1194 - Palermo is conquered by Emperor Henry VI.
1407 - A truce between John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy and Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans is agreed under the auspices of John, Duke of Berry. Orléans would be assassinated three days later by Burgundy.
1695 - Zumbi, the last of the leaders of Quilombo dos Palmares in early Brazil, is executed.
1700 - Great Northern War: Battle of Narva – King Charles XII of Sweden defeats the army of Tsar Peter the Great at Narva.
1789 - New Jersey becomes the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
1820 - An 80-ton sperm whale attacks the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America (Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick is in part inspired by this story).
1861 - American Civil War: Secession ordinance is filed by Kentucky's Confederate government.
1910 - Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero issues the Plan de San Luis Potosi, denouncing President Porfirio Díaz, calling for a revolution to overthrow the government of Mexico, effectively starting the Mexican Revolution.
1917 - Ukraine is declared a republic.
1917 - World War I: Battle of Cambrai begins – British forces make early progress in an attack on German positions but are later pushed back.
1923 - Rentenmark replaces the Papiermark as the official currency of Germany at the exchange rate of one Rentenmark to One Trillion (One Billion on the long scale) Papiermark
1936 - Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange, is killed by a republican execution squad.
1940 - World War II: Hungary becomes a signatory of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers.
1943 - World War II: Battle of Tarawa (Operation Galvanic) begins – United States Marines land on Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands and suffer heavy fire from Japanese shore guns and machine guns.
1945 - Nuremberg Trials: Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals start at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg.
1947 - The Princess Elizabeth marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey in London.
1952 - Slánský trials – a series of Stalinist and anti-Semitic show trials in Czechoslovakia.
1962 - Cuban Missile Crisis ends: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.
1968 - Vietnam War: Eleven men comprising a Long Range Patrol team from F Company, 58th Infantry, 101st Airborne are surrounded and nearly wiped out by North Vietnamese army regulars from the 4th and 5th Regiment. The seven wounded survivors are rescued after several hours by an impromptu force made up of other men from their unit.
1969 - Vietnam War: The Cleveland Plain Dealer publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.
1974 - The United States Department of Justice files its final anti-trust suit against AT&T. This suit later leads to the break up of AT&T and its Bell System.
1975 - Francisco Franco, Caudillo of Spain, dies after 36 years in power.
1979 - Grand Mosque Seizure: About 200 Sunni Muslims revolt in Saudi Arabia at the site of the Kaaba in Mecca during the pilgrimage and take about 6000 hostages. The Saudi government receives help from French special forces to put down the uprising.
1984 - The SETI Institute is founded.
1985 - Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.
1989 - Velvet Revolution: The number of protesters assembled in Prague, Czechoslovakia swells from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million.
1992 - In England, a fire breaks out in Windsor Castle, badly damaging the castle and causing over £50 million worth of damage.
1993 - Savings and loan crisis: The United States Senate Ethics Committee issues a stern censure of California senator Alan Cranston for his "dealings" with savings-and-loan executive Charles Keating.
1994 - The Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign the Lusaka Protocol in Zambia, ending 19 years of civil war (localized fighting resumes the next year).
1998 - A court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declares accused terrorist Osama bin Laden "a man without a sin" in regard to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
1998 - The first module of the International Space Station, Zarya, is launched.
2001 - In Washington, D.C., U.S. President George W. Bush dedicates the United States Department of Justice headquarters building as the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building, honoring the late Robert F. Kennedy on what would have been his 76th birthday.
2003 - After the November 15 bombings, a second day of the 2003 Istanbul Bombings occurs in Istanbul, Turkey, destroying the Turkish head office of HSBC Bank AS and the British consulate.
2008 - After critical failures in the US financial system began to build up after mid-September, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level since 1997.
284 - Diocletian is chosen as Roman Emperor.