9th of November, A Date To Remember?

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

It’s strange to Google your birthday and find that Wikipedia has an entry for every date of the calendar year, with significant events, plus births and deaths, that happened on each day. All I can say from looking at mine is that it’s not exactly a stand-out date. Okay, so I wasn’t born on the 1st of January, 14th of February, 17th of March, 4th of July, 25th of December, or aside from the holiday dates, being born on the 6th of June means you’re associated with D-Day. 8th of January means you share a birthday with David Bowie, Elvis Presley, and Shirley Bassey. If you were born in America on 22nd of November, 1963, you were upstaged a little that day by a mere presidential assassination. There was nothing that stands out about my birthdate unless you read it with day first, then it becomes 9/11.

I didn’t check all 366 possible days to see if any were less significant, but it seemed that the date fared better for historical events than for celebrity births. Of course, if you’re in show business, you tend to get superstitious, i.e., if no mammoth superstar shares your birthday, then maybe it’s not in the cards for you either. If I’m supposed to carry the ball for my birthdate, well, it’s getting a little late in the game for that.

Most of the important events I already knew about. I was aware of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November, 1989; the major power outage in 1965 affecting all of New York City and most of the northern states and adjacent Canada; and the date of the first issue of Rolling Stone magazine, 1967. What I didn’t know, until doing research on it, was Jack The Ripper’s last known murder in 1888, the Pilgrims first spotting land from the Mayflower in 1620, the abolishment of capital punishment in UK in 1998, and most shamefully, Kristillnacht in 1938, the killing of 91 Austrian Jews by Nazi forces, a catastrophe many cite as the beginning of The Holocaust.

As for celebrities, it wasn’t a total wasteland, but there was no one at the very peak of their profession either. In show biz, there’s comedian Ed Wynn (1886), actress Hedy Lamarr (1914), singer Mary Travers of Peter, Paul & Mary (1936), murdered UK newsreader Jill Dando (1961) and “Thong Song” singer Sisqo (1978). In politics, it was disgraced US Vice-President Spiro Agnew (1918), which made me want to alter my birth certificate. In sports, two baseball hall-of-famers, pitcher Bob Gibson (1935) and manager Whitey Herzog (1931), hardly Babe Ruth or Willie Mays. The only historic personas to leave the world on November 9th were former French president Charles de Gaulle (1970) and Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914). One interesting birth and death stat was that of one Edna May Oliver, a silent films actress who was born 9th of November, 1883 and died on her 59th birthday in 1942.

It’s also a holiday in several countries. If you’re in Cambodia, you’re whooping it up, as it’s Independence Day, commemorating 60 years now since the country told France to get lost. In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, today is Inventor’s Day, but I honestly can’t tell you whether that warrants a day off or how the day is officially celebrated. And in the US, it’s World Freedom Day, which I know even less about than Inventor’s Day.

On November 8th, 1985, the day before my 35th birthday, my solo comedy career officially began with my first spot at LA’s Comedy Store. (I got $35 for that spot, more than double what they pay now.) So 28 years in this circuit, preceded by almost 15 years with Rick & Ruby and other show biz pursuits, and here I am approaching my 63rd with most of my chromosomes still functioning. Fuckin’ A, as we used to say! A toast to me!!!

One Response to “9th of November, A Date To Remember?”

  1. Michael H. Lake Says:

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Right!

    Totally out of the void, I thought I’d say “Hello” to my old friend from 11th grade PE. We should jam some time.


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