Friday, November 4, 2016

A couple of notable births, November 4, 1916

As everyone knows who stops in here, we've been looking at 1916 a lot recently, in keeping with the theme of the blog.  And in doing that, we've been noting a lot of anniversaries of the century as we pass the appropriate dates.

We haven't been noting births much, however, as generally births aren't notable until a person accomplishes a notable thing later in life.  That makes the birth date it self somewhat accidental, if not irrelevant, in some ways.

But today we make an exception to note two such births.

1.  John Bassilone

John Bassilone was a U.S. Marine who heroically won the Congressional Medal of Honor for action on Guadalcanal.  Returning to combat at his insistence, he was killed on the first day of the landing at Iwo Jima, and won the Navy Cross posthumously.

Bassilone ws born to Italian American parents on this day in Buffalo New York, in 1916.  He is unusual in that he had just completed a three year term of enlistment in the Army in 1939 to turn around and join the Marines in 1940.

2. Walter Cronkite.

Walter Cronkite was born on the same day in Saint Joseph, Missouri.  He dropped out of college to become a newsman, with his first big assignments being as combat reporter during World War Two.  He went in with the glider infantry in Operation Market Garden.  He switched to television after the war where his good looks and deep voice cemented his role as almost the voice of the American public for decades.

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