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November 11

Events - November 11
1851 - The telescope was patented by Alvan Clark of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1889 - Washington became the 42nd of the United States of America on this day. Known as the Evergreen State because of its rich stands of Douglas fir, white and ponderosa pine, and spruce trees, Washington calls the willow goldfinch its state bird. The colorful rhododendron is the official flower. Olympia, home of the famous Olympia oyster (from Puget Sound), is the state capital.

1905 - Editor William Bo of "Ladies’ Home Journal" called the Morris chair, which sold for $31.00, “a hideous piece of furniture.” The (very popular) Morris chair was named after William Morris, whose Morris & Company produced home furnishings. The chair had an adjustable back and loose, removable cushions. Editor Bok probably wouldn’t have been so critical had he known that the Morris chair (and others of similar design) would evolve into the big, soft, cushy, recliners we enjoy today.

1918 - This is Armistice Day or Remembrance Day or Veterans Day or Victory Day or World War I Memorial Day. The name of this special day may be different in different places throughout many nations; but its significance is the same. It was on this day -- at 11 a.m. -- that World War I ceased. The Allied and Central Powers signed an armistice agreement at 5 a.m. in Marshal Foch’s railway car in the Forest of Compiegne, France. Even today, many still bow their heads in remembrance at the 11th hour of this the 11th day of the 11th month.

1929 - Andy Kirk and his His Twelve Clouds of Joy recorded "Froggy Bottom" -- in Kansas City.

1938 - Kate Smith sang "God Bless America" for the very first time. It would later become her signature song. Irving Berlin penned the tune in 1917 but never released it until Miss Smith sang it for the first time on her radio broadcast.

1940 - The chant, “invovo legem magicarum,” was heard for the first time when "Mandrake the Magician" debuted on WOR radio in New York City.

1944 - Frank Sinatra began a long and successful career with Columbia Records.

1944 - The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame got whipped by Army, 59-0. The shutout was the worst margin of defeat for any Notre Dame team.

1946 - A crowd of 17,205 showed up at Madison Square Garden to check out the new NBA team in town. The New York Knickerbockers, or Knicks, as they are known, played Chicago -- and lost, 78-68.

1965 - Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, declared its independence from Britain. It took until April 18, 1980 for independence to actually happen.

1981 - The first rookie baseball player to win the coveted Cy Young Award was honored. The 21-year-old honoree was LA Dodger Fernando Valenzuela.

1984 - 13-year-old TV star Gary Coleman (of "Diff’rent Strokes") underwent a kidney transplant in Los Angeles. He had undergone his first transplant operation at age 5.

1984 - The Houston Oilers won their first game of the season by defeating the Chiefs, 17-16, in Kansas City. It was the first Oilers victory on the road since September 1981 (23 consecutive road losses).

1986 - Sperry Rand and Burroughs merged to form Unisys, becoming the #2 computer company. Changeover costs were estimated at $15 million.

1992 - For the first time, women were permitted to become priests of the Church of England. One of 28 Anglican state churches throughout the world, the Church of England voted in favor of women on this day.

1992 - Bobby Fischer won his re-match with Boris Spassky in Sveti Stefan, Yugoslavia. The match was organized by banker Jedzimir Vasiljevic. Fischer had 10 wins, 5 losses, and 15 draws. He got $3.65 million for his winnings and Spassky received $1.5 million.

1995 - Smashing Pumpkins’ album "Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness" hit #1 on the U.S. album chart. The Smashing Pumpkins (Billy Corgan, James Iha, D’arcy and Jimmy Chamberlin) band was formed in 1988.

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Birthdays - November 11
1744 - Abigail Smith Adams (First Lady: wife of 2nd U.S. President of the United States John Adams; died Oct 28, 1818)

1821 - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (political revolutionary, author: The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot; died Feb 9, 1881)

1836 - Thomas Bailey Aldrich (author: The Story of a Bad Boy, Cruise of the Dolphin, The Sisters' Tragedy, The Wyndham Towers; died Mar 19, 1907)

1885 - George S. (Smith) Patton Jr. (‘Old Blood and Guts’: U.S. Army General: commander of Third Army during drive across France in WWII: “Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”; subject of film: Patton; died Dec 21, 1945)

1899 - Pat (William Joseph Patrick) O’Brien (actor: Knute Rockne, All American, Ragtime, Fighting Father Dunne, Some like It Hot, Harrigan and Son; died Oct 15, 1983)

1899 - Pie (Harold Joseph) Traynor (Baseball Hall of Famer: Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman: [World Series: 1925, 1927/all-star: 1933, 1934]; playing manager, Pirates’ scout, radio announcer; died Mar 16, 1972)

