164 B.C.: Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.
1694: Author and philosopher François-Marie Arouet, who wrote "Candide" and other philosophical works, as well as plays and historiographies, under the pen name Voltaire, is born in Paris, France.
1783: In Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes make the first untethered hot air balloon flight.
1789: North Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution and is admitted as the 12th U.S. state. Pictured is the North Carolina state flag. It bears the dates of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (May 20, 1775) and of the Halifax Resolves (April 12, 1776), documents that place North Carolina at the forefront of the American independence movement.
1877: Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph. His phonograph originally recorded sound onto a tinfoil sheet phonograph cylinder, and could both record and reproduce sounds.
1905: Albert Einstein's paper, "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?," is published in the journal "Annalen der Physik." The paper reveals the relationship between energy and mass, which leads to the mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc².
1905: The first game ever played in the tennis tournament eventually known as the Australian Open takes place. The tournament was first known as the Australasian Championships and then became the Australian Championships in 1927 and the Australian Open in 1969. The tournament was initially staged at the Albert Reserve in Melbourne, on the lawns of the Warehouseman's Cricket Club, with Rodney Heath outlasting a field of 17 competitors for the title.
1920: In Dublin, 31 people are killed in a series of events in the Irish War of Independence during a day that becomes known as "Bloody Sunday." The death toll included 14 British informants, 14 Irish civilians and three Irish Republican Army prisoners. Pictured is the Cairo Gang, a team of undercover British agents working and living in Dublin, whom were assassinated by the Irish Republican Army the morning of Nov. 21.
1920: Hall of Fame baseball player Stan Musial, a 24-time All-Star who won seven National League batting championships, three NL MVP Awards and three World Series titles in his 23-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, is born in Donora, Pa. At the time of his retirement in 1963, Musial held or shared 17 major league records, 29 National League records, and nine All-Star Game records.
1922: Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia takes the oath of office, becoming the first female United States senator. Felton was appointed by Georgia Gov. Thomas W. Hardwick to fill a vacancy created by the death of Sen. Thomas E. Watson. Despite former Georgia Supreme Court Justice Walter F. George winning the seat in a special election, George allowed Felton to be sworn in and serve one day before he officially took office, making her the shortest-serving senator in U.S. history. At 87 years old, 9 months and 22 days, she was also the oldest freshman senator to enter the Senate.
1924: Florence Harding, the first lady of the United States from 1921 to 1923 as the wife of President Warren G. Harding, dies of renal failure at age 64 in Marion, Ohio.
1931: The horror movie "Frankenstein," starring Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster, premieres in theaters. The movie, an adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel of the same name, would prove to be a huge critical and box office hit, spawning multiple sequels and becoming one of the most iconic horror films in movie history.
1934: The New York Yankees purchase the contract of Joe DiMaggio from the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League in exchange for $25,000 and five players, with the Seals keeping him for the 1935 season. He would go on to bat .398 with 154 RBIs and 34 home runs, leading the Seals to the 1935 PCL title and being named the PCL's Most Valuable Player, before going on to debut with the Yankees in May 1936. He would help the Yankees to World Series titles in each of his first four seasons with them, en route to a 13-year Hall of Fame career that included a total of nine championships.
1937: Actress Marlo Thomas, best known for her starring role on the TV sitcom "That Girl" (pictured in center) is born in Detroit.
1940: Musician and singer-songwriter Dr. John, who scored a top-20 hit in 1973 with the funk-flavored "Right Place Wrong Time," is born Malcolm John Rebennack Jr. in New Orleans, La. He has recorded more than 20 albums and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
1942: The Looney Tunes cartoon character Tweety Bird debuts in the animated short "Tale of Two Kitties." In this first cartoon, which pitted him against two hungry cats named Babbit and Catstello (based on the famous comedians Abbott and Costello), Tweety was not originally called Tweety, but referred to on the original model sheet as Orson. He also was lacking his trademark yellow feathers, instead appearing as a newborn baby bird. The second Tweety short, "Birdy and the Beast," bestowed the baby bird with his new name.
1944: Actor and film director Harold Ramis, best known for his roles in "Ghostbusters" and "Stripes," both of which he co-wrote, and for directing movies such as "Caddyshack," "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This," is born in Chicago.
1944: Basketball Hall of Famer Earl Monroe, whose flamboyant dribbling, passing, and play-making earned him the nickname "Earl the Pearl," is born in Philadelphia, Pa. Monroe won NBA Rookie of the Year in 1968 with the Baltimore Bullets and won an NBA championship in 1973 with the New York Knicks.
1945: Actress Goldie Hawn, who got her start on the sketch comedy show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" before finding fame with movie roles in "Private Benjamin," "Foul Play" and "Shampoo," is born in Washington, D.C. Hawn, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for 1968's "Cactus Flower," is also the mother of Academy Award-nominated actress Kate Hudson and the long-time partner of fellow actor Kurt Russell.
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. The jawbone was found to be that of a modern ape -- most likely an orangutan -- that had been treated with chemicals to make it look as though it had been lying in the ground for hundreds of centuries. The cap of the skull was still thought to be a genuine fossil, but far more recent than originally believed.
1958: Hall of Fame baseball player Mel Ott, who played his entire career for the New York Giants (1926–1947) and was the first National League player to surpass 500 home runs, dies in a car accident at the age of 49 in New Orleans, La.
1959: Disc jockey Alan Freed, who popularized the term "rock and roll" and music of that style, is fired from WABC-AM radio for refusing to deny allegations that he had participated in the payola scandal.
1964: The upper deck of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, a double-decked suspension bridge connecting the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City, opens to traffic. At the time it is the world's longest suspension bridge.
