Anniversarial — 2011

1761

16 January 1761, the British first captured the French colonial city of Pondicherry, India (returned two years later under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, which marked the end of the Seven Years' War / French and Indian War in the Americas). On 6 June, a transit of Venus was observed from 120 locations around the Earth. Jeremy Bentham, then 13, wrote to his father six days later: "I cannot help letting you know how by a piece of I hope not unwarrantable boldness I got a sight of Madam Venus in her transit, through the College Telescope" (Friday, 12 June 1761). The difficulty in observing this transit at Oxford is supposed to have led to the founding of the Radcliffe Observatory in 1772. In September, Portugal abolished slavery in mainland Portugal (Britain didn't abolish slavery through the Empire until 1833). The melody for "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" was first published (without words) in Les Amusements d'une Heure et Demy, by M. Bouin (Paris); and the Faber-Castell Company, still one of the world's largest manufacturers of pens, pencils, art and other office supplies, was founded in Nuremberg, Germany.

Here are some of those correspondents whose birth or death is marked in 2011:

Births

Deaths

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