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- 1410 – The Peace of Bicêtre between the Armagnac and Burgundian factions is signed.
- 1570 – A tsunami in the North Sea devastates the coast from Holland to Jutland, killing more than 1,000 people.
- 1675 – King Philip's War: A combined effort by the Plymouth, Rhode Island, Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut colonies attacks the Great Swamp Fort, owned by the Narragansetts.
- 1769 – Don Gaspar de Portolà leads the first documented European visit to San Francisco Bay.
- 1772 – American Revolutionary War: Samuel Adams and Joseph Warren form the first Committee of Correspondence.
- 1783 – In Rocky Hill, New Jersey, US General George Washington gives his "Farewell Address to the Army".
- 1795 – The French Directory succeeds the French National Convention as the government of Revolutionary France.
- 1861 – American Civil War: Western Department Union General John C. Fremont is relieved of command and replaced by David Hunter.
- 1868 – Time zone: New Zealand officially adopts a standard time to be observed nationally
- 1882 – Oulu, Finland is devastated by the Great Oulu Fire of 1882
- 1889 – North and South Dakota are admitted as the 39th and 40th U.S. states.
- 1895 – The first gasoline-powered race in the United States. First prize: $2,000
- 1898 – Cheerleading is started at the University of Minnesota with Johnny Campbell leading the crowd in cheering on the football team.
- 1899 – The Boers begin their 118 day siege of British held Ladysmith during the Second Boer War.
- 1909 – Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity is founded at Boston University.
- 1914 – Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire.
- 1917 – The Balfour Declaration proclaims British support for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" with the clear understanding "that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities".
- 1920 – In the United States, KDKA of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania starts broadcasting as the first commercial radio station. The first broadcast is the result of the U.S. presidential election, 1920.
- 1930 – Haile Selassie is crowned emperor of Ethiopia.
- 1936 – The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is established.
- 1936 – Italian dictator Benito Mussolini proclaims the Rome-Berlin Axis, establishing the alliance of the Axis Powers.
- 1936 – The British Broadcasting Corporation initiates the BBC Television Service, the world's first regular, "high-definition" (then defined as at least 200 lines) service. Renamed BBC1 in 1964, the channel still runs to this day.
- 1940 – World War II: First day of Battle of Elaia–Kalamas between the Greeks and the Italians.
- 1947 – In California, designer Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose or H-4 The Hercules; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.
- 1949 – The Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference ends with the Netherlands agreeing to transfer sovereignty of the Dutch East Indies to the United States of Indonesia.
- 1953 – The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan names the country The Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
- 1957 – The Levelland UFO Case in Levelland, Texas, generates national publicity.
- 1959 – Quiz show scandals: Twenty One game show contestant Charles Van Doren admits to a Congressional committee that he had been given questions and answers in advance.
- 1959 – The first section of the M1 motorway, the first inter-urban motorway in the United Kingdom, is opened between the present junctions 5 and 18, along with the M10 motorway and M45 motorway
- 1960 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case
- 1963 – South Vietnamese President Ngô Ðình Diệm is assassinated following a military coup.
- 1964 – King Saud of Saudi Arabia is deposed by a family coup, and replaced by his half-brother King Faisal.
- 1965 – Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, sets himself on fire in front of the river entrance to the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam war.
- 1966 – The Cuban Adjustment Act comes into force, allowing 123,000 Cubans the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in the United States.
- 1967 – Vietnam War: US President Lyndon B. Johnson and "The Wise Men" conclude that the American people should be given more optimistic reports on the progress of the war.
- 1973 – The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India form a 'United Front' in the state of Tripura.
- 1974 – 78 die when the Time Go-Go Club in Seoul, South Korea burns down. Six of the victims jumped to their deaths from the seventh floor after a club official barred the doors after the fire started.
- 1983 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
- 1984 – Capital punishment: Velma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the United States since 1962.
- 1988 – The Morris worm, the first internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, is launched from MIT.
- 2000 – The first resident crew to the ISS docked in November 2nd on the Soyuz TM-31.
- 2007 – 50,000–100,000 people demonstrate against the Georgian government in Tbilisi.
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