1909 - Robert Ryan (actor: Bad Day at Black Rock, Battle of the Bulge, The Dirty Dozen, Flying Leathernecks, The Longest Day, On Dangerous Ground; TV narrator: World War I; died July 11, 1973)

1911 - Patric (Reginald Lawrence) Knowles (actor: Chisum, The Devil’s Brigade, Auntie Mame, Three Came Home, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, The Wolfman, How Green was My Valley, The Adventures of Robin Hood [1938], The Charge of the Light Brigade; died Dec 23, 1995)

1918 - Stubby Kaye (actor: Cat Ballou, Guys and Dolls, Li’l Abner, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, My Sister Eileen, Love & Marriage; TV panelist: Pantomime Quiz; died Dec 14, 1997)

1922 - Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (writer: Slaughterhouse Five, Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions; died Apr 11, 2007)

1925 - Jonathan (Harshman) Winters III (Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian: Davis Rules [1990-91]; The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, NBC Comedy Hour, The Jonathan Winters Show, Mork & Mindy, Hee Haw, And Here’s the Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Shadow, The Flintstones; character: Maude Frickert; TV panelist: Masquerade Party; commercials: Hefty trash bags; died Apr 11, 2013)

1929 - LaVern Baker (singer: Tweedle-Dee, I Cried a Tear, Jim Dandy; second woman [Aretha Franklin was first] inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [1991]; died March 10, 1997)

1935 - Bibi (Birgitta) Andersson (actress: Duel at Diablo, Story of a Woman, The Concorde: Airport ’79)

1938 - Roger Lavern (Jackson) (musician: keyboards: group: The Tornados: Telstar, Globetrotter; died Jun 15, 2013)

1939 - Denise Alexander (actress: General Hospital)

1945 - Vince Martell (musician: guitar, singer: group: Vanilla Fudge: You Keep Me Hanging On, Take Me for a Little While)

1945 - Daniel Ortega Saavedra (President: Nicaragua)

1946 - Chris Dreja (musician: guitar: group: Yardbirds: For Your Love, I’m a Man)

1947 - Pat Daugherty (musician: bass: group: Black Oak Arkansas: Jim Dandy to the Rescue, Memories at the Window)

1950 - Jim Peterik (musician: keyboard: group: Survivor: Eye of the Tiger, Burning Heart; singer: group: Ides of March: Vehicle)

1951 - Paul Cowsill (singer: group: The Cowsills: Hair, Indian Lake)

1951 - Fuzzy (Frank) Zoeller (golf champion: Masters [1979], U.S. Open [1984])

1956 - Ian Craig Marsh (musician: keyboards: group: Heaven 17: We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove Thang, Ball of Confusion, Temptation, Crushed by the Wheels of Industry, Soul Deep, The Foolish Thing to Do, Steel City; Human League: LP: Reproduction)

1962 - Mic Michaeli (musician: keyboard: group: Europe: The Final Countdown)

1962 - Demi Moore (Demetria Guynes) (actress: Indecent Proposal, Ghost, The Seventh Sign, A Few Good Men, Color of Night, St. Elmo’s Fire, Choices, General Hospital, Striptease, G.I. Jane)

1964 - Calista Flockhart (actress: Ally McBeal, The Guiding Light, Pictures of Baby Jane Doe, Telling Lies in America)

1964 - Philip McKeon (actor: Alice, Red Surf, Return to Horror High)

1968 - Ronnie Devoe (singer: groups: New Edition, Bell Biv Devoe: Poison)

1974 - Leonardo (Wilhelm) DiCaprio (actor: Titanic, Parenthood, Growing Pains, Critters 3, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Man in the Iron Mask, The Aviator)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - November 11
1950
All My Love - Patti Page
Goodnight Irene - The Weavers
Thinking of You - Don Cherry
I’m Moving On - Hank Snow

1958
It’s Only Make Believe - Conway Twitty
Tom Dooley - The Kingston Trio
To Know Him, is to Love Him - The Teddy Bears
City Lights - Ray Price

1966
Last Train to Clarksville - The Monkees
Poor Side of Town - Johnny Rivers
Dandy - Herman’s Hermits
Open Up Your Heart - Buck Owens

1974
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet/Free Wheelin’ - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Jazzman - Carole King
Whatever Gets You Thru the Night - John Lennon with The Plastic Ono Nuclear Band
Love is like a Butterfly - Dolly Parton

1982
Up Where We Belong - Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes
Heart Attack - Olivia Newton-John
I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) - Michael McDonald
You’re So Good When You’re Bad - Charley Pride

1990
Love Takes Time - Mariah Carey
Pray - M.C. Hammer
Giving You the Benefit - Pebbles
Home - Joe Diffie

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...


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Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams


Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
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