On this day in history February 11, 1972 – McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. and Life magazine canceled plans to publish an autobiography of Howard Hughes. The work turned out to be fake.
1975 – Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to head a major party in Britain when she was elected leader of the Conservative Party.
1979 – Nine days after the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran (after 15 years in exile) power was seized by his followers.
1982 – ABC-TV’s presentation of “The Winds of War” concluded. The 18-hour miniseries cost $40 million to produce and was the most-watched television program in history at the time.
1982 – France nationalized five groups of major industries and 39 banks.
1984 – The tenth Space Shuttle mission returned to Earth safely.
1989 – Rev. Barbara C. Harris became the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church.
1990 – Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in captivity.
1990 – In Tokyo, Japan, James “Buster” Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in the tenth round to win the heavyweight championship.
1993 – Janet Reno was appointed to the position of attorney general by U.S. President Clinton. She was the first female to hold the position.