1965: Singer-songwriter Björk, known for her eclectic music styles and fashion statements, and her top-10 1990 UK hits "It's Oh So Quiet," "Army of Me" and "Hyperballad," is born in Reykjavík, Iceland.
1966: Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, who was a six-time Pro Bowl selection during his 12-year career with the Dallas Cowboys, is born in West Covina, Calif. Aikman would lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories and be the Super Bowl XXVII MVP.
1969: The first permanent link on the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the precursor to the Internet, is established between UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute.
1969: Baseball player Ken Griffey Jr., one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history, is born in Donora, Pa. A 13-time All-Star who spent most of his 22-year career with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, his 630 home runs rank as the sixth-most in MLB history.
1971: Michael Strahan, a former National Football League defensive end who played his entire career for the New York Giants, is born in Houston, Texas. Strahan set the record for the most sacks in a single season during the 2002 season and won a Super Bowl in his final year, the 2007-08 season.
1973: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon's attorney, Fred Buzhardt, announces the presence of an 18-and-a-half-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to the Watergate case. In grand jury testimony in 1974, Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, would admit she accidentally erased five minutes of the tape but insists that she was not responsible for the remaining 13 minutes of static. Here Woods demonstrates how she erased the tape by stretching to simultaneously press controls several feet apart.
1975: David Bowie's single "Golden Years" is released. The song would reach No. 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and stay there for 16 weeks. It also reached No. 8 in the United Kingdom.
1976: The boxing drama "Rocky," starring Sylvester Stallone, Burgess Meredith, Talia Shire, Burt Young and Carl Weathers, premieres in New York City. The movie would make more than $225 million as the highest grossing film of 1976 and win three Oscars, including Best Picture.
1980: A deadly fire breaks out at the MGM Grand Hotel in Paradise, Nevada (now Bally's Las Vegas). The fire killed 87 people, most through smoke inhalation, and injured more than 650 in the worst disaster in Nevada history.
1980: An estimated 83 million viewers tune in to find out "who shot J.R." on the prime-time soap opera "Dallas." The character J.R. Ewing, played by Larry Hagman (pictured), had been shot in a season-ending murder attempt in the March 21, 1980, "A House Divided" episode. Viewers had to wait all summer to find out if J.R. would survive and who shot him in an episode titled "Who Done It?" It's revealed that Kristin Shepard, J.R.'s mistress, played by Mary Crosby, was the character that fired the gun. "Who Done It?" was, at the time, the highest rated television episode in U.S. history.
1981: Olivia Newton-John's single "Physical" goes No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stays there for 10 weeks.
1984: Actress Jena Malone, known for movies such as "Donnie Darko," "Saved!," "Pride & Prejudice," "The Ruins" and "Sucker Punch," is born in Sparks, Nev.
1986: National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary, Fawn Hall, start to shred documents implicating them in the sale of weapons to Iran and channeling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
1986: The animated movie "An American Tail" premieres in theaters. The movie, which tells the story of young Russian mouse Fievel Mouskewitz, who gets separated from his family while immigrating to America, would become the highest grossing non-Disney produced animated feature, drawing more than $47 million in the United States and $84 million worldwide.
1987: Actress Demi Moore marries actor Bruce Willis. The couple, seen here in 1992, would end up separating in June 1998 and filing for divorce on Oct. 18, 2000.
1993: Actor and director Bill Bixby, best known for portraying The Hulk's alter ego Dr. David Banner on the TV series "The Incredible Hulk," dies of complications from prostate cancer at the age of 59 in Century City, Calif. He also starred in the TV sitcoms "My Favorite Martian" and "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," the TV miniseries "Rich Man, Poor Man," and movies such as "The Apple Dumpling Gang" and "Clambake" during his career. Bixby, who first tried his hand at directing with episodes of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," directed episodes of many TV series in the 1970s through 1990s, finishing his career by directing 30 episodes during the second and third seasons of the sitcom "Blossom."
1995: The Dayton Peace Agreement is initialed at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, ending three and a half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The agreement is formally ratified in Paris, France, on Dec. 14, 1995. Here, Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic, Bosnia and Herzegovina President Alija Izetbegovic and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman initial the accord.
1995: The "Beatles Anthology 1" sets a first-day sales record, selling 450,000 units. It would also become the first Beatles album to officially enter the Billboard 200 album chart straight at No. 1 with 855,473 copies sold its first week.
1995: The Dow Jones closes above 5,000 for the first time, closing at 5,023.55.
1995: Bruce Springsteen's 13th album, "The Ghost of Tom Joad," is released. While generally met with favorable reviews, the album reached only No. 11 on the Billboard 200 chart, breaking a string of eight consecutive top five studio albums in the U.S for Springsteen.
2000: The Florida Supreme Court grants Al Gore's request to keep the presidential recounts going, extending the deadline for amended returns from hand recounts in four Florida counties (Broward, Miami Dade, Palm Beach, and Volusia) to Nov. 26. The decision would later be vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court.
2003: Record producer Phil Spector is charged in the Feb. 3, 2003, shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his mansion in Alhambra, Calif. Spector pleaded innocent and would remain free on $1 million bail while awaiting trial. Spector's first trial would end in a mistrial because of a hung jury in September 2007, but he would be found guilty in 2009 and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.
2004: The NBA suspends Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers for the rest of the season following a Nov. 19 brawl among players and fans during a game in Auburn Hills, Mich., between the Pacers and the home team Detroit Pistons. The suspension for Artest, who went into the stands after a fan during the incident, would end up lasting 86 games, the longest suspension for an on-court incident in NBA history.
2007: Officials announce the recall of more than a half-million pieces of Chinese-made children's jewelry contaminated with lead.
2010: Jimmie Johnson becomes the first driver ever to win five straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships after clinching the title with a second-place finish at the season-ending Ford 400 race in Homestead, Fla.