284 – Diocletian is chosen as Roman emperor.
762 – During the An Shi Rebellion, the Tang dynasty, with the help of Huihe tribe, recaptures Luoyang from the rebels.
1194 – Palermo is conquered by Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor.
1407 – A truce between John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy and Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans is agreed upon 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 by the forces of Portuguese bandeirante Domingos Jorge Velho.
1739 – Start of the Battle of Porto Bello between British and Spanish forces during the War of Jenkins' Ear.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: British forces land at the Palisades and then attack Fort Lee. The Continental Army starts to retreat across New Jersey.
1789 – New Jersey becomes the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
1805 – Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, premieres in Vienna.
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.)
1845 – Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata: Battle of Vuelta de Obligado.
1861 – American Civil War: A secession ordinance is filed by Kentucky's Confederate government.
1910 – Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero issues the Plan de San Luis Potosí, denouncing Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, calling for a revolution to overthrow the government of Mexico, effectively starting the Mexican Revolution.
1917 – World War I: Battle of Cambrai begins: British forces make early progress in an attack on German positions but are later pushed back.
1936 – José 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, who becomes the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London.
1959 – The Declaration of the Rights of the Child is adopted by the United Nations.
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 – A total of 78 miners are killed in an explosion at the Consolidated Coal Company’s No. 9 mine in Farmington, West Virginia in the Farmington Mine disaster
1969 – Vietnam War: The Plain Dealer publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.
1969 – Occupation of Alcatraz: Native American activists seize control of Alcatraz Island until being ousted by the U.S. Government on June 11, 1971.
1974 – The United States Department of Justice files its final anti-trust suit against AT&T Corporation. This suit later leads to the breakup of AT&T and its Bell System.
1977 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel, when he meets Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and speaks before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement.
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 Pakistani special forces to put down the uprising.
1980 – Lake Peigneur drains into an underlying salt deposit. A misplaced Texaco oil probe had been drilled into the Diamond Crystal Salt Mine, causing water to flow down into the mine, eroding the edges of the hole.
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.
1990 – Andrei Chikatilo, one of the Soviet Union's most prolific serial killers, is arrested; he eventually confesses to 56 killings.
1991 – An Azerbaijani MI-8 helicopter carrying 19 peacekeeping mission team with officials and journalists from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan is shot down by Armenian military forces in Khojavend District of Azerbaijan.
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.)
1996 – A fire breaks out in an office building in Hong Kong, killing 41 people and injuring 81.
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.
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.
2015 – Following a hostage siege, at least 19 people are killed in Bamako, Mali.