1699 - A treaty was signed by Denmark, Russia, Saxony and Poland for the partitioning of the Swedish Empire.
1718 - English pirate Edward Teach (a.k.a. "Blackbeard") was killed during a battle off the coast of North Carolina. British soldiers cornered him aboard his ship and killed him. He was shot and stabbed more than 25 times.
1880 - Lillian Russell made her vaudeville debut in New York City.
1899 - The Marconi Wireless Company of America was incorporated in New Jersey.
1906 - The International Radio Telegraphic Convention in Berlin adopted the SOS distress signal.
1909 - Helen Hayes appeared on stage for the first time. She was a member of the cast of "In Old Dutch."
1910 - Arthur F. Knight patented a steel shaft to replace wood shafts in golf clubs.
1928 - In Paris, "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel was first performed publicly.
1935 - The first trans-Pacific airmail flight began in Alameda, CA, when the flying boat known as the China Clipper left for Manila. The craft was carrying over 110,000 pieces of mail.
1942 - During World War II, the Battle of Stalingrad began.
1943 - U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek met in Cairo to discuss the measures for defeating Japan.
1950 - The lowest scoring game in the NBA was played. The Fort Wayne Pistons (later the Detroit Pistons) defeated the Minneapolis Lakers (later the Los Angeles Lakers) 19-18.
1961 - The film, "A Man for All Seasons", opened in New York City.
1963 - U.S. President Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, TX. Texas Governor John B. Connally was also seriously wounded. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated as the 36th U.S. President.
1967 - The U.N. Security Council approved resolution 242. The resolution called for Israel to withdraw from territories it had captured in 1967 and called on adversaries to recognize Israel's right to exist.
1972 - U.S. President Richard M. Nixon lifted a ban on American travel to Cuba. The ban had been put in place on February 8, 1963.
1974 - The U.N. General Assembly gave the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status.
1975 - Juan Carlos I was proclaimed King of Spain upon the death of Gen. Francisco Franco.
1975 - "Dr. Zhivago" appeared on TV for the first time. NBC paid $4 million for the broadcast rights.
1977 - Regular passenger service on the Concorde began between New York and Europe.
1983 - The Bundestag approved NATO's plan to deploy new U.S. nuclear missiles in West Germany.
1984 - Fred Rogers of PBS' "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" presented a sweater to the Smithsonian Institution.
1985 - Anne Henderson-Pollard was taken into custody a day after her husband Jonathon Jay Pollard was arrested for spying for Israel.
1985 - 38,648 immigrants became citizens of the United States. It was the largest swearing-in ceremony.
1986 - An Iranian surface-to-surface missile hit a residential area in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, wounding 20 civilians.
1986 - Attorney Generel Meese's office discovered a memo in Colonel Oliver North's office that included an amount of money to be sent to the Contras from the profits of weapons sales to Iran.
1986 - Mike Tyson became the youngest to wear the world heavyweight-boxing crown. He was only 20 years and 4 months old.
1988 - The South African government announced it had joined Cuba and Angola in endorsing a plan to remove Cuban troops from Angola.
1989 - Rene Moawad, the president of Lebanon, was assassinated less than three weeks after taking office by a bomb that exploded next to his motorcade in West Beirut.
1990 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush, his wife, Barbara, and other congressional leaders shared Thanksgiving dinner with U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.
1990 - British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced she would resign.
1993 - Mexico's Senate overwhelmingly approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.
1993 - American Airlines flight attendants ended their strike that only lasted four days.
1994 - Inside the District of Columbia's police headquarters a gunman opened fire. Two FBI agents, a city detective and the gunman were killed in the gun battle.
1994 - In northwest Bosnia, Serb fighters set villages on fire in response to a retaliatory air strikes by NATO.
1998 - CBS's "60 Minutes" aired a tape of Jack Kevorkian giving lethal drugs in an assisted suicide of a terminally ill patient. Kevorkian was later sentenced to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder.
2005 - Angela Merkel was elected as Germany's first female chancellor.
2005 - Microsoft's XBOX 360 went on sale.