November 7th, 1965: Land-Speed record is broken
On this day in ’65 drag racer Art Arfons broke the land-speed record at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, driving to an average of 576mph in his jet-powered vehicle (which he had built himself) he affectionately referred to as “The Green Monster”.
He held the record for 8 days before Californian Craig Breedlove averaged 601mph, sparking a rivalry between the two that reporters would call “The Bonneville Jet Wars”. Arfons would later stage a comeback and reach 610mph, but his return trip was ruined when one of his car’s bearings froze, causing him and The Green Monster to fly off of the track. Arfons would exit the accident unscathed, but The Green Monster was destroyed. Breedlove would retain the title for another four years.
Arfons died in 2007, buried with wrenches in his hands and a jar of salts from the flats to commemorate his record and rivalry.
November 8th, 1960: JFK elected as President
On this day in 1960 John F. Kennedy was elected as President, becoming the youngest ever President of the United States. His campaign ran alongside Republican Vice President Richard Nixon’s, who frequently undermined Kennedy as an unworthy competitor due to his young age, claiming that the 43-year-old would be incapable of making the difficult decisions required of the President during the Cold War.
However, Kennedy’s charm during the four debates won the public over, narrowly granting him the victory against Nixon and beginning an illustrious Presidency, that was unfortunately brought to a shocking conclusion after just less than 3 years in office when he was assassinated on November 22nd, 1963.
November 9th, 2004: Halo 2 is released
On this day in 2004 Bungie released Halo 2 for the original Xbox and Windows, and it instantly became the reason to pick up Microsoft’s oversized black box of goodness.
Halo 2 is my personal favourite entry in the series, with it also being my first foray into online console gaming. I’m sure millions of gamers the world over can relate to my fond memories of Team Deathmatch on Lockout, or Zombies on Foundation. Sure, the series has technically improved since then, but that first week of bathing myself in Red Bull and going toe-to-toe with thousands of other early adopted of the Xbox’s now practically mandatory Live service was a gaming experience that has yet to be rivalled.
November 11th, 1918: World War I ends