On This Day October 11
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1793 – The death toll from a yellow fever outbreak in what was then the capital of the United States — Philadelphia — reaches 100. A cold front that arrives about two weeks later wipes out the city’s mosquito population, which reduces the number of casualties to 20 per day. But by the time the epidemic ends that November, more than 5,000 people had died.
1975 – Late-night television turns edgy with the first broadcast of NBC’s “Saturday Night,” later renamed “Saturday Night Live” and known today as “SNL.” Original cast members include Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris and Chevy Chase. Comedian George Carlin hosts Episode 1, with musical perfomances by Billy Preston and Janis Ian.
1986 – Following up on their successful November 1985 summit in Geneva, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet in Reykjavik, Iceland, to continue disarmament talks. While negotiations break down, they pave the way for the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the Superpowers.
2002 – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wins the Nobel Peace Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
1962 – The Beatles make their first appearance on the U.K. singles chart with “Love Me Do,” which eventually peaks at No. 17. It performs better across the pond on the Billboard singles chart, where it reaches No. 1 on May 30, 1964.
1971 – John Lennon releases “Imagine,” which becomes an international anthem for peace and love and the most successful single of the former Beatle’s solo career. It peaks at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Shortly before his death in 1980, Lennon admitted that much of the song’s content came from his wife, Yoko Ono, and in 2017 she received a co-writing credit.
1997 – Elton John begins 14 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with his musical tribute to the late Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind.” The track is an updated version of John’s 1973 recording from the “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album, which was a homage to screen siren Marilyn Monroe.