On This Day November 11
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1885 – General George S. Patton, Jr., who made a mark in World War I as the first officer assigned to the new U.S. Army Tank Corps before becoming one of the most prominent military commanders in World War II (d. 1945)
1974 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor-producer Leonardo DiCaprio (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “Titanic,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed,” “Inception,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Revenant”)
1918 – At 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month in France, World War I — known then as The Great War and called “the war to end all wars” — comes to an end with the signing of an armistice between Allied officials and the leaders of German forces. The document is technically a ceasefire agreement, with the conflict officially concluded when the Treaty of Versailles is signed in June 1919.
1926 – Route 66, the highway that Nat King Cole famously sang is the place to “get your kicks,” is established. Through the years, the legendary thoroughfare has been referred to as the “Main Street of America” and has also been named the Will Rogers Highway.
1981 – Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela is designated Rookie of the Year and wins the National League’s Cy Young Award, becoming the first player in baseball history to score both honors in the same season.
2000 – A funicular (train) crammed with skiers and snowboarders catches fire as it enters a tunnel in Austria, killing 155 people. Twelve people survive the tragedy, which is known as the Kaprun Disaster. Investigators blame a faulty electric heater for sparking the deadly blaze.
1954 – Bill Haley & His Comets score their first Top-10 single with “Shake, Rattle and Roll.” Originally recorded by Big Joe Turner, the Haley version climbs to No. 7 on the pop chart and remains in the Top 40 for 27 weeks.