2005: The Venus Express mission of the European Space Agency is launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The probe arrived at Venus in April 2006 and has been continuously sending back science data from its polar orbit around the planet since.
2004: Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson, best known for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series of books, dies of a heart attack at the age of 50 in Stockholm, Sweden.
2004: Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens wins his record seventh Cy Young Award.
2003: Actor Art Carney, best known for playing Ed Norton on the TV sitcom "The Honeymooners," and for winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in 1974's "Harry and Tonto," dies in his sleep of natural causes at the age of 85 in Chester, Connecticut.
1993: Micheal Williams, a guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves, sets the NBA record for most consecutive free throws, hitting his 97th in a row before missing his next one. Williams broke a record set by Basketball Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy, who hit 78 straight in 1980-81.
1989: Communist-controlled East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall, allowing its citizens to travel to West Germany for the first time since 1961. Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. This key event would lead to the eventual reunification of East and West Germany, and fall of communism in eastern Europe including Russia.
1985: Garry Kasparov, 22, of the Soviet Union becomes the youngest World Chess Champion by beating fellow Soviet Anatoly Karpov 13-11 in a best-of-24-games series in Moscow.
1984: The horror movie "A Nightmare on Elm Street" opens in limited release in theaters. The film proved to be an instant success, earning back its reported $1.8 million budget in its first week after its Nov. 16 wide release on the way to grossing $25.5 million at the U.S. box office. It would also spawn six direct sequels, as well as a crossover with the "Friday the 13th" horror franchise, 2003's "Freddy vs. Jason," and a remake in 2010.
1982: Sugar Ray Leonard retires from boxing for the first time. Leonard would come out of retirement several more times since that first announcement, fighting a total of seven more fights between 1984 and 1997, before retiring for good.
1973: The album "Piano Man" is released by Billy Joel. The album, Joel's first with Columbia Records and second overall, would prove to be his breakthrough album, peaking at No. 27 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart and selling more than 4 million copies. The single "Piano Man," a fictionalized retelling of Joel's days as a lounge singer in Los Angeles, would peak at No. 25 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart and at No. 4 on the Adult Contemporary singles chart.
1973: Singer and actor Nick Lachey, who rose to fame as a member of the boy band 98 Degrees and later starred in the reality television series "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica" with his then-wife, Jessica Simpson, is born Harlan, Kentucky. He's seen here with his second wife, actress and former Miss Teen USA Vanessa Minnillo, who also shares his birthday, but was born in 1980.
1972: Actor Eric Dane, best known for the TV series "Grey's Anatomy" and movies like "Marley & Me," "Valentine's Day" and "Burlesque," is born in San Francisco, California. He's seen here with his wife, actress Rebecca Gayheart.
1970: Charles de Gaulle, French military commander, politician and former president of France, dies from a ruptured blood vessel at the age of 79 in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France.
1970: Professional wrestler and musician Chris Jericho, a six-time WWE world champion, is born under the birth name Christopher Keith Irvine in Manhasset, New York. He's seen here at Wrestlemania 28 in 2012.
1967: NASA launches the unmanned Apollo 4 test spacecraft atop the first Saturn V rocket from Cape Kennedy, Florida. The Saturn V would be the launch vehicle that was ultimately used by the Apollo program to send the first astronauts to the moon. Apollo 4 flew without a crew, and was an "all-up test," meaning all rocket stages and spacecraft would be fully functional on the initial flight, a first for NASA.
1967: The first issue of Rolling Stone magazine is published in San Francisco. In that first edition, which featured John Lennon on the cover, founder and chief editor Jann Wenner wrote that Rolling Stone "is not just about the music, but about the things and attitudes that music embraces."
1966: John Lennon meets Yoko Ono at a London art gallery. The two are seen here in 1969, a little more than a week after their wedding.
1965: The biggest electricity grid failure in U.S. history causes a 13-hour blackout in northeast America and parts of Canada. Due to a transmission line failing between Niagra Falls and New York City, almost an entire grid failed, affecting 80,000 square miles including New York City and New England, and 30 million people. In the subways of New York, 800,000 people were trapped. By midnight, more than 90 percent of subway passengers had been freed. By 4:44 a.m. the next day, power was restored to Manhattan.
1961: The Professional Golfers' Association eliminates its "Caucasians only" rule, officially integrating the PGA Tour.
1960: Robert McNamara, who helped rebuild Ford Motor Company after World War II, is named president of the company, the first non-Ford to serve in that post. A month later, he would quit to join the newly-elected John F. Kennedy's administration as the secretary of defense.
1953: Welsh poet and author Dylan Thomas, whose best-known works include the poems "Do not go gentle into that good night" and "And death shall have no dominion," dies at the age of 39 in New York City after falling into a coma four days earlier. At the post-mortem, the pathologist found three causes of death: pneumonia, brain swelling and a fatty liver.
