Today in History: Nov. 11

Today is Veterans Day. It was established to honor the date World War I ended in 1918: “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month,” or 11:00 a.m. on 11/11. It celebrates all who have served, in any era, in any of the services. (Photo at top is my great-uncle’s grave in France.)

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World War I ended on this date in 1918. The total number killed in the four years of war: 11 million military personnel and seven million civilians. Fighting took place in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia. Sea battles were fought in the Mediterranean Sea and on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The 1918 flu pandemic that killed between 50 and 100 million individuals that year was helped in its deadly course by the conflict.

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Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five made their first six recordings on this date in 1925 in Chicago. His wife, Lil, was the vocalist. “I’ve Stopped My Man,” recorded that day:

 
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Alexander Calder died 40 years ago today. Roger C. Carmel died 30 years ago today. Yasser Arafat died on this date in 2004.

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Fyodor Dostoyevsky was born on this date in 1821. Senator William Proxmire was born 100 years ago today. Kurt Vonnegut was born on this date in 1922. Jonathan Winters was born on this date in 1925. Carlos Fuentes was born on this date in 1928. Vincent Schiavelli was born on this date in 1948.

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Warner Wolf is 79 today. Senator Barbara Boxer is 76. President Daniel Ortega is 71. Andy Partridge is 63 today. Stanley Tucci is 56. Demi Moore is 54. Calista Flockhart is 52. Leonardo DiCaprio is 42.

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