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- 800 – Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican.
- 1420 – Henry V of England enters Paris.
- 1640 – End of the Iberian Union: Portugal acclaims as King João IV of Portugal, ending 60 years of personal union of the crowns of Portugal and Spain and the end of the rule of the House of Habsburg (also called the Philippine Dynasty).
- 1768 – The slave ship Fredensborg sinks off Tromøy in Norway.
- 1822 – Peter I is crowned Emperor of Brazil.
- 1824 – United States presidential election, 1824: Since no candidate received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task of deciding the winner in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- 1826 – French philhellene Charles Nicolas Fabvier forces his way through the Turkish cordon and ascends the Acropolis of Athens, which had been under siege.
- 1834 – Slavery is abolished in the Cape Colony in accordance with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.
- 1862 – In his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.
- 1865 – Shaw University, the first historically black university in the southern United States, is founded in Raleigh, North Carolina.
- 1885 – First serving of the soft drink Dr Pepper at a drug store in Waco, Texas (United States).
- 1913 – The Buenos Aires Subway, the first underground railway system in the southern hemisphere and in Latin America, begins operation.
- 1913 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.
- 1913 – Crete, having obtained self rule from Turkey after the First Balkan War, is annexed by Greece.
- 1918 – Transylvania unites with Romania, following the incorporation of Bessarabia (March 27) and Bukovina (November 28), thus concluding the Great Union.
- 1918 – The Kingdom of Iceland becomes a sovereign state, yet remains a part of the Danish kingdom.
- 1918 – The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) is proclaimed.
- 1919 – Lady Astor becomes the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom (she had been elected to that position on November 28).
- 1925 – World War I aftermath: The final Locarno Treaty is signed in London, establishing post-war territorial settlements.
- 1934 – In the Soviet Union, Politburo member Sergei Kirov is shot dead by Leonid Nikolayev at the Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad.
- 1941 – Pacific War: Emperor Hirohito of Japan gave the final approval to initiate war against the United States.
- 1941 – World War II: Fiorello La Guardia, Mayor of New York City and Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, signs , creating the Civil Air Patrol.
- 1948 – Taman Shud Case: The body of an unidentified man is found in Adelaide, Australia; involving an undetectable poison and a secret code in a very rare book, the case remains unsolved and is "one of Australia's most profound mysteries".
- 1952 – The New York Daily News reports the news of Christine Jorgenson, the first notable case of sexual reassignment surgery.
- 1955 – American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
- 1958 – The Central African Republic becomes independent from France.
- 1958 – The Our Lady of the Angels School fire in Chicago, Illinois, kills 92 children and three nuns.
- 1959 – Cold War: Opening date for signature of the Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent.
- 1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best are arrested then deported from Hamburg, Germany, after accusations of attempted arson.
- 1963 – Nagaland becomes the 16th state of India.
- 1964 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.
- 1964 – Malawi, Malta and Zambia join the United Nations.
- 1965 – The Border Security Force is formed in India as a special force to guard the borders.
- 1966 – The first Gävle goat, an annual Swedish Yule Goat tradition, is first erected in Gävle.
- 1969 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II.
- 1969 – The first legislation to limit aircraft noise levels at airports is introduced in U.S. Federal Air Regulation, Part 36.
- 1971 – Cambodian Civil War: Khmer Rouge rebels intensify assaults on Cambodian government positions, forcing their retreat from Kompong Thmar and nearby Ba Ray.
- 1971 – The Indian Army recaptures part of Kashmir occupied forcibly by Pakistan.
- 1973 – Papua New Guinea gains self government from Australia.
- 1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport killing all 92 people on board.
- 1974 – Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.
- 1975 – Lambda Theta Phi - The first Latino fraternity is established in New Jersey.
- 1976 – Angola joins the United Nations.
- 1981 – A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashes in Corsica killing all 180 people on board.
- 1981 – The AIDS virus is officially recognized.
- 1984 – NASA conducts the Controlled Impact Demonstration, wherein an airliner was deliberately crashed in order to test technologies and gather data to help improve survivability of airplane crashes.
- 1988 – Benazir Bhutto is appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan.
- 1989 – 1989 Philippine coup attempt: The right-wing military rebel Reform the Armed Forces Movement attempts to oust Philippine President Corazon Aquino in a failed bloody coup d'état.
- 1989 – Cold War: East Germany's parliament abolishes the constitutional provision granting the communist party the leading role in the state.
- 1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the seabed.
- 1991 – Cold War: Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly approve a referendum for independence from the Soviet Union.
- 2001 – Captain Bill Compton brings Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA's purchase by American Airlines.
- 2009 – The Treaty of Lisbon, which amends the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, which together comprise the constitutional basis of European Union, comes into effect.
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- imieniny: Aleksander, Ananiasz, Antoni, Długomił, Edmund, Eligia, Eligiusz, Florencja, Godzisław, Gosław, Gosława, Jan, Natalia, Prokul, Rudolf, Rudolfa, Rudolfina, Sobiesław i Sobiesława.
- Dzień walki z AIDS
- Czad - Festiwal Wolności i Demokracji
- Portugalia - Święto Odnowienia Niepodległości, Dzień Młodzieży
- Republika Środkowoafrykańska - Święto Republiki
- Rumunia - Rocznica Zjednoczenia Siedmiogrodu i Rumunii
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