It took a 56-hour bombardment, but on Sept. 29, 1918, World War One’s Allied forces finally breached the Hindenburg Line, or the last streak of German defenses on the Western Front. Both sides sustained heavy losses during the Hundred Days Offensive, but the Allies — led by Australian and U.S. troops — pushed through by exploiting the southern part of the de- fensive zone, vulnerable in part because it was within sight of artillery observation.
The Hindenburg Line (called the Siegried Position by the Germans) was an otherwise formidable defensive zone, consisting of six defensive lines over some 6,000 yards. It’d been built in 1917 in efforts to counter an anticipated increase in Anglo-French attack power. Once it was broken, the end of the war followed shortly. On Nov. 11, 1918, Germany finally agreed to an armistice.
On Sept. 30, 1955, the United States lost a talented young actor and now-cultural icon in James Dean. The 24-yearold had been on track for superstardom at the time of his sudden death.
At around 5:45 p.m., the Porsche Dean was driving struck another car at an in- tersection, killing him and badly injuring his passenger. The driver of the other car, a university student, was mostly uninjured. At the time of his death, Dean had only appeared in “East of Eden,” based on John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name, though “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant” opened afterward.
For his role in “East of Eden,” Judges at the 1956 Academy Awards gave a nod to the late Dean with the first posthumous nomination for Best Actor in the award show’s history.
In other historical pop culture news, Rod Stewart landed his first No. 1 hit on Oct. 2, 1971, with the iconic “Maggie May.”
The song, which follows the story of a young man’s failed relationship with an older woman, was originally released as a B-side to the single “Reason To Believe.” Unsurprisingly, radio shows started flipping the record in favor of “Maggie May.”
In retrospect, it’s hard to understand what Stewart (or a label representative) heard in “Reason to Believe” that he didn’t hear in “Maggie May,” which so punctually highlights his gritty-but-melodic voice with acoustic guitar and mandolin instrumentation. Time has its say in the end.