What’s So Special About 11/11/11?
Today is 11/11/11! Here’s what’s going on during this unusual day.
Bettys! It’s November 11, 2011! This is a very, very special day! 11/11/11 only happens once every hundred years. But what’s really so special about that arrangement of numbers? We got curious, so we figured we’d investigate. Some of the results weren’t so surprising, but others… well, let’s just say that we had no idea some of these holidays existed. It turns out that 11/11/11 is:
1. Armistice Day
November 11, 1918 marked the end of the First World War: At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, an armistice with Germany was signed in a railroad carriage at Compiegne, bringing about a ceasefire. Exactly one year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 to be Armistice Day, an official holiday on which America would honor those who fought and died during World War I.
2. Veterans Day
In 1953, a man from Kansas named Alvin King began a campaign to expand Armistice Day. Instead of honoring solely the soldiers who had died during WWI, he got the idea that it should honor all veterans. With the help of Kansas U.S. Representative Ed Rees, a bill was pushed through Congress, and on May 26, 1954, President Deight Eisenhower signed it. Since then, the day has been known as Veterans Day.
3. Nigel Tufnel Day
In the event that you have never seen This Is Spinal Tap, I highly suggest that you do. A mockumentary about a fictional heavy metal band, it is perhaps one of the greatest films in the history of cinema. The always-wonderful Christopher Guest plays Spinal Tap’s lead guitarist, Nigel Tufnel, and Nigel’s got a thing for the number 11. Since 11/11/11 is the day of maximum eleven-ness, it has been dubbed Nigel Tufnel Day. Dial it up to eleven.
4. A Day of Evil
In the world of numerology, 11 is a wacky number—and not in a good way. Medieval numerologists believed that all numbers had both positive and negative aspects… all numbers, that is, except 11. 10 and 12 were both considered divine numbers, but 11? 11 was evil, the number of sinners. As such, 11/11/11 is probably the most evil day there is. This is probably why it’s been chosen as the concept for a new horror film, 11/11/11: According to the movie’s trailer, “On the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year, a gateway will open… and on this day, innocent blood will spill.” Fun!
5. A Day of Luck
Of course, in modern numerology, 11 is actually believed to be a pretty awesome number. If you add its two digits together, you get 2—which is the number of love. Subsequently, there are a lot of people who decided that a) 11/11/11 was the day to get married, or b) 11/11/11 was the day to have a child. To everyone either getting hitched or giving birth, good luck!
6. Corduroy Appreciation Day
Did you know that there are rather a lot of corduroy enthusiasts in the world? And I don’t mean Corduroy the teddy bear (although that Corduroy is definitely worthy of an appreciation day all his own)—I mean corduroy the fabric. And November 11 is the day that corduroy enthusiasts gather together to celebrate their favorite textile. Since this year is 11/11/11, naturally there’s a big celebration planned. Are you in New York right now? Then you can witness the Annual Grand 111111 Meeting for yourself. There’s an Award Ceremony for Exemplary Uses of Corduroy, a keynote address, and the presentation of the Corduroy Messiah (for real). Just make sure that you’re wearing at least three separate items of corduroy!
7. The End of the World?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein walk into a popular Mayan spot. While they’re there, the decode the Mayan calendar again—and somehow this time, it looks like it ends on November 11, 2011, not December 21, 2012. Crazy! Of course, the subsequent tale in this article about them going to France and finding a new bible that describes how lizards called Ikannuna made humans, the Earth, and the galaxy kind of kills this theory’s credibility, but hey. Talk to me tomorrow, and we’ll see where we’re at, apocalypse-wise.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.