Year
1970
Month Day
February 11

Japan launches its first satellite

From the Kagoshima Space Center on the east coast of Japan’s Ohsumi Peninsula, Ohsumi, Japan’s first satellite, is successfully launched into an orbit around Earth. The achievement made Japan the world’s fourth space power, after the Soviet Union in 1957, the United States in 1958, and France in 1965.

Two months after Japan’s launching of Ohsumi, China became the world’s fifth space power when it successfully launched Mao 1 into space. The satellite, named after Mao Zedong, the leader of communist China, orbited Earth broadcasting the Chinese patriotic song The East Is Red once a minute.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

World Health Organization officially names novel coronavirus disease COVID-19

A few months after the first known case was detected in Wuhan, China, and approximately three weeks after the first U.S. case was reported, on February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially named the illness that would go on to cause a pandemic "coronavirus disease ...read more

Pop superstar Whitney Houston dies at age 48

Whitney Houston, one of the world’s top-selling singers from the mid-1980s to late 1990s, is found dead in the bathtub of her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on February 11, 2012. Houston’s death was the result of accidental drowning; heart disease ...read more

St. Bernadette claims to see the Virgin Mary

In southern France, Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, a 14-year-old French peasant girl, first claims to have seen the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ and a central figure in the Roman Catholic religion. The apparitions, which totaled 18 before the end of the year, occurred in a ...read more

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela released from prison

Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990. In 1944, Mandela, a lawyer, joined the African National Congress (ANC), the oldest Black political organization in South Africa, where he became a ...read more

Yalta Conference ends

On February 11, 1945, a week of intensive bargaining by the leaders of the three major Allied powers ends in Yalta, a Soviet resort town on the Black Sea. It was the second conference of the “Big Three” Allied leaders—U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister ...read more

Sacaagawea with Lewis and Clark

Sacagawea gives birth to her first child

Sacagawea, the Shoshone interpreter and guide to the Lewis and Clark expedition, gives birth to her first child, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark first met the young Sacagawea while spending the winter among the Mandan tribe along the Upper Missouri ...read more

Voltaire returns to Paris from exile

On February 11, 1778, some 300 people visit Voltaire following his return to Paris. Voltaire had been in exile for 28 years. Born Francois-Marie Arouet to middle-class parents in Paris in 1694, Voltaire began to study law as a young man but quit to become a playwright. He made a ...read more

The Payola scandal heats up

The Payola scandal reaches a new level of public prominence and legal gravity on February 11, 1960, when President Eisenhower called it an issue of public morality and the FCC proposed a new law making involvement in Payola a criminal act. What exactly was Payola? During the ...read more

Women’s rights activist arrested

Emma Goldman, a crusader for women’s rights and social justice, is arrested in New York City for lecturing and distributing materials about birth control. She was accused of violating the Comstock Act of 1873, which made it a federal offense to disseminate contraceptive devices ...read more