On This Day in History – July 11

In 1405, Ming admiral Zheng He departed China upon a long term, exploratory expedition. His fleet sailed south along the Vietnamese coast, then west through the waters around the islands and peninsulas of modern Indonesia and Malaysia. Once in the Indian Ocean, he visited modern Sri Lanka and the Indian cities of Kollam (once Quilon) and Calicut. He would return to China in 1407.

In 1897, Swedish engineer and civil servant Salomon August Andrée departed from Spitsbergen, an island in the Svalbard archipelago of modern Norway, via a balloon with the aim of reaching the North Pole. His balloon would eventually crash and he would later die in October of that year.

In 1960, Harper Lee’s beloved and controversial novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was first published within the United States. The novel would win a Pulitzer Prize and was adapted for the screen in 1962, a film that won three Academy Awards. The novel’s themes of racial injustice and the loss of innocence had led to some of the criticism and controversy the novel has engineered.

A Notable Birth

1934 – Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer best known for the Armani fashion brand, which he established in 1975. He began work as a fashion designer in the mid-1960s and used it to launch his own brand. Today is his 86th Birthday.

A Notable Death

1905 – Muhammad Abduh (b. 1849) was an Egyptian religious writer and scholar, viewed as a founding figure in Islamic Modernism. A major aspect of his beliefs was that Muslims needed to rely upon reason and not purely upon medieval interpretations of texts.

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