1620 – The Mayflower Compact was signed by the 41 men on the Mayflower when they landed in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod. The compact called for “just and equal laws.”
1831 – Nat Turner, a slave and educated minister, was hanged in Jerusalem, VA, after inciting a violent slave uprising.
1851 – The telescope was patented by Alvan Clark.
1868 – The first indoor amateur track and field meet was held by the New York Athletic Club.
1880 – Australian outlaw and bank robber Ned Kelly was hanged at the Melbourne jail at age 25.
1887 – Labor Activists were hanged in Illinois after being convicted of being connected to a bombing that killed eight police officers.
1889 – Washington became the 42nd state of the United States.
1918 – World War I came to an end when the Allies and Germany signed an armistice. This day became recognized as Veteran’s Day in the United States.
1918 – Poland was reestablished shortly after the surrender of Germany.
1920 – The body of an unknown British soldier was buried in Westminster Abbey. The service was recorded with the first electronic recording process developed by Lionel Guest and H.O. Merriman.
1921 – The Tomb of the Unknowns was dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia by U.S. President Harding.
1938 – Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” on network radio.
1940 – The Jeep made its debut.
1942 – During World War II, Germany completed its occupation of France.
1946 – The New York Knickerbockers (now the Knicks) played their first game at Madison Square Garden.
1952 – The first video recorder was demonstrated by John Mullin and Wayne Johnson in Beverly Hills, CA.
1965 – The government of Rhodesia declared its independence from Britain. The country later became known as Zimbabwe.
1965 – Walt Disney announced a project in Florida.
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1966 – The U.S. launched Gemini 12 from Cape Kennedy, FL. The craft circled the Earth 59 times before returning.
1972 – The U.S. Army turned over its base at Long Bihn to the South Vietnamese army. The event symbolized the end of direct involvement in the Vietnam War by the U.S. military.
1975 – Civil war broke out when Angola gained independence from Portugal.
1981 – Stuntman Dan Goodwin scaled the outside of the 100-story John Hancock Center in Chicago in about six hours.
1981 – The U.S.S. Ohio was commissioned at the Electric Boat Division in Groton, CT. It was the first Trident class submarine.
1984 – The Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. died in Atlanta at age 84.
1984 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan accepted the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a gift to the nation from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
1984 – Gary Coleman, at age 13, underwent his second kidney transplant in Los Angeles. He had his first transplant at age 5.
1986 – Sperry Rand and Burroughs merged to form “Unisys,” becoming the second largest computer company.
1987 – Vincent Van Gogh’s “Irises” was sold for a then record 53.9 million dollars in New York.
1988 – Police in Sacramento, CA, found the first of seven bodies buried on the grounds of a boardinghouse. Dorothea Puente was later charged in the deaths of nine people, convicted of three murders and sentenced to life in prison.
1990 – Stormie Jones, the world’s first heart-liver transplant recipient, died at a Pittsburgh hospital at age 13.
1991 – The U.S. stationed its first diplomat in Cambodia in 16 years to help the nation arrange democratic elections.
1992 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin told U.S. senators in a letter that Americans had been held in prison camps after World War II. Some were “summarily executed,” but others were still living in his country voluntarily.
1992 – The Church of England voted to ordain women as priests.
1993 – Walt Disney Co. announced plans to build a U.S. history theme park in a Virginia suburb of Washington. The plan was halted later due to local opposition.
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1993 – In Washington, DC, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial was dedicated to honor the more than 11,000 women who had served in the Vietnam War.
1994 – In Gaza, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at an Israeli military checkpoint killing three soldiers.
1996 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund unveiled “The Wall That Heals.” The work was a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that would tour communities throughout the United States.
1997 – The Eastman Kodak Company announced that they were laying off 10,000 employees.
1997 – Roger Clemens (Toronto Blue Jays) became the third major league player to win the Cy Young Award four times.
1998 – Jay Cochrane set a record for the longest blindfolded skywalk. He walked on a tightrope between the towers of the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas, NV. The towers are 600 feet apart.
1998 – Vincente Fernandez received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1998 – Israel’s Cabinet ratified a land-for-peace agreement with the Palestinians.
2002 – Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates pledged $100 million to fight AIDS in India.