There won't be another day like today for 100 years: an alignment of 1s marking the date 11/11/11.
The 11th day of the 11th month of the year is traditionally observed in the United States as Veterans Day. In addition to citywide celebrations in support of the military, today's unusual date has prompted a flurry of marriages, a unique educational opportunity for one East Brainerd school and high-profile releases for new media.
Middle-school students at East Hamilton Middle/High School will assemble this morning to celebrate "Day of the 1s." It is the culmination of a multiweek study on the often overlooked No. 11.
The middle-school band will play 11 pieces of music. Eleven football players will do 11 one-handed pushups. Students will be recognized who were born on the 11th, who wear a size 11 or No. 11 on their uniforms. Eleven veterans will be honored. Door prizes will include a pizza gift card for $11.11.
Student Erick Booth will show his 11-minute video documenting all the 11-themed projects in which students have participated. The video will conclude at 11:11 a.m.
"Day of the 1s" hasn't been an 11th-hour effort, though. Students have spent weeks creating posters, researching facts and learning double-digit data.
"I found something from just about every subject area involving No. 11," said teacher Michelle Bettis, who developed the project.
For example, students in history classes studied the Mayflower Compact (signed on Nov. 11, 1620) and the end of World War I (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month).
She said math students designed 11-sized figures and learned the powers of 11. Science classes studied Apollo 11 and the periodic table's 11th element (sodium). Seventh-grade language-arts classes read the short story "Eleven" and created posters of words whose definitions mean one (singular, uno).
"I did the 11th element of the periodic table, and now I think I'll remember it forever. It will always stick in my brain," said Hannah Dattilo, eighth-grade president of the school's National Junior Honor Society, which sponsored the numerical study.
"The students have enjoyed this so much, we are already looking at ways to mark 12-12-12," said Bettis.
New films, like video games, often release home versions on Tuesdays, but thanks to one major release, fans of Harry Potter may feel on Cloud Nine today, no wands required.
Taking advantage of the mystical convergence of digits in today's date, Warner Brothers is shipping out home editions of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final entry in the now-decade-old fantasy movie series.
Jessie Bailey, 23, has been watching the "Harry Potter" films since "Sorcerer's Stone" released in 2001, and the release of the final entry is an exciting moment, she said.
"I'll definitely buy it," Bailey said. "It's fun thinking you got to see these people grow up. Everyone thinks Harry Potter is their friend, too."
Earlier this year, the conclusion to J.K. Rowling's eight-film series passed a milestone of its own involving the number 1 by grossing more than $1 billion. Four months later, the film's $1.32 billion worldwide sales place it at No. 3 on the list of highest-grossing films of all time, based on statistics from Box OfficeMojo.com.
"Deathly Hallows Part 2" will be available as a single-disc DVD ($29) and single-disc Blu-ray ($30) or three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo ($36). An eight-disc collection of every film also will release today on DVD ($99) and Blu-ray ($140).
Game publishers typically schedule the release of new titles on Tuesdays. However, in honor of today's once-in-a-century date, Bethesda Softworks will launch its role-playing game "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim."
The fifth entry in the long-running open-world fantasy game series is one of the holiday season's most highly anticipated releases and has prominently featured the date 11-11-11 in its advertising materials since its announcement this spring.
The game offers players the chance to explore an enormous world and shape their character's development in the snowy land of Skyrim, a northern province on the continent of Tamriel.
Local gamer Jake Redish, 23, said that considering the legendary size of games in the Elder Scrolls series, friends of those buying "Skyrim" today shouldn't expect them around anytime soon.
"A lot of people won't be leaving their houses after 11-11-11, because of that game," Redish said, laughing. "It's the kind of game you start playing at 2 p.m. and the next thing you know, it's 2 p.m. the next day.
"You can play those games forever and ever."
"Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" is available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The standard edition costs $60. A collector's edition is also available for $150.
An anniversary date that's easy to remember
In numerology, 11 is thought of as a "master number" because it is a double digit of the same number. When this occurs, the attributes of the prime number, in this case No. 1, are doubled.
No. 1 represents new beginnings, balance/male-female equality and purity. When this digit is doubled, these attributes are believed to also double in strength.
It's no surprise, then, that today's date is considered a lucky day to marry. We asked some local couples, who are all marrying today, why they chose the double-digit date.
- "We knew we wanted a November wedding because we'll have been together two years around the 11th. We picked 11-11-11 because it's easy to remember, and it was unusual," said Lindsay Capehart, who is marrying Zach Hagermaker.
- "Greg is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, it's Veterans Day, and our wedding colors are red, white and blue," said Tiffany Cronan, marrying Greg Wright.
- "We just figured it would be a lucky day: 11-11-11," said P.J. Stone, who is marrying Caitline Castleberry.
- "The number is like two people standing side by side -- I liked that. We plan to stand side by side every day of every year the rest of our lives. Also, the day we got engaged was July 11 (7-11). We've just got it going on that date," said Gina Phillips, engaged to Mike Scott Sr.
11 FROM THE LAST 11/11/11
On Nov. 11, 1911 ...
1. William Howard Taft was president.
2. A first-class postage stamp cost 2 cents.
3. The average American life expectancy was 50.9 years for men and 54.4 years for women (currently 75.5 and 80.5).
4. The average land speed record, set in the U.K., was 115.93 mph over a milelong course (currently 763.035 mph).
5. Scientists were still 19 years away from discovering Pluto and 95 years away from deciding it wasn't a planet.
6. A pound of bacon cost about 15 cents.
7. Nestor Studios, the first movie studio in Hollywood, Calif., had been in operation for 15 days.
8. The population of the United States was about 94 million (currently about 307 million).
9. Gold was valued at $18.92 per ounce (currently about $1,750).
10. American singer/actor Roy Rogers was 6 days old.
11. It was Saturday.
VETERANS DAY OBSERVANCES
- Veterans Recognition and Concert: Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave., noon today, concert by East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra with special guest Mike Key. Veteran Mike Serna plays "Taps." Recognition of veterans, displays of military artifacts and photos from Southeast Veterans Museum, exhibits from National Medal of Honor Museum. 425-7826.
- Veterans Festival of Flags: Ringgold Depot, U.S. 41 and Depot St., Ringgold, Ga. 6:15-7:15 p.m. today, music by Jericho Brass. Festival of Flags displayed twice a year to honor deceased veterans of Catoosa County. 706-935-3061.
- Veterans Benefit: Creekside at Shallowford, 7511 Shallowford Road, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, barbecue cookout and entertainment by BlueJohn, $10 donation for Outward Bound for Veterans. 485-9933.
- Free Meals for Veterans: Show proof of military service today to get a free meal at the following restaurants: Applebee's, Golden Corral, Chili's, Texas Roadhouse, Krispy Kreme or Subway. For every Chile con Queso purchased this weekend at Abuelo's, the restaurant will donate $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project. At O'Charley's, get a half-price meal today and a $10 reward card to use next week.