Nov 11 2010

On This Day in History: November 11

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

November 11 is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 50 days remaining until the end of the year.

World War I is commemorated on this day, commonly known as Remembrance Day. The ceasefire went into effect at 11:00am CET in 1918, the date of which (and sometimes the commemoration of) is known as Armistice Day. Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans

On this day in 1918, the armistice between the Allies and Germany was signed in a railway carriage in Compiegne Forest.

Clairière de l’Armistice

In November 1918 the Engineer in charge of the North Region Railways: Arthur-Pierre Toubeau, was instructed to find a suitably discreet place which would accommodate two trains. By coincidence on the outskirts of Compiègne in the forest of Rethondes lay an artillery railway emplacement. Set deep within the wood and out of the view of the masses the location was ideal.

Early in the morning of the 8th November a train carrying Maréchal Ferdinand Foch, his staff and British officers arrived on the siding to the right, nearest the museum. The train formed a mobile headquarters for Foch, complete with a restaurant car and office.

At 0700 hours another train arrived on the left hand track. One of the carriages had been built for Napoleon III and still bore his coat of arms. Inside was a delegation from the German government seeking an armistice.

There were only a hundred metres between the two trains and the entire area was policed by gendarmes placed every 20 metres.

For three days the two parties discussed the terms of an armistice until at 0530 hours on the 11th November 1918, Matthias Erzberger the leader of the German delegation signed the Armistice document.

Within 6 hours the war would be over.

Initially the carriage (Wagon Lits Company car No. 2419D) used by Maréchal Foch was returned to its former duty as a restaurant car but was eventually placed in the courtyard of the Invalides in Paris.

An American: Arthur Fleming paid for its restoration, and the wagon was brought back to Rethondes on 8th April 1927 and placed in a purpose built shelter (Since destroyed).

Numerous artifacts were obtained from those who had been involved in 1918 and the car was refurbished to its condition at the time of the Armistice.

At the entrance to the avenue leading down to the memorial site is a monument raised by a public subscription organised by the newspaper Le Matin.

The monument is dedicated to Alsace Lorraine and consists of a bronze sculpture of a sword striking down the Imperial Eagle of Germany it is framed by sandstone from Alsace.

The Clairière was inaugurated on 11th November 1922 by President Millerand.

 308 – At Carnuntum, Emperor emeritus Diocletian confers with Galerius, Augustus of the East, and Maximianus, the recently returned former Augustus of the West, in an attempt to restore order to the Roman Empire.

1215 – The Fourth Lateran Council meets, defining the doctrine of transubstantiation, the process by which bread and wine are, by that doctrine, said to transform into the body and blood of Christ.

1500 – Treaty of Granada – Louis XII of France and Ferdinand II of Aragon agree to divide the Kingdom of Naples between them.

1620 – The Mayflower Compact is signed in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod.

1634 – Following pressure from Anglican bishop John Atherton, the Irish House of Commons passes An Act for the Punishment for the Vice of Buggery  

1675 – Gottfried Leibniz demonstrates integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x).

1724 – Joseph Blake, alias Blueskin, a highwayman known for attacking “Thief-Taker General” (and thief) Jonathan Wild at the Old Bailey, is hanged in London.

1778 – Cherry Valley Massacre: Loyalists and Seneca Indian forces attack a fort and village in eastern New York during the American Revolutionary War, killing more than forty civilians and soldiers.

1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Durenstein – 8000 French troops attempt to slow the retreat of a vastly superior Russian and Austrian force.

1813 – War of 1812: Battle of Crysler’s Farm – British and Canadian forces defeat a larger American force, causing the Americans to abandon their Saint Lawrence campaign.

1831 – In Jerusalem, Virginia, Nat Turner is hanged after inciting a violent slave uprising.

1839 – The Virginia Military Institute is founded in Lexington, Virginia.

1854 – The Ballarat Reform League Charter adopted “At a Meeting held on Bakery Hill in the presence of about ten thousand men”

1864 – 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.

1869 – The Victorian Aboriginal Protection Act is enacted in Australia, giving the government control of indigenous people’s wages, their terms of employment, where they could live, and of their children, effectively leading to the Stolen Generations.

1880 – Australian bushranger Ned Kelly is hanged at Melbourne Gaol.

1887 – Anarchist Haymarket Martyrs August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer and George Engel are executed.

1889 – Washington is admitted as the 42nd U.S. state.

1918 – World War I: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiegne in France. The war officially ends at 11:00 (The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) and this is annually honoured with a two-minute silence.

1918 – Jozef Pilsudski comes to Warsaw and assumes supreme military power in Poland. Poland regains its independence, celebrated each year on this day.

1918 – Emperor Charles I of Austria relinquishes power.

1919 – The Centralia Massacre in Centralia, Washington results the deaths of four members of the American Legion and the lynching of a local leader of the Industrial Workers of the World.

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

1924 – Prime Minister Alexandros Papanastasiou proclaims the first recognized Greek Republic.

1926 – U.S. Route 66 is established.

1930 – Patent number US1781541 is awarded to Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator.

1934 – The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia is opened.

1942 – World War II: Nazi Germany completes its occupation of France.

1960 – A military coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam is crushed.

1962 – Kuwait’s National Assembly ratifies the Constitution of Kuwait.

1965 – In Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe), the white-minority government of Ian Smith unilaterally declares independence.

1966 – NASA launches Gemini 12.

1967 – 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 – Vietnam War: Operation Commando Hunt initiated. The goal is to interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through Laos into South Vietnam.

1975 – Independence of Angola

1981 – Antigua and Barbuda joins the United Nations.

1992 – The General Synod of the Church of England votes to allow women to become priests.

1993 – A sculpture honoring women who served in the Vietnam War was dedicated at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

1999 – The House of Lords Act is given Royal Assent, restricting membership of the British House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage.

2000 – Kaprun disaster: 155 skiers and snowboarders die when a cable car catches fire in an alpine tunnel in Kaprun, Austria.

2001 – Journalists Pierre Billaud, Johanne Sutton and Volker Handloik are killed in Afghanistan during an attack on the convoy they are traveling in.

2004 – New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is dedicated at the National War Memorial, Wellington.

2004 – The Palestine Liberation Organization confirms the death of Yasser Arafat from unidentified causes. Mahmoud Abbas is elected chairman of the PLO minutes later.

2006 – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II unveils the New Zealand War Memorial in London, United Kingdom, commemorating the loss of soldiers from the New Zealand Army and the British Army.

2008 – The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) sets sail on her final voyage to Dubai.


  1. TMC

    Dalai Lama

    As human beings we have intelligence and courage. Provided we use these qualities, we will be able to achieve what we set out to do.

  2. TMC

Comments have been disabled.