What Happened on November 11?

  • World War I ended. (1918) The war came to and end when the Allies and Germany signed an armistice agreement on this day. Officially, fighting ended at 11 a.m. — 11-11-11, which traditionally is remembered with two minutes of silence each year.

  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated in the US. (1921) US President Warren G. Harding dedicated the tomb, also called the Tomb of the Unknowns, which is located at the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. The tomb honors those who have died in US military service but could not be identified.

  • The first college fraternity in the US was established. (1750) The Flat Hat Club, also called the F.H.C. Society, was established in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the College of William and Mary.

  • The first aircraft carrier strike in world history was launched. (1940) The airborne strike was launched by the United Kingdom's Royal Navy against an Italian Navy fleet during World War II.

  • NASA launched Gemini 12. (1966) The mission was significant because it established that astronauts could easily work outside the spacecraft and perform extravehicular activity. The "underwater training" used to teach the astronauts techniques for working outside spacecrafts became the standard training procedure for all future missions.

  • Direct US involvement in the Vietnam War ended. (1972) The US handed over its Long Binh base to the South Vietnamese, symbolizing the end of its involvement in the war. The base was the largest US military installation outside US borders at the time.

  • The sale of Van Gogh's painting Irises set a new world record for art sales. (1987) The painting was purchased by an anonymous buyer for $53.9 million US Dollars (USD). The record since has been broken several times.

  • The Church of England agreed to allow women to become priests for the first time. (1992) The Church of England's governing body, the General Synod, voted to amend the Canons and allow women to be ordained as priests.

  • The US government lowered the military draft age to 18. (1942) The US Congress approved changing the minimum age to 18 from 21 in order to increase the number of servicemen available to fight in World War II.

  • Integral calculus was demonstrated for the first time. (1675) German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz introduced what became one of the basic tools in calculus: y = ƒ(x). He also introduced several of the commonly used symbols, such as the elongated "s" used as the integral symbol: ∫.

  • US Midwest states recorded record high and low temperatures, all in the same day. (1911) Called the "Great Blue Norther of 11/11/11," the strange weather conditions were caused by a storm system that separated the freezing cold air from the hot, humid air. The records set in Oklahoma City, with a high of 83°F (about 28.3°C) and a low of 17°F (about -8°C), have held for nearly 100 years.

Discussion Comments


I don't know about anyone else, but I actually find the last bullet point to be an irony of sorts, especially with all of the wacky weather has been happening as of lately.

Record temperatures are very interesting to look at, and not just because it's interesting to make the comparisons, but it also gives a very good idea of how much our weather has changed in the past few years, for the better and for the worse.

First of all, for those who live in the Midwest, have you noticed that in the past few years around Christmas time, we haven't been getting a lot of snow? I especially noticed this to be the case in 2011 and 2012.

In my opinion, this is both funny and ironic, in the sense that it shows how record temperatures and weather patterns are getting worse and worse.

Using an opposite example, during May of 2013 (which actually wasn't too long ago), one thing I noticed is that it was extremely cold outside. This is actually pretty unusual for that time of the year, especially so close to the summer.

In fact, from what I remember, it was around forty degrees outside. It makes me wonder if we'll have anymore of these record temperatures in the future. Either way, it should be very interesting.


@Euroxati - While I don't know all the specifics about being drafted into war, you definitely make some very good points.

While it's always good to serve one's country, it's also rather sad that innocent men and women have to suffer, and put their lives down for others.

For example, do you remember the Vietnam War? Without a doubt, that was definitely one of the most brutal wars, especially with the casualties involving the soldiers. In fact, it really reminds me of short documentary I watched in high school, regarding the Vietnam War.

Though it was a reenactment, it basically revolved around the lives of those who went to serve in the Vietnam War, and how they would send letters to their parents.

Unfortunately, a lot of them didn't make. Overall, war is definitely one of those things in which one shouldn't expect to come out alive, let alone come home at all.


Fortunately, I have never been drafted to war, but sometimes I can't help but wonder about some of the policies about being drafted, and what truly determines whether one gets drafted or not. Obviously, it applies to people who are at least eighteen years of age.

However, is it possible for someone to be drafted if they're in college, or would that only apply to those who are unemployed and don't have a job? After all, it's not like they're doing much with their lives, unlike those who are busy with work and school. Either way, it's a scary thought when you really think about it.

The funny thing is though, that it's not something you really think about until it happens to you. I'll admit that for the most part, I have this mentality as well. While it's true that men are fighting to serve their country, on the other hand, when it's all said and done, does it really make a difference?

In the long run, men and women of a young age are being taken away from their family, and for all that they know, they may never see their parents again. Overall, it's a sad but harsh reality.

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