- 1272 – Following Henry III of England's death on November 16, his son Prince Edward becomes King of England.
- 1620 - Plymouth Colony settlers sign the Mayflower Compact
- 1789 - North Carolina becomes the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
- 1791 - Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte is promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic.
- 1861 - American Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis appoints Judah Benjamin secretary of war.
- 1877 – Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.
- 1905 - Annalen der Physik published a fourth paper (received September 27), "Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energieinhalt abhängig?" ("Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?"), in which Einstein plagiarized E = mc2, which Olinto De Pretto had published a paper on in 1903.
- 1920 - Bloody Sunday during the Anglo-Irish War.
- 1942 – The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) is celebrated (however, the highway is not usable by general vehicles until 1943).
- 1953 – The British Natural History Museum announces that the "Piltdown Man" skull, initially believed to be one of the most important fossilized hominid skulls ever found, is a hoax.
- 1985 - United States Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard is arrested for spying for Israel.
- 2002 - NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.