September 17th, 2010
04:37 PM ET

Colbert, Stewart rallies on 'date of no significance'?

P.T. Barnum's "Greatest Show on Earth" debuted October 30, 1873.

When Jon Stewart raised the idea of doing a march in Washington, he said he wanted to make sure it was "on a date of no significance."

Stewart publicly floated the idea of a counter-rally to Glenn Beck's much-publicized "Restoring Honor" rally on the National Mall in a profile in the September 12 edition of New York magazine. Beck's rally was held on the 47th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered in the same place.

So when Stewart and Comedy Central's other favorite funny man, Stephen Colbert, decided to announce rallies of their own in the nation's capital October 30, we had to take a look into history to see whether the date held a clean slate or whether there were some moments in time the two comedians might be ironically, or purposely, shining a light on.

Although it's likely any single day they chose could have some ironies to it, it turns out there are a number of interesting events in history that have taken place October 30.

Perhaps the double team of Stewart and Colbert are hoping their respective rallies will be regarded as the "Greatest Shows on Earth" - after all, P.T. Barnum's now-well-known circus did debut October 30, 1873. (If nothing else, it'd be a nod to the show's creator, who is also known for coining the phrase "there's a sucker born every minute"). Are you trying to send a tongue-in-cheek message to us, men of comedy?

Or perhaps the date of the rallies, and their place on the Mall, could be a nod to several historic moments in time. Here are a few of the other big events that have taken place on October 30. Are any the impetus behind the date's use? Or just a coincidence? Share your thoughts in the comments bellow.

  • In 1905, Russian Czar Nicholas II signed the "October Manifesto," which granted civil liberties like the freedom of speech, press, assembly and worship as well as political liberties. With one stroke of the pen on October 30, Russia had a constitution and became a constitutional monarchy.
  • In 1918, the Ottoman Empire signed an armistice with the Allied powers, ending World War I in the Middle East, which enabled Britain and other countries to begin carving out boundaries in the area - and essentially marking the dissolution of the Empire to partition several countries, including Iraq and Iran.
  • In 1938, Orson Welles created panic across the country when he broadcast an adaptation of "War of the Worlds" on the radio. Some chaos ensued because of the style and format of the broadcast: The first parts of the show were presented like news bulletins, confusing many listeners, who thought there was an actual Martian invasion currently happening. We wonder if perhaps Colbert and Stewart want to start a little shakeup of their own.
  • In 1944, the use of gas chambers in concentration camps during the Holocaust was officially put to a stop on October 30.
  • In 1945, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball by signing a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The fight against racial segregation also took a large step forward on October 30 of another year - 1954 - when the U.S. armed forces officially ended the practice within their ranks.
  • In 1950, Pope Pius XII witnessed "the Miracle of the Sun" at the Vatican. "I was awestruck by a phenomenon that before now I had never seen," the pope reportedly said in a memo. "The sun, which was still quite high, looked like a pale, opaque sphere, entirely surrounded by a luminous circle," he recounted. You could look at the sun "without the slightest bother. There was a very light little cloud in front of it."
  • October 30, 1974, was also a huge day in sports. The famous Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire.
  • And finally, in 1995, Quebec made a big decision of its own on October 30 and voted on a referendum to remain part of Canada.
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. nic

    Leave it to CNN to waste resources on dissecting satire. If only you did such a thorough job of reporting on real news.

    September 17, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Leave it to whiners like nic to throw a fit when CNN gives us a little humor to the normal gloom and doom stories.

      Go back to Faux News.

      September 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adamrere

      Leave it to a moron to bring up Fox News where it's entirely irrelevant.

      Dogmatic much?

      September 17, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • T Wenz

      Leave it up to me to laugh at all three posts.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • ecogirl

      CNN stoops to new lows, No real journalism going on here, just jokes to cover-up high unemployment, record poverty levels, the worst environmental disaster, war & civilians getting killed, and they promote it as fun and games. Who owns their stock, the joker?

      September 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Waytogo

      Ecogirl, what the heck do you think Beck's ridiculous rally was? Did he address anything of substance? No he gave a tent revival. Why don't you get over yourself?

      September 17, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Plutarch

      This article was pretty ridiculous. Stewart and Colbert are doing a demonstration on a date with no real significance. Beck did his on a day when another very famous American rally was held. Something concerning the Ottoman Empire or a circus really has no significant American demonstration qualities, at least for the date that they have set. Clearly they are making fun of Beck. If you have ever watched the show (which I do regularly) they are making fun of Beck; which they normally do, and is always warranted.

      September 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob P.

      You're right, nothing to see here. The men who speak more truth than all of the media and politicians combined are unimportant.

      Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Sarah Palin invades another town with her hateful rhetoric, her ignorance, and her call to blind arms while giving nothing away about what she really wants.......

      So many people are saying CNN reports nothing of significance. Do you know what a mole is? It is a person who pretends to be a part of you, and who secretly subverts what you are doing.

      Go back to Faux news. They must love you there.

      September 17, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • rebecca

      October 30 is my birthday, and so to me the most important day of the year. I welcome the Daily show and the Colbert Report sharing it with me!

      September 17, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Satire by Stewart follows the satire by Beck.

      September 17, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • purvisa

      Yes, Nic, because this is somehow LESS newsworthy than a rally led by the quite laughable Beck (that's the political satirist who plays at being far more conservative than he is, not the single-name musical act).

