This Day in History

Today is Sunday, Nov. 11, the 316th day of 2012. There are 50 days left in the year. This is Veterans Day in the United States, Remembrance Day in Canada.

Today’s birthdays: Dancer-choreographer Nicholas Royce is 87. Comedian Jonathan Winters is 87. Country singer Narvel Felts is 74. Senator Barbara Boxer is 72. Americana roots singer/songwriter Chris Smither is 68. Rock singer-musician Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge) is 67. The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, is 67. Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller is 61. Pop singer-musician Paul Cowsill (The Cowsills) is 61. Rock singer-musician Andy Partridge (XTC) is 59. Rock musician Ian Craig Marsh (Human League; Heaven 17) is 56. Actress Demi Moore is 50. Actress Calista Flockhart is 48. Rock musician Scott Mercado is 48. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is 38. NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez is 26. Actress Christa B. Allen is 21.

In 1620, 41 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts, signed a compact calling for a ‘‘body politick.’’


In 1831, former slave Nat Turner, who’d led a violent insurrection, was executed in Jerusalem, Va.

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In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state.

In 1909, President William Howard Taft accepted the recommendation of a joint Army-Navy board that Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands be made the principal US naval station in the Pacific.

In 1918, fighting in World War I came to an end with the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany.

In 1921, the remains of an unidentified American service member were interred in a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.


In 1932, a new tomb to house the remains of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1942, during World War II, Germany completed its occupation of France.

In 1960, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem survived a coup attempt by army rebels. (He was overthrown and killed in 1963.)

In 1966, Gemini 12 blasted off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin ‘‘Buzz’’ Aldrin Jr. aboard.

In 1972, the US Army turned over its base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese, symbolizing the end of direct US military involvement in the Vietnam War.


In 1992, the Church of England voted to ordain women as priests.

In 2002, Iraqi lawmakers denounced a tough new UN resolution on weapons inspections as dishonest, provocative and worthy of rejection. But the Iraqi Parliament said it ultimately would trust whatever President Saddam Hussein decided.

In 2007, President Pervez Musharraf said Pakistan would stick to its January schedule for parliamentary elections, but set no time limit on emergency rule. Marking his fifth Veterans Day since the invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush honored US troops past and present at a tearful ceremony in Texas.

In 2011, heralding the end of one war and the drawdown of another, President Obama observed Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery by urging Americans to hire the thousands of servicemen and women coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. A gunman armed with an assault rifle fired at the White House from long range; suspect Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez is charged with the attempted assassination of President Obama.