1533 - Conquistadors from Spain under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro arrive in Cajamarca, Inca empire
1862 - American Civil War: President Abraham Lincoln approves General Ambrose Burnside's plan to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, leading to the Battle of Fredericksburg.
1889 - Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completes the trip in seventy-two days.
1896 - The Glasgow Subway, the third-oldest underground metro system in the world, opened.
1910 - Aviator Eugene Ely performs the first take off from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia. He took off from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.
1918 - Czechoslovakia becomes a republic.
1921 - The Communist Party of Spain is founded.
1922 - The BBC begins radio service in the United Kingdom.
1923 - Kentaro Suzuki completes his ascent of Mount Iizuna.
1940 - World War II: In England, the city of Coventry is heavily bombed by German Luftwaffe bombers. Coventry Cathedral is almost completely destroyed.
1941 - World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sinks due to torpedo damage from U-81 sustained on November 13.
1952 - The first regular UK singles chart published by the New Musical Express.
1957 - The Apalachin Meeting outside Binghamton, New York is raided by law enforcement, and many high level Mafia figures are arrested.
1959 - Four members of the Clutter family are murdered in Holcomb, Kansas. The book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is about these murders.
1965 - Vietnam War: The Battle of the Ia Drang begins – the first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces.
1967 - The Congress of Colombia, in commemoration of the 150 years of the death of Policarpa Salavarrieta, declares this day as "Day of the Colombian Woman".
1969 - Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.
1970 - Soviet Union enters ICAO, making Russian the fourth official language of organization.
1970 - Southern Airways Flight 932 crashes in the mountains near Huntington, West Virginia, killing 75, including members of the Marshall University football team.
1971 - Enthronment of Pope Shenouda III as Pope of Alexandria
1971 - Mariner program: Mariner 9 reaches Mars, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.
1973 - In the United Kingdom, Princess Anne marries Captain Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey.
1975 - Spain abandons Western Sahara.
1979 - Iran hostage crisis: US President Jimmy Carter issues Executive order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States in response to the hostage crisis.
1982 - Lech Wałęsa, the leader of Poland's outlawed Solidarity movement, is released after eleven months of internment near the Soviet border.
1984 - Zamboanga City mayor Cesar Climaco, a prominent critic of the government of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, is assassinated in his home city.
1990 - After German reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland sign a treaty confirming the Oder-Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland.
1991 - American and British authorities announce indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials in connection with the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103.
1991 - Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returns to Phnom Penh after thirteen years of exile.
1991 - In Royal Oak, Michigan, a fired United States Postal Service employee goes on a shooting rampage, killing four and wounding five before committing suicide.
1995 - A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress forces the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.
2001 - War in Afghanistan: Afghan Northern Alliance fighters take over the capital Kabul.
2002 - Argentina defaults on an $805 million World Bank payment.
2002 - The United States House of Representatives votes not to create an independent commission to investigate the September 11 attacks.
2003 - Astronomers Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz discover 90377 Sedna, a Trans-Neptunian object.
2007 - The last direct-current electrical distribution system in the United States is shut down in New York City by Con Edison.