 – Flavius Anastasius becomes Byzantine Emperor, with the name of Anastasius I.
1079 – Bishop Stanislaus of Krakow is executed by order of Boleslaw II of Poland.
1241 – Batu Khan defeats Bela IV of Hungary at the Battle of Muhi.
1512 – War of the League of Cambrai: French forces led by Gaston de Foix win the Battle of Ravenna.
1689 – William III and Mary II are crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain.
1713 – War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne’s War): Treaty of Utrecht.
1775 – The last execution for witchcraft in Germany takes place.
1809 – Battle of the Basque Roads Naval battle fought between France and the United Kingdom.
1814 – The Treaty of Fontainebleau ends the War of the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon Bonaparte, and forces him to abdicate unconditionally for the first time.
1856 – Battle of Rivas: Juan Santamaria burns down the hostel where William Walker’s filibusters are holed up.
1865 – President Abraham Lincoln makes his last public speech.
1868 – Former Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu surrenders Edo Castle to Imperial forces, marking the end of the Tokugawa shogunate.
1876 – The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized.
1881 – Spelman College was founded in Atlanta, Georgia as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, an institute of higher education for African-American women.
1888 – The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is inaugurated.
1908 – SMS Blucher, the last armored cruiser to be built by the German Imperial Navy, launches.
1919 – The International Labour Organization is founded.
1921 – Emir Abdullah establishes the first centralised government in the newly created British protectorate of Transjordan.
1945 – World War II: American forces liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp.
1951 – Korean War: President Harry Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of overall command in Korea.
1951 – The Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, is found on the site of the altar of Arbroath Abbey. It had been taken by Scottish nationalist students from its place in Westminster Abbey.
1952 – The Battle of Nanri Island takes place.
1954 – The most boring day since 1900 according to the True Knowledge Answer Engine
1955 – The Air India Kashmir Princess is bombed and crashes in a failed assassination attempt on Zhou Enlai by the Kuomintang.
1957 – United Kingdom agrees to Singaporean self-rule.
1961 – The trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem.
1965 – The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965: Fifty-one tornadoes hit in six Midwestern states, killing 256 people.
1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.
1970 – Apollo 13 is launched.
1976 – The Apple I is created.
1979 – Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is deposed.
1981 – A massive riot in Brixton, South London, results in almost 300 police injuries and 65 serious civilian injuries.
1986 – The FBI Miami shootout between eight Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and two heavily-armed and well-trained gunmen.
1987 – The London Agreement is secretly signed between Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein of Jordan.
1990 – Customs officers in Middlesbrough, England, United Kingdom, say they have seized what they believe to be the barrel of a massive gun on a ship bound for Iraq.
1990 – Konstantinos Mitsotakis becomes the 178th Prime Minister of Greece.
1993 – 450 prisoners rioted at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, and continued to do so for ten days, citing grievances related to prison conditions, as well as the forced vaccination of Nation of Islam prisoners (for tuberculosis) against their religious beliefs.
2000 – AT&T Park in San Francisco, Minute Maid Park in Houston, and Comerica Park in Detroit open.
2001 – The detained crew of a United States EP-3E aircraft that landed in Hainan, China after a collision with a J-8 fighter is released.
2001 – Australia beats American Samoa in a 31-0 win, the biggest ever in an international match of association football.
2002 – The Ghriba synagogue bombing by Al Qaeda kills 21 in Tunisia.
2002 – Almost 1 million people marched in Caracas towards the Presidential Palace of Miraflores, to demand the resignation of president Hugo Chavez. 19 of the protesters were killed, and the Minister of Defense Gral. Lucas Rincon announced Hugo Chavez resignation on national TV.
2006 – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that Iran has successfully enriched uranium.
2007 – 2007 Algiers bombings: Two bombings in the Algerian capital of Algiers, kills 33 people and wounds a further 222 others.
Christian Feast Day:
Antipas of Pergamum (Greek Orthodox Church)
Stanislaus of Szczepanow
April 11 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
Juan Santamaría Day, anniversary of his death in the Second Battle of Rivas. (Costa Rica)