November 11 in history:
Many of the Pilgrims who came to America aboard the Mayflower signed the Mayflower Compact on November 11th, 1620. The document established a government at the Massachusetts colony where they had landed.
The armistice agreement which ended the First World War was signed on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, in a railroad car in a French forest. The war’s end came four years after its triggering event, the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and about a year-and-a-half after the U.S. joined the conflict.
The war ended on George S. Patton’s 33rd birthday. Patton was a tank commander in the war, but on Armistice Day, he was recovering from a leg injury received in battle two months earlier.
Comedian Stubby Kaye was born on the last day of World War I. Kaye became a man in uniform in the movie “Guys and Dolls,” as a reformed gambler who joined the Save-a-Soul Mission. He’s also known for appearances in “Cat Ballou” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”
October 24 in history:
Here’s a holiday experiment that didn’t work: moving Veterans’ Day away from the traditional date of November 11th. The holiday, originally called Armistice Day, observed the date on which World War I ended in 1918. But starting in 1971, Veterans’ Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Presidents’ Day all became Monday holidays for federal government employees. Veterans’ Day was switched to the fourth Monday in October…and was observed that way for the last time on October 24th, 1977, before being returned to November 11th.
October 24th of 1951 was designated the last day of World War II by President Truman. Germany and Japan both surrendered to the Allies in 1945, but the European war never officially ended with a peace treaty. Truman apparently got tired of waiting to reach an agreement with a divided Germany, so he declared the war to be over.
Over the falls in a barrel…that where Annie Edson Taylor went on her 46th birthday, October 24th, 1901. She became famous as the first woman to ride over Niagara Falls inside a barrel.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford went over a cliff in a famous scene from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” which opened around the U.S. on this date in 1969. Both Redford and Newman won Oscars in the 1980s, as did two actors who were born on October 24th: F. Murray Abraham (1939), who starred in “Amadeus,” and Kevin Kline (1947), a winner for “A Fish Called Wanda.”