Today in History….November 11

On this day in . . .

  1620, in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod, the Mayflower Compact is signed on the Mayflower, establishing the basic laws for the Plymouth Colony. (Old Style date; November 21 per New Style date.)

  1675, Gottfried Leibniz demonstrated integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = f(x) function 

  1750, the F.H.C. Society, also known as the Flat Hat Club, was formed at Raleigh Tavern, Williamsburg, Virginia. It was the first college fraternity

  1864, during the American Civil War: Sherman’s March to the Sea — Union General William Tecumseh Sherman begins burning Atlanta, Georgia to the ground in preparation for his march south

  1918, World War I ends: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside of Compiegne in France. The war officially stops at 11:00 (The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month)

  1921, the Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated by US President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery

  1926, U.S. Route 66 is established

  1930, patent number US1781541 was awarded to Albert Einstein and Leo Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator

  1942, Congress approves lowering the draft age to 18 and raising the upper limit to age 37

  1967, during the Vietnam War: In a propaganda ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, three American prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong and turned over to “new left” antiwar activist Tom Hayden

  1968, Operation Commando Hunt commences. This operation was designed to interdict Communist routes of infiltration along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through Laos into South Vietnam. The aerial campaign involved a series of intensive air operations by U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft and lasted until April 1972. During the course of the operation, nearly 3 million tons of bombs fell on Laos

  1983, President Reagan became the first U.S. chief executive to address the Diet, Japan’s national legislature

  1998, President Clinton ordered warships, planes and troops to the Persian Gulf as he laid out his case for a possible attack on Iraq. Iraq, meanwhile, showed no sign of backing down from its refusal to deal with U.N. weapons inspector

  2001, a Pakistani newspaper (Ausaf) published the second part of an interview in which Osama bin Laden was quoted as saying he had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks in the United States, and declaring that “America can’t get me alive.”

  2004, Yasser Arafat, ym”sh, is confirmed dead by the Palestine Liberation Organization, of unidentified causes. Mahmoud Abbas is elected chairman of the PLO minutes later. President George W. Bush expressed hope that Arafat’s passing would clear the way for successful Mideast peace negotiations with new Palestinian leaders

  2009, for the first time since World War I, the leaders of Germany and France held a joint ceremony to commemorate the end of the conflict, saying it was time to celebrate their countries’ reconciliation and friendship

  2012, President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery and said the Sept. 11 generation had “written one of the greatest chapters” in the country’s military service, toppling a dictator and battling an insurgency in Iraq, pushing back the Taliban in Afghanistan and decimating al-Qaida’s leadership. AND a Florida woman identified as the recipient of harassing emails from David Petraeus’ girlfriend acknowledged her friendship with the former CIA director. Jill Kelley, an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, said she and her family had been friends with Petraeus and his family for more than five years 

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