- 1666 – The first experimental blood transfusion took place in Britain, utilizing two dogs.
- 1770 – Scottish explorer James Bruce discovered the source of the Blue Nile on Lake Tana in northwest Ethiopia.
- 1851 – Moby Dick Makes its Debut in the United States. The epic novel by Herman Melville about Captain Ahab’s quest to find and kill Moby Dick, a white whale had released in the UK in October under the name The Whale. Considered to be one of the best fictional works written in recent history, the book did not sell many copies after its launch or during Melville’s lifetime.
- 1889 – Newspaper reporter Nellie Bly set out from New York to beat the record of Jules Verne’s imaginary hero Phileas Fogg, who traveled around the world in 80 days. Bly (pen name for Elizabeth Cochrane) returned 72 days later to a tumultuous welcome in New York.
- 1969 – Apollo 12 launched. The crew of the NASA’s second manned mission to the Moon included Commander Charles Conrad, Jr. Richard F. Gordon, Jr. and Alan L. Bean. It landed on the Moon on November 19 and was the first spacecraft to take a color TV camera to the Moon.
- 1971 – Mariner 9 reaches Mars and becomes the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.
- 1972 – The Dow Jones Industrial average closes above 1000 for the first time.
- 1993 – Don Shula gets the most wins of any coach in NFL history.
- 1993 – Puerto Rico votes again against becoming the 51st United State.
- 1994 – The first paying passengers traveled on the new rail service through the Channel Tunnel linking England and France.
- 2010 – Sebastian Vettel wins the Formula One World Drivers’ Champion. At 23 years old, the German competitive race driver became the youngest person to win the World Championship in Formula One.
- 1765 – Robert Fulton (Invented the Steamboat)
- 1840 – Claude Monet (French Painter)
- 1889 – Jawaharlai Nehru (Prime Minister of India)
- 1898 – Benjamin Fondane (Romanian/French poet, critic, philosopher)
- 1900 – American composer Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was born in Brooklyn, New York (He created a quintessential American music style in his ballets, film scores, and orchestral works including Fanfare for the Common Man, Rodeo, and Appalachian Spring for which he won a Pulitzer Prize (His film score for The Heiress won an Oscar.
- 1917 – Park Chung-hee (Korean general, politician, 3rd President of South Korea)
- 1935 – Hussein bin Talal (King of Jordan)
- 1948 – Prince Charles (Prince of Whales)
- 1954 – Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State for GW Bush)
- 1966 – Curt Schilling (Baseball Pitcher)
- 1971 – Adam Gilchrist (Australian cricketer)
- 565 – Justinian I (Byzantine emperor)
- 1831 – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (German philosopher)
- 1915 – Booker T (Washington (American author, educator)
- 1921 – Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil.
- 1988 – Haywood S (Hansell (American general officer)