History & Celebrations Today – November 26

Celebrations Today – November 26

Holidays and observances

Celebrations Today – USA: November 26

National Cake Day
National Good Grief Day

Today in US History: November 26

Rick’s Place

—World War II military code for the city of Casablanca

men crowded around two men seated in chairs outside
Casablanca Conference at Casablanca, French Morocco, Africa,
U.S. Army Signal Corps,
January 1943.
Prints & Photographs Online Catalog

The film Casablanca opened in New York City on November 26, 1942, as Allied Expeditionary Forces (AEF) secured their hold on North Africa during World War II. Casablanca, Morocco‘s chief port city, was the setting of the film.

In the film, the hero Rick Blaine settles in Casablanca after fighting fascism in Spain. When his former lover, Ilsa, arrives at his café with her French Resistance-leader husband, Rick helps them escape. By film’s end, Rick and Ilsa take leave of each other to serve a greater good—freedom from fascism.

During “Operation Torch”—the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942—Casablanca was bombarded under the command of General Dwight Eisenhower. The city served as the site of the Casablanca Conference from January 14-24, 1943. Attended by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and French Resistance leaders Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud, the Allied leadership developed a unified military strategy and decided that Germany, Italy, and Japan must surrender unconditionally. Russian leader Joseph Stalin declined to attend the conference.

Just as the Allied invasion of Casablanca advanced box office sales of the film Casablanca, so did the movie reinforce the war effort by underscoring the value of freedom and the importance of personal sacrifice. As Variety noted on December 2, 1942, “Casablanca will take the b.o.’s [box offices] of America just as swiftly and certainly as the AEF took North Africa.” Casablanca‘s national release was scheduled to coincide with the Casablanca Conference.

View of a theater lobby
…Theater Lobby V , circa 1920-50.
Washington As It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959

A woman with a group of servicemen near an airplane
Daily Bulletins from the War Zone,
[May] Craig with Servicemen,
copyright 1944.
Women Come to the Front

Casablanca was nominated for eight Academy Awards. It won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Screenplay of 1943. In 1989, Casablanca was placed on the National Film Registry of the National Film Preservation Board.

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth, circa 1864.
By Popular Demand: “Votes for Women” Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920

But we’ll have our rights; see if we don’t: and you can’t stop us from them; see if you can. You may hiss as much as you like, but it is comin’.Sojourner Truth, Address to the Woman’s Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York, September 7, 1853
Proceedings of the Woman’s Rights Convention.
Votes for Women: Selections from the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, 1848-1921

Preacher, abolitionist, and women’s rights advocate Sojourner Truth died in Battle Creek, Michigan on November 26, 1883. The date of Truth’s birth is uncertain, but around 1797 she was born a slave called “Isabella” in Ulster, New York. Bought and sold four times, she escaped slavery in 1826 when her owner failed to fulfill his promise to free her before the date mandated by New York law.

Nearly twenty years later, she shed the name, Isabella Van Wagener, and adopted the moniker Sojourner Truth. A prophet and sojourning minister, she spoke out against sin and slavery. Encouraged by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she added the cause of women’s rights to her agenda. Today, Truth is most famous for her speech “Ain’t I A Woman.” She attacked the idea of the “weaker sex” reportedly saying,

I have plowed, I have planted and I have gathered into barns. And no man could head me. And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much, and eat as much as man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne children and seen most of them sold into slavery, and when I cried out with a mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain’t I a woman?Sojourner Truth
“Ain’t I A Woman,”
Address to 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.

Abraham Lincoln and Sojourner Truth
A. Lincoln Showing Sojourner Truth the Bible Presented by Colored People of Baltimore, Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C., October 29, 1864.
By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present

When the Civil War began, Truth organized supplies for black volunteer troops. In 1864, President Lincoln received her at the White House. That same year, she advised former slaves on behalf of the National Freedmen’s Relief Association. She continued to offer advice in the 1870s, encouraging African Americans to migrate to the western states of Kansas and Missouri.

Truth managed to reunite with most of her children. Three daughters joined her in Battle Creek, Michigan where she settled in the 1850s. When she died at age eighty-six, her funeral at the Congregational Church was thought to be the largest ever seen in that city.

Today in History – November 26-External Links

Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia