ON THIS DAY
Today is August 11, the 223rd day of 2014. There are 142 days left in the year. 1712 - Treaty of Araru ends Swiss War, guaranteeing domination of Protestants over five Catholic cantons. 1718 - The English fleet under Admiral George Byng destroys or captures 15 of 22 Spanish ships at the Battle of Cape Passaro off Sicily. 1824 - New South Wales is constituted a Crown colony. The Government in NSW therefore has powers to delegate local authorities in the other colonies, such as Moreton Bay, until these colonies are, in turn, constituted Crown colonies in their own right. 1877 - US astronomer Asaph Hall discovers a Martian moon, which he names Deimos. 1934 - The first federal prisoners arrive at the island prison Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. 1945 - Allies inform Japan that its surrender offer is acceptable as World War II in the Pacific nears an end. 1949 - Australian Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell announces that migrants will be known as New Australians. 1965 - Rioting and looting breaks out in the predominantly black Watts section of Los Angeles; in the week that follows 34 people are killed and more than 1000 are injured. 1969 - Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda nationalises copper mining. 1994 - In Sarajevo, Bosnian Serb snipers force the suspension of a vital UN airlift and kill a young girl. 1996 - Bosnian Serb troops refuse to let foreign inspectors see a military compound, prompting the NATO-led peace force to recall its representatives from the Bosnian Serb stronghold, Pale. 1998 - British Petroleum announces it has agreed to merge with Amoco Corp of the US in a $US110 billion deal billed as the largest industrial merger. 1999 - The last solar eclipse of the millennium casts a shadow extending from Land’s End at the southwestern tip of England to the Bay of Bengal near India. The moon’s shadow darkens parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. 2000 - A Hungarian prisoner left in a Russian psychiatric hospital after World War II and forgotten for five decades returns to Hungary – a homeland he hasn’t seen since the 1940s. 2003 - Liberian president Charles Taylor resigns and leaves the country for exile in Nigeria. Taylor’s departure was seen as a major step in bringing peace to the nation, which had been plagued by civil war for 14 years. 2007 - Sierra Leone holds its first presidential elections since UN peacekeepers withdrew two years ago. 2010 - Researchers say two ancient animal bones from Ethiopia show signs of butchering by human ancestors, moving back the earliest evidence for the use of stone tools by about 800,000 years. 2012 - Earthquakes kill at least 180 people in northwestern Iran.