Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 25th. First celebrated in 1621 in celebration of a bountiful harvest at Plymouth after the harsh winter, it initially resembled a traditional English harvest feast. The Wampanoag Indians were even invited to join the party. George Washington would be the first American president to declare the day a holiday in 1789. Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Thanksgiving Proclamation near the close of the Civil War, and Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the day should fall on the third Thursday of October to extend the holiday shopping season. However, when all was said and done, the fourth Thursday of November would become the official Thanksgiving Day in America.
On November 2nd, a U.S. helicopter is downed in Iraq. It's the single deadliest strike against American soldiers since the war began. Sixteen U.S. soldiers are killed in the crash and 21 others are injured, and, on November 7th, six more U.S. soldiers die as their Black Hawk helicopter crashes in Tikrit. Then, on November 12th, a fuel truck blows up in Iraq at an Italian police compound in Nasiriya, killing 25 and injuring 100. The blast completely rips the front from a three-story building, which housed the police station. On November 15th, two U.S. helicopters collide in Iraq, killing 17. On November 28th, Iraqi guerrillas use rocket-propelled grenades to blow up a car carrying eight Spanish intelligence officers, seven die. Meanwhile, in Tikrit, two Japanese officials are killed during an ambush.
Art Carney dies at age 85 in Chester, Connecticut. Carney was most popular for his Ed Norton role in Jackie Gleason's "Honeymooners" program. He was also the first to play the Felix Unger character in the Broadway premiere of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" and he won an Academy Award for his role in "Harry and Tonto."
On November 18th, a Massachusetts court rules in favor of gay marriage. The decision from the state supreme court rules that barring gay and lesbian couples from marrying violates the state's constitution. The Chief Justice added, "to deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage," to gay and lesbian couples was unconstitutional as it "denied the dignity and equality of all individuals, making them second-class citizens."
November 22nd marks the 40th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was shot to death while his motorcade passed though Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. He was 46 years old, and he was the fourth president to be assassinated and the eighth to die while in office. Much controversy has surrounded the incident, as the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was killed within 48 hours by a local nightclub owner, Jack Ruby, while Oswald was being ushered to a police car in the garage of the city jail. Popular conspiracy theories have pointed to a host of dark independent and government forces behind the tragedy, including the Mafia, CIA, Fidel Castro and Lyndon B. Johnson as well as grand concepts, which include various combinations of all of the above acting in concert.
Veterans Day, November 11th, originated from the final day of World War I, officially became a holiday in 1938, but it was called Armistice Day. In 1954, in the wake of World War I and the Korean Conflict, congress eliminated the word Armistice and dubbed the holiday Veterans Day.
Here are some links for November: