1271 Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.
1655 The Whitehall Conference ends with the determination that there was no law preventing Jews from re-entering England after the Edict of Expulsion of 1290.
1737 Antonio Stradivari (died), Italian violin maker (born 1644)
1777 The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over British General John Burgoynein the Battle of Saratoga in October.
1787 Francis William Drake (died), English admiral (born 1724)
1829 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (died), French soldier and biologist (born 1744)
1878 John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires is executed in Pennsylvania.
1878 Joseph Stalin (born), Soviet marshal and politician, 4th Premier of the Soviet Union (died 1953)
1879 Paul Klee (born), Swiss-German painter (died 1940)
1886 Ty Cobb (born), American baseball player (died 1961)
1888 Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde.
1892 Premiere performance of The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
1892 Richard Owen (died), English biologist (born 1804)
1898 Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the first officially recognized land speed record of 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h) in a Jeantaud electric car.
1912 The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is announced by Charles Dawson.
1913 Willy Brandt (born), German politician, 4th Chancellor of Germany, Nobel Prize laureate (died 1992)
1916 Betty Grable (born), American actress (died 1973)
1917 The resolution containing the language of the Eighteenth Amendment to enact Prohibition is passed by the United States Congress.
1939 Harold E. Varmus (born), American scientist, Nobel Prize laureate
1946 Steven Spielberg (born), American director
1950 Leonard Maltin (born), American critic and author
1958 Project SCORE, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched.
1963 Brad Pitt (born), American actor and producer
1969 Home Secretary James Callaghan’s motion to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years.
1971 Bobby Jones (died), American golfer (born 1902)
1971 Capitol Reef National Park is established in Utah.
1972 President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.
1975 Theodosius Dobzhansky (died), Ukrainian geneticist and biologist (born 1900)
1987 Larry Wall releases the first version of the Perl programming language.
1997 HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
1999 NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.