1792 - The French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.
1784 - "The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser" was published for the first time in Philadelphia. It was the first daily paper in America.
1893 - Frank Duryea took what is believed to be the first gasoline- powered automobile for a test drive. The "horseless carriage" was designed by Frank and Charles Duryea.
1897 - The New York Sun ran the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" editorial. It was in response to a letter from 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon.
1931 - Britain went off the gold standard.
1931 - Japanese forces began occupying China's northeast territory of Manchuria.
1937 - J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" was first published.
1941 - "The Second Mrs. Burton" premiered to the entire CBS Radio Network.
1948 - Milton Berle debuted as the host of "The Texaco Star Theater" on NBC-TV. The show later became "The Milton Berle Show." Berle was the regular host until 1967.
1948 - "Life With Luigi" debuted on CBS Radio.
1949 - Communist leaders proclaimed The People's Republic of China.
1957 - "Perry Mason", the television series, made its debut on CBS-TV. The show was on for 9 years.
1961 - Antonio Abertondo swam the English Channel (in both directions) in 24 hours and 25 minutes.
1964 - Malta gained independence from Britain.
1966 - The Soviet probe Zond 5 returned to Earth. The spacecraft completed the first unmanned round-trip flight to the moon.
1970 - "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC-TV. The game was between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. The Browns won 31-21.
1973 - Henry Kissinger was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become 56th Secretary of State. He was the first naturalized citizen to hold the office of Secretary of State.
1981 - The U.S. Senate confirmed Sandra Day O'Connor to be the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1981 - Belize gained full independence from Great Britain.
1982 - National Football League (NFL) players began a 57-day strike. It was their first regular-season walkout.
1982 - Amin Gemayel was elected president of Lebanon. He was the brother of Bashir Gemayel who was the president-elect when he was assassinated.
1984 - General Motors and the United Auto Workers union reached an agreement that would end the previous six days of spot strikes.
1985 - North and South Korea opened their borders for their family reunion program.
1993 - Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin announced that he was ousting the Communist-dominated Congress. The action was effectively seizing all state power.
1996 - The board of all-male Virginia Military Institute voted to admit women.
1996 - John F. Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette in a secret ceremony on Cumberland Island, GA.