On This Day in History, August 11

In 3114 BC, this date marks the beginning of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, which was used by several Mesoamerican civilizations before the arrival of Columbus. Most notable of these civilizations was the Maya, whose calendar brought rise to the myth that the world would end in 2012.

In 1919, the Weimar Constitution was signed, forming the basis of the Weimar Republic, which would be the ruling body in Germany from 1920, when elections were first held, until its subversion and destruction at the hands of the elected majority Nazi Party and their leader, Chancellor Adolf Hitler, in 1933. It was eventually succeeded by the present constitution, the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.

In 1965, the Watts riots broke out in Los Angeles, sparked by the reported injury of a pregnant woman at the hands of police. The predominantly black neighborhood had also been subjected to incidents of racial bias and discrimination, especially in terms of housing. The riots would last for five days, causing widespread damages in the neighborhood and causing nearly 1,100 casualties, including 34 deaths.

A Notable Birth

1950 – Steve Wozniak is an American electronics engineer and computer programmer, and was a co-founder of Apple with Steve Jobs. While having departed from the company in 1986, he was held as a ceremonial employee up to 2019. He is turning 70 today.

A Notable Death

1259 – Möngke Khan (b. 1209) was a Mongol ruler and conqueror who brought Iraq, Syria, and modern Yunnan into the Mongol Empire. Following his death, the Mongol Empire fractured into four Khanates—the Golden Horde, the Ilkhanate, the Chagatai Khanate, and the Yuan dynasty.

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