      September 17, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaspe


      September 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      if j. stewart and s. colbert have a rallies i will be there. This will the first one i will safe going too. All beck rallies did was divide the u.s.a .How hard is it to google a date.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Matt

    How clever CNN is!! They saw right through the ruse. Clearly Stewart and Colbert picked that date to steal the thunder Ottoman Empire!! (Come on CNN, grow a brain)

    September 17, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      A real article on the issue...

      September 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • westside

      Grow a funny bone.... Yeesh!

      September 17, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Morgan

      I love you.

      September 18, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. bandit109

    On the show, Stewart joked that the day was chosen because they were already going to be in Wasington D.C. since that is where the Daily Show will be filmed from October 25-28.

    September 17, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Paul

    Oh nice. CNN learned how to search by date on wikipedia. No way, they learned to copy and paste too?!?

    I'm in such awe right now...

    September 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. rmnavyhm

    I understand the need to cover these kinds of events, but this is a serious stretch. The reason behind the parody is the manner in which Glenn Beck described his rally – as a sanctified turning point in history. Jackie Robinson, the Ottoman Empire, and Quebec? These events are barely recognizable by the majority of the American populace, while King's speech is a staple subject in grade school. Focus on the message of it CNN – the fear mongering and intensity of anger from the Tea Party and corporate media doesn't represent the majority opinion. My suggestion (unsolicited, I know), would be to change your tune before Web based alternative news pushes you out of the top spot.

    September 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lacey

      Are you dumb? That's the point. This is a joke. God. Wow.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Wow, you really aren't very smart..

      September 17, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matttch

      Jackie Robinson was kind of a big deal...

      September 17, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • dwb1957

      There's a lot of thick dolts and doltish thickies out there with no sense of humour. The article was obviously meant as a humorous reply to the rallies plan. CNN put some thought into it for the very reason they state. Certainly it's a fluff piece, it's entertainment. If you are trying to perceive it as hard news, you'll pop a blood vessel, and maybe you should.

      And Chris, you don't make any sense whatsoever. Seriously.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You mean the Daily Show is fake???


      September 18, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. detsea

    october 30th is my mom's birthday!

    September 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      BEST post, yet. First one that made me laugh.

      September 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      A very blessed birthday to your mom.
      I sorely wished mine was still around.
      Miss the chats–different kind of chats back then–with her.

      September 17, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. detsea

    it's also devil's night in detroit

    September 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer Wills

      We used to call it mischief night. All the pranksters came out and would soap car windows and toilet paper trees. Seems fitting.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dsmith

      Devil's Night is a little bit less on the soaping and more on the torching buildings. Well, used to be that way. Now there's nothing left to burn in detroit.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tom

    Even though this goes against Wikipedia as well as CNN the Nolan Ryan pitch couldn't have happened that day. The Angels did not make the postseason in 1974.

    September 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Kudos to removing that information from the article so quickly!

      September 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matttch

      Wow great call Tom !!! I didn't even think twice about that one. True fan.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ?

    if u hate cnn so much why do u read it?

    September 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • lee

      I watch Fox occasionally just to KNOW. FOX watchers should watch CNN and MSNBC to catch the rest of the story.

      September 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ?

      I watch all the news and then I get the real story from the Daily Show & Colbert Report. At least they fact check their fact, they fact check the rest of those news bozos too!

      September 17, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lee

    I'll be there, just to show the aPALlING Sarah and the druggieBECKster, that most of us want nothing of their xenophobia, their self-mocked-conservatism. We should show up by the MILLIONS! Power to the informed electorate!

    September 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adamrere

      lee: 'power to the informed electorate!'

      You consider yourself "informed" because you watch a comedy show that gets laughs by purposefully taking news out of context?

      That's smart. You're smart.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grundoon

      Am: you obviously have never seen the show. You should watch and that may draw you out of your narrow mind.

      September 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adamrere

      grundoon: "Am: you obviously have never seen the show. You should watch and that may draw you out of your narrow mind."

      And yet whether I watch it or not (won't you be surprised to find I do) is irrelevant to the fact that Stewart and Colbert's shows are primarily about comedy. Because of this, they take either humorous bits out of the news, or take the news out of context to make it humorous.

      Watching Jon Stewart and pretending you're getting the full picture is a farce.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. William Bergmann

    Colbert and Stewart are two of the most talented people in entertainment today. This event will be a big hit. Even if no one shows up it will at least be funny. I'm thinking I'll pedal a toilet to DC to promote the importance of humor to good health. I should leave tomorrow from Hollywood.

    September 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. daveinla

    Stewart and Colbert are both liberal boobs.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • geogaddi

      ...who can make grown men like Jim Cramer pee themselves on camera...

      September 17, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • CWT

      I like boobs. I don't care if they're liberal or conservative.

      September 17, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jerad

    How about the fact that they are both comedians..

    They are holding the event the day before Halloween, which means the festivities will probably involve a lot of crazy costumes and drunk tourists..

    I think it's an ingenious idea to throw a 'rally' or 'party' of this size the night before halloween. Yes, I'll be going in costume.

    How about the significance of THAT!?

    September 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dan

    this article sounds like a Glenn Beck pre-writing exercise

    September 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Grundoon

    I hope I can manage to be there. I'm not rich, I don't have a lot of vacation time, I don't have an RV, I don't have extra money. But i want to be a part of showing Glenn Blech and Bail' Palin what a REAL rally looks like.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • athought

      "Bailin' Palin..." I like that! Wish we knew each other, I live nearby and would cheerfully put up a guest for the event. Thanks for the smile!

      September 17, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
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