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Adding Historical Context to ‘National UnFriend Day’

We’re not sure if Jimmy Kimmel picked the calendar date of November 17th for a particular reason when he decided to launch his Facebook clean-up initiative “National UnFriend Day (NUD).” In case you haven’t heard (or been watching), the most genial of all nighttime TV talk show hosts wants social networkers to do a little house cleaning next Wednesday and unburden themselves of in-FB-name-only “friends.”

This got us thinking; if successful, how will Kimmel’s 11/17 initiative rank in terms of prior, same-date unfriendliness. Here are the quick answers we came up with:

- On this date in 1511, Spain and England allied against France. That’s pretty unfriendly.

- In 1863, Confederate forces began a siege of Knoxville, Tennessee. Anything but Southern style hospitality there.

- And in 1947, amazingly, the Screen Actors Guild implemented an anti-Communist oath.

But if Kimmel’s The Anti-Social Network truly takes flight, then it may well earn a place on one of the highest of unfriendly November 17th pedestals. The day in 1973 when President Richard Nixon told 400 Associated Press editors, “I am not a crook!” Because in the end, who really lost more friends that Tricky Dick?

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