Nov 25, 1970:
Mishima commits ritual suicide
World-renowned Japanese writer Yukio Mishima commits suicide after failing to win public support for his often extreme political beliefs.
Born in 1925, Mishima was obsessed with what he saw as the spiritual barrenness of modern life. He preferred prewar Japan, with its austere patriotism and traditional values, to the materialistic, westernized nation that arose after 1945. In this spirit, he founded the "Shield Society," a controversial private army made up of about 100 students that was to defend the emperor in the event of a leftist uprising.
On November 25, Mishima delivered to his publisher the last installment of The Sea of Fertility, his four-volume epic on Japanese life in the 20th century that is regarded as his greatest work. He then went with several followers to a military building in Tokyo and seized control of a general's office. There, from a balcony, he gave a brief speech to about 1,000 assembled servicemen, in which he urged them to overthrow Japan's constitution, which forbids Japanese rearmament. The soldiers were unsympathetic, and Mishima committed seppuku, or ritual suicide, by disemboweling himself with his sword.
Though his extreme beliefs did not gain him much of a following, many mourned the loss of such a gifted author.
Nov 25, 1963:
JFK buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Three days after his assassination in Dallas, Texas, John F. Kennedy is laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was shot to death while riding in an open-car motorcade with his wife and Texas Governor John Connally through the streets of downtown Dallas. Ex-Marine and communist sympathizer Lee Harvey Oswald was the alleged assassin. Kennedy was rushed to Dallas' Parkland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead 30 minutes later. He was 46.
Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who was three cars behind President Kennedy in the motorcade, was sworn in as the 36th president of the United States less than two hours later. He took the presidential oath of office aboard Air Force One as it sat on the runway at Dallas Love Field airport. The swearing in was witnessed by some 30 people, including Jacqueline Kennedy, who was still wearing clothes stained with her husband's blood. Seven minutes later, the presidential jet took off for Washington.
The next day, November 23, President Johnson issued his first proclamation, declaring November 25 to be a day of national mourning for the slain president. On that day, hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of Washington to watch a horse-drawn caisson bear Kennedy's body from the Capitol Rotunda to St. Matthew's Catholic Cathedral for a requiem Mass. The solemn procession then continued on to Arlington National Cemetery, where leaders of 99 nations gathered for the state funeral. Kennedy was buried with full military honors on a slope below Arlington House, where an eternal flame was lit by his widow to forever mark the grave.
Nov 25, 1952:
Agatha Christie's long-running play The Mousetrap opens
On this day in 1952, The Mousetrap, a murder-mystery play by Agatha Christie, opens in London's West End; it will go on to have the longest initial run of any play in history, with more than 23,000 performances to date.
In addition to The Mousetrap, the highly prolific Christie penned dozens of other plays, novels and stories, a number of which were adapted for television, film and radio.