- 1782 - American Revolutionary War: Treaty of Paris (1783) — In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris).
- 1803 - In New Orleans, Louisiana, Spanish representatives officially transfer Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, France transfers the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.
- 1853 - Crimean War: Battle of Sinop — The Imperial Russian Navy under Pavel Nakhimov destroys the Ottoman fleet under Osman Pasha at Sinop, a sea port in northern Turkey.
- 1864 - American Civil War: Battle of Franklin — The Army of Tennessee led by General John Bell Hood mounts a dramatically unsuccessful frontal assault on Union positions commanded by John McAllister Schofield around Franklin, Tennessee (Hood lost six generals and almost a third of his troops).
- 1939 - Winter War: Soviet forces cross the Finnish border in several places and bomb Helsinki and several other Finnish cities, starting the war.
- 1962 - The United Nations General Assembly elects U Thant of Burma as its third UN Secretary-General.
- 1966 - American Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell gives a major speech at Brown University 
- 1967 - The People's Republic of South Yemen becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
- 1974 - Lucy (Australopithecus) is discovered by Donald Johanson, Maurice Taieb, Yves Coppens and Tim White in the Middle Awash of Ethiopia's Afar Depression.
- 1999 - In Seattle, Washington, protests against the WTO meeting by anti-globalization protesters catch police unprepared and force the cancellation of opening ceremonies.