1952: Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader and first president of the state of Israel, dies of respiratory inflammation at age 77 in Rehovot, Israel. He was elected on Feb. 1, 1949, and served until his death. He's seen here, second from right, with Albert Einstein in 1921.
1951: Lou Ferrigno, bodybuilder and star of the TV show "The Incredible Hulk," is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1944: The Red Cross wins the Nobel Peace Prize for its work during World War II. The organization had also won the prize in 1917 for its work in World War I and would earn it again in 1963 during the year of its centenary.
1939: The film "Ninotchka," Greta Garbo's first full comedy and her penultimate film, premieres in theaters. The movie would receive four Academy Award nominations, for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Original Story and Best Screenplay.
1938: Nazi troops and sympathizers destroy and loot 7,500 Jewish businesses, burn 267 synagogues, kill 91 Jews, and round up more than 25,000 Jewish men throughout Germany and parts of Austria in an event that became known as Kristallnacht or "Night of Broken Glass." The pretext for the attacks was the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, a German-born Polish Jew, in Paris, France. Kristallnacht was followed by further economic and political persecution of Jews, and is viewed by historians as the beginning of the Final Solution and the Holocaust.
1936: Singer-songwriter Mary Travers (right), a member of the folk music group Peter, Paul and Mary, is born in Louisville, Kentucky. Peter, Paul and Mary were one of the most successful folk-singing groups of the 1960s, with hit songs like "If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)," "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" and "Blowin' in the Wind." Travers died Sept. 16, 2009, at age 72 from complications arising from chemotherapy for leukemia.
1935: Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Bob Gibson, who won two World Series and two Cy Young Awards over his 17 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, is born in Omaha, Nebraska.
1934: Astronomer and author Carl Sagan, known for his popular science books, including the novel "Contact," and for the award-winning 1980 television series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," which he narrated and co-wrote, is born in Brooklyn, New York. He died of pneumonia at the age of 62 on Dec. 20, 1996.
1922: Actress and singer Dorothy Dandridge, the first black woman to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, which she earned for 1954's "Carmen Jones," is born in Cleveland, Ohio. She died at age 42 on Sept. 8, 1965, with the cause of death reported as either an accidental overdose of antidepressants or an embolism. Dandridge also starred in movies such as "Bright Road," "Porgy and Bess," "Island in the Sun" and "The Decks Ran Red."
1918: Having lost the support of his army, Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II announces he would abdicate, becoming the last German emperor. He then fled into exile in the Netherlands.
1918: Spiro Agnew, who would become the 39th vice president of the United States under President Richard Nixon in 1969, is born in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1973, Agnew would resign after pleading no contest to a federal income tax evasion charge, making him the only vice president in United States history to resign because of criminal charges. Agnew died of leukemia at age 77 on Sept. 17, 1996.
1914: Actress Hedy Lamarr, a major contract star of MGM's "Golden Age," is born under the birth name Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. Some of her best-known movies include "Algiers," "Comrade X," "Boom Town," "White Cargo," "Ziegfeld Girl" and "Samson and Delilah." She died atnage 85 on Jan. 19, 2000, from heart failure, chronic valvular heart disease and arteriosclerotic heart disease.
1913: The Great Lakes Storm of 1913, the most destructive natural disaster ever to hit the lakes, destroys 19 ships and kills more than 250 people. The blizzard with hurricane-force winds produced waves over 35 feet high and whiteout snowsqualls.
1911: American illustrator and author Howard Pyle, who primarily worked on books for young people, dies of a sudden kidney infection at the age of 58 in Florence, Italy. His 1883 classic publication "The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood" remains in print, and his other books, frequently with medieval European settings, include a four-volume set on King Arthur. He is also well known for his illustrations of pirates, and is credited with creating the now stereotypical modern image of pirate dress.
1906: Theodore Roosevelt (center, in white suit) becomes the first sitting president of the United States to make an official trip outside the country, doing so to inspect progress on the Panama Canal.
1888: Jack the Ripper kills Mary Jane Kelly, his last known victim. Her mutilated body was discovered lying on the bed in the single room where she lived. Her throat had been severed down to the spine, her abdomen virtually emptied of its organs and her heart was missing.
1887: The United States takes possession of Pearl Harbor from the Hawaii Kingdom, allowing the U.S. Navy to build a coaling and repair station at the harbor.
1872: The Great Boston Fire of 1872 consumes about 65 acres of the city's downtown, destroying 776 buildings and much of the financial district. The fire, which still ranks as one of the most costly fire-related property losses in American history, caused $73.5 million in damage and killed at least 30 people.
1620: Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. However, the date would be Nov. 19 by our modern Gregorian calendar.