- 1770 – James Bruce discovers what he believes to be the source of the Nile.
- 1812 – Napoleonic Wars: At the Battle of Smoliani, French Marshals Victor and Oudinot are defeated by the Russians under General Peter Wittgenstein.
- 1910 – Aviator Eugene Burton Ely performs the first takeoff from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia, taking off from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.
- 1918 – The Provisional National Assembly of the new republic of Czechoslovakia meets to devise a constitution.
- 1940 – World War II: In England, Coventry is heavily bombed by German Luftwaffe bombers. Coventry Cathedral is almost completely destroyed.
- 1941 – World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sinks due to torpedo damage from the German submarine U-81 sustained on 13 November.
- 1941 – World War II: German troops, aided by local auxiliaries, murder nine thousand residents of the Słonim Ghetto in a single day.
- 1965 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Ia Drang begins: The first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces.
- 1967 – American physicist Theodore Maiman is given a patent for his ruby laser systems, the world’s first laser.
- 1973 – The Athens Polytechnic uprising, a massive demonstration of popular rejection of the Greek military junta of 1967-1974, begins.
- 1978 – France conducts the Aphrodite nuclear test as 25th in the group of 29 1975-1978 French nuclear tests.
- 1990 – After German reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany and Poland sign a treaty confirming the Oder-Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland.
- 2001 – War in Afghanistan: Afghan Northern Alliance fighters take over the capital Kabul.
- 2012 – Israel launches a major military operation in the Gaza Strip, as hostilities with Hamas escalate.
- 1828 – James B. McPherson, American general (d. 1864).
- 1875 – Gregorio del Pilar, Filipino general and politician (d. 1899).
- 1917 – Park Chung-hee, South Korean general and politician, 3rd President of South Korea (d. 1979).
- 1920 – Mary Greyeyes, the first First Nations woman to join the Canadian Armed Forces (d. 2011).
- 1933 – Fred Haise, American pilot, engineer, and astronaut.
- 1954 – Bernard Hinault, French cyclist.
- 1966 – Petra Rossner, German cyclist.
- 1967 – Leo Kunnas, Estonian colonel and author.
- 1991 – Miriam Brouwer, Canadian cyclist.
- 1944 – Trafford Leigh-Mallory, English air marshal (b. 1892).
- 1966 – Peter Baker, English captain, author, and politician (b. 1921).
- 1988 – Haywood S. Hansell, American general (b. 1903).
- 1996 – John A. Cade, American soldier and politician (b. 1929).
- 2006 – Sumner Shapiro, American admiral (b. 1926).
- 2010 – Wes Santee, American runner (b. 1932).
- 2012 – Ahmed Jabari, Palestinian commander (b. 1960).
- 2020 – Peter Florjancic, Slovene inventor and Olympic athlete (b. 1919).