(RNN) - If last week's article was overweight and bloated (it was), this week's is down to its fighting weight.
There isn't much of historical significance this week outside of the warfare section, which I'm going to deplete by discussing Veteran's Day here.
In fact, this opening section is for everything "of note" from Nov. 11. The reason the day is famous is because it is the day in 1918 the Armistice with Germany was signed, ending World War I.
In related events, the New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior was dedicated in 2004, the New Zealand War Memorial was unveiled in London in 2006 and the Tomb of the Unknowns was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery in 1921.
The monument officially doesn't have a name, but it was installed with the remains of an unidentified soldier from World War I in a tomb that looks much different from the one there today. The current tomb was constructed in 1931 and contains a large marble marker with the inscription, "Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God."
Four unidentified soldiers were exhumed and one was chosen for interment in Arlington after lying in state in the U.S. Capitol. The soldier was awarded the Medal of Honor and the Victoria Cross, the highest military honors by the United States and United Kingdom, respectively. In 1958, unidentified soldiers from World War II and the Korean War were interred and an unidentified soldier from the Vietnam War was interred in 1984.
Ten years later, the soldier from Vietnam was identified as Michael Blassie and his remains were removed and reburied in his hometown of St. Louis. The marble slab marking the grave occupied by Blassie was changed to honor soldiers who have gone missing in action.
In other events, the Mayflower Compact was signed in 1620, Virginia Military Institute was founded in 1939, Washington became a state in 1889, record high and low temperatures were set across the Midwest during the Great Blue Norther in 1911, the U.S. numbered highway system was established in 1926, the Battle of Taranto saw the first attack launched from an aircraft carrier in 1940, and Germany completed its occupation of France in 1942.
Gen. George Patton was born Nov. 11, 1885.
Here are some of the events of note that happened between Nov. 11 and 17.
Rock Hudson was born Nov. 17, 1925. Hudson rose to fame in the 1950s and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Giant. He played a variety of roles in movies and on TV, including a stint on the soap opera Dynasty and starred with John Wayne in The Undefeated.
Ed Asner is most famous for his role as Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, for which he won five Emmy Awards. Asner holds the Emmy record for an actor with seven but has also starred in several movies and lent his voice to multiple roles. He also appeared with Wayne in El Dorado as Bart Jason, a rancher and the movie's primary antagonist.
Burgess Meredith was born Nov. 16, 1907, and is perhaps best known as Rocky Balboa's trainer, Mickey Goldmill, in the Rocky series where his wisdom is second to none, but he was also in In Harm's Way with Wayne. Dick Powell directed Wayne in The Conqueror and is one of the people associated with the film who were allegedly killed by the government.
Oscar winner William Holden died Nov. 12, 1981. Holden was famous for his roles in Stalag 17, The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Wild Bunch. He also starred with Wayne in The Horse Soldiers.
Charles Manson was born Nov. 12, 1934, five years after Grace Kelly. Kelly had a brief, but stellar acting career before she became the Princess of Monaco, starring in Rear Window, To Catch a Thief and High Noon, in a role that caused Wayne and his frequent director Howard Hawks to hate the film. They later made Rio Bravo as a response.
Anti-Communist Sen. Joseph McCarthy was born Nov. 14, 1908, and Prince Charles was born Nov. 14, 1948.
Clark Gable, who starred in It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty and Gone with the Wind (where he uttered what I think is the greatest line in movie history), died Nov. 16, 1960.
The government shutdown of 1995-96 began Nov. 14, 1995. It was the result of a budget fight over healthcare costs. Sound familiar?
The Articles of Confederation were approved Nov. 15, 1777. They inaugurated the name "United States of America" and gave the states sovereignty with no central governing body controlling them but were rather a "league of friendship." It also said if Canada wanted to join, it could. Well, it missed the boat on that one.
Congress held its first session in Washington on Nov. 17, 1800, the NRA was formed Nov. 17, 1981, the Suez Canal opened Nov. 17, 1869, the first ascent of The Nose on El Capitan was completed Nov. 12, 1958 and Oklahoma became a state Nov. 16, 1907.
Oklahoma is home to Bob Stoops and his stupid rants against the omnipotent Southeastern Conference, but it's also home to Garth Brooks, who I love. But Brooks hasn't done anything in a long time and he doesn't let his music get posted on YouTube or iTunes, so Oklahoma can go away. I didn't say anything about Washington above, but it's home to Microsoft (eat it, Bill Gates, I have an iPhone) and Starbucks (I don't drink coffee). It can go away too.
Richard Nixon said "I am not a crook" Nov. 17, 1973. Turns out, though, he kind of was.
The first modern Olympics were held Nov. 15, 1859. The Games were the first revival of the ancient Olympic Games and were open only to participants of Greek descent. The only events were the discus, wrestling, javelin throw, running and jumping.
Ray Mancini defeated Duk Koo Kim on Nov. 13, 1982, in one of the most famous boxing matches ever fought, made so by Kim's death. The fight was held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and Mancini won by knockout soon after the 14th round began. Kim fell into a coma soon after the fight and died four days later. It was the only loss of his career.
Kim's head hit the canvas hard and a surgeon later said a single impact was responsible for the subdural hematoma he suffered. Several changes were made by boxing following the bout, including reducing fights from 15 rounds to 12.
Kim's mother committed suicide three months after his death and Richard Green, the fight's referee, killed himself July 1, 1983, though it isn't known what role Kim's death played in that decision.
William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta on Nov. 15, 1984, and started his March to the Sea. The total destruction left in Sherman's wake was the result of Ulysses Grant's belief that the South would continue fighting as long as it had any capacity to do so.
In response, Sherman ordered his men to burn agricultural fields, kill livestock, plunder anything they could use and destroy the infrastructure as they passed it. It took Sherman just over a month to reach Savannah because his army was traveling light and feeding itself with the livestock of farmers along a route he had chosen based on the location of large farms.
The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal was fought Nov. 12 to 15, 1942. In an effort to drive land-based troops out of the Solomon Islands, the Japanese navy sent a fleet to support the land-based effort and increase troop numbers with an amphibian assault. The U.S. responded and kept the troop transport ships from making landfall.
The U.S. lost nine ships in the battle, but the Japanese lost 15, including both battleships present. The land-based fighting had been going for two months prior to the battle and continued for another three months until Japan withdrew. It was the last offensive the Japanese navy attempted.
The Battle of Ia Drang was the first major battle between the U.S. and North Vietnam and was fought Nov. 14 to 18, 1965. An ambush Nov. 17 was the deadliest engagement for the U.S. in the entire war. The result of the battle was a tactical success for both sides. The U.S. used artillery and air support effectively, and in response the Vietnamese utilized bayonet charges that got too close to the American positions to risk using air support.
The battle was chronicled in the 1992 book We Were Soldiers Once … And Young and the 2002 movie We Were Soldiers. Three men were awarded the Medal of Honor - Walter Marm in 1967, Ed Freeman in 2001 and Bruce Crandall in 2007.
Lt. Col. Hal Moore, the commanding officer at the battle, said more medals were deserved than were awarded because the people who witnessed the actions were also killed. The sides disagree as to who won and casualty estimates vary greatly on both sides.
Nov. 15 is Clean Your Refrigerator Day. Check your expiration dates - they're not just a suggestion. If your ingredients are still good and you're looking for something to do with them, allow me to suggest making bread because Homemade Bread Day is Nov. 17.
If you want to celebrate early, you can make it Nov. 16 and celebrate Have a Party With Your Bear Day. It's for Teddy Bears, which is less interesting than partying with real bears (real bears love to party), but much safer.
"Four score and seven years ago…"
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