A Blast from the Past

By United Press International   |   Nov. 11, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

Today is Nov. 11.

Standing in the shadow of the World Trade Center ruins, on this date in 2001, President Bush and leaders of from around the world honored those who died in the terrorist attacks two months earlier. More than 80 nations were represented among the victims.

World War I ended on this day in 1918 with the signing of the Armistice at 5 a.m. in Marshall Foch's railway car in the Forest of Compiegne in France. Hostilities ended at 11 a.m. The event, formerly known as "Armistice Day," is now observed as "Veterans Day." What then was known as the Great War claimed the lives of nine million soldiers with another 21 million injured.

Three years later, on this date on 1921, President Warren G. Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. It's now known as the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Kate Smith first performed "God Bless America" on her regular radio broadcast on this date in 1938. The song had been written especially for her by Irving Berlin. With the onset of World War II three years later, it became a great patriotic favorite of the nation and one of Smith's most requested songs.

Two days after the Berlin Wall and the rest of the East German border opened, an estimated 1 million East Germans poured into West Germany on this date in 1989 for a day of celebration, visiting and shopping. Most returned home.

And it was on this date in 1994 that Christie's auction house in New York held the first-ever pop memorabilia and guitar sale. Jimi Hendrix's stage outfit, John Lennon's "army" shirt, and guitars from the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and the Beach Boys were among the items sold.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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