October 11, 1942 … and other facts of interest.

…the United States defeats the Japanese in the Battle of Cape Esperance(You thought that was a typo in the title, didn’t you?).

The battle was important because it involved the defeat of a fleet heading to reinforce the Japanese at Guadalcanal. Following the loss of its reinforcements, the Japanese position was weakened, and the U.S. took control of Guadalcanal by the end of the year.

In other October 11 historical “news”:

2008: Belgian Luc Costermans sets a new land speed record – for blind drivers.  He reached 192mph in a borrowed Lamborghini.  (I’m guessing the car’s owner also set a new record…for heartbeats per minute.) Please note: we have a new definition of “trust” – saying “yes” when your blind friend asks to borrow the car for speed trial purposes.

1968: Apollo 7 is launched.  The first manned Apollo space mission orbited earth for 11 days and featured the first television broadcasts from space.

1809: Meriweather Lewis died at a tavern along the Nachez Trace in Tennessee.  The explorer died under “strange circumstances” which many historians believe to be suicide (a few suspect murder).

It’s also Columbus Day, but I’m guessing you already knew that one, so I thought I’d fill you in on the rest.  Any other facts of note for October 11? Post ’em in the comments.