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Some Interesting Historical Events in the Year 1911

The very 1st Indianapolis 500 was won by Ray Harroun with an average speed of 74 miles per hour. (The race took almost 7 hours to complete.)

The Chevrolet Motor Car Company was founded by race car driver Louis Chevrolet and General Motors founder, William Durant.

Charles Kettering invented the first electric engine starter for automobiles.

IBM was incorporated.

Machu Piccu was re-discovered by American archaeologist Hiram Bingham.

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the 1st person to reach the South Pole. (English explorer Robert Scott’s 1911-1912 expedition reached the South Pole in January 1912. Tragically, he and his three companions perished on the return journey from the Pole.)

The coronation of George V the King of the United Kingdom. George V was the grandson of Queen Victoria and the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.

Mexican Revolution: long serving Mexican President, Porfirio Diaz, resigns and flees the country.

Marie Curie won the Noble Prize for Chemistry. (Madame Curie was the first woman to win a Noble Prize and the only person ever to win two Noble Prizes in two different sciences, having won a Noble Prize in Physics in 1903.)

The Chinese Revolution began on October 10, 1911, overthrowing the Qing dynasty and establishing the Republic of China. (Doctor Sun Yat-sen was elected President of the Republic of China.)

The RMS Titanic was launched on May 31, 1911 from Belfast, Ireland. (She sank on her maiden voyage out of Southampton on April 15, 1912.)

The US Army introduced the famous M1911 Pistol designed by John Moses Browning. (The 1911 Pistol was the standard pistol of the U.S. military from 1911 until 1986 and 2.7 million were manufactured for the military.)

The United States Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Income Tax on Corporations was constitutional. (The corporate tax rate in 1911 was 1% of net profits that exceeded $5,000 for the year. $5,000 in 1911 would equal about $125,000 in today’s dollars.)

The Nestor Motion Picture Company opened the first California movie studio on Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street in Hollywood. (In 1912, Nestor merged with Universal Pictures which is now a division of NBCUniversal owned by Comcast.)

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City killed 146 people many of whom were young immigrant women. (This lead to many worker safety and fire safety reforms.)

Sir Francis Galton, explorer, scientist and statistician, died .

Jasper (Jack) Daniel of Jack Daniel’s whiskey fame died.

Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy fame was born in Jamestown, New York.

The thirty-eighth Vice President of the United States, United States Senator from Minnesota, Mayor of Minneapolis, and 1968 Democratic Party presidential nominee, Hubert Horatio Humphrey was born in Wallace, South Dakota.

The fortieth President of the United States, California Governor, President of the Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood movie actor, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois.

For more information on the year 1911 see: