On August 11…

1921 – Author Alex Haley (Roots, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Queen) was born in Ithaca, New York.

1965 – The Watts area of Los Angeles erupted into violence after a White police officer arrested a Black man for drunk driving.  The riots resulted in the deaths of 34 people and the arrests of more than 3,000 others, along with over $40 million in property damage.

1984 – During preparations for his weekly radio broadcast, U.S. President Ronald Reagan joked, “…I have signed legislation that will outlaw Russia. We begin bombing in five minutes.”  The remark was made during a time when technicians had the microphone open and the President didn’t think he was being heard.

1992 – The Mall of America opened in Bloomington, Minnesota.  It was the largest retail and entertainment complex in the United States.

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