1/11/11: What Happens on Dates That Seem Meaningful?
Our calendar is filled with such dates that seem to play with numbers: 9/9/99 (Sept. 9, 1999); 1/23/45 (Jan. 23, 1945); 9/8/76 (Sept. 8, 1976).
But does anything actually happen on these dates that look cosmically significant?
Going back through the last 1/11/11s (1911, 1811, 1711, etc.), nothing major crops up. But important events happened on some of the other eye-catching dates:
Some people thought that 9/9/99 would be a Y2K (remember that?) precursor, a day when computers would choke on a confusing number. "In the end, no big problems materialized," Wired reported.
The date inspired the name of the "8888 Uprising," a student protest against the authoritarian government of Burma (now known as Myanmar). About 500,000 people gathered in the city of Rangoon to march and demand democracy. But that night, the government cracked down, with many dying.
James Meredith, a civil rights activist, was on a solitary march of protest when he was shot by a sniper. He survived, luckily.
The United States, France and Britain agreed to officially end the decade-long post-World War II occupation of West Germany. West Germany officially could have a military, and it became a U.S. ally in the Cold War.
Mount Rushmore was officially dedicated; on the other side of the world, an earthquake struck Sanriku, Japan, killing about 3,000 people.
The ground-breaking novel "Ulysses," penned by acclaimed Irish writer James Joyce, was published. A mere 1,000 copies were printed then, yet the book has tortured countless students over the decades.
Hungary withdrew from World War II, signing an armistice with the Allies.
Of course, some of these assume that you're styling dates the way we do in North America; in Europe and elsewhere, the month and date are reversed.
Still, it's a fun game to play. Who knows what will happen on Nov. 11, when we hit 11/11/11?
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