1895:, Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) signed his last will and testament in Paris, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after his death.
1924: The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in New York City.
2001: The Hubble Space Telescope discovered a hydrogen atmosphere on the extrasolar planet Osiris, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.
2005: The first partial human face transplant was completed in Amiens, France.
1520: Three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan became the first European ships to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, after navigating through a strait at the southern end of South America (now known as the Straits of Magellan).
1929: U.S. Navy Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd (1885-1957) led the first expedition to fly over the South Pole.
1963: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) established the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
3340 BC: The earliest known record of a solar eclipse was carved on a stone in present-day Ireland.
1998: Exxon and Mobil merged in a $73.7 billion deal, creating ExxonMobil, the world’s largest company.
2004: Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings (born 1970) of Salt Lake City, Utah, finally lost after 74 consecutive episodes, leaving him with $2,520,700, the biggest game show winnings in TV history.
2007: Stunt motorcyclist Evel Knievel, a native of Butte, Mont., died in Clearwater, Fla., at age 69.
1640: Portugal and Spain ended the 60-year Iberian Union and became separate countries again.
1862: President Abraham Lincoln delivered his State of the Union Address, in which he reaffirmed the need to end slavery as ordered 10 weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.
2001: Captain Bill Compton (age unknown) landed Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, at St. Louis International Airport, bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations, after TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.
1763: The first synagogue in what would become the United States opened in Newport, Rhode Island.
1775: The USS Alfred became the first ship to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes), hoisted by Capt. John Paul Jones (1747-1792).
1804: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) crowned himself Emperor of France at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, to become the first French Emperor in 1,000 years.
1956: Fidel Castro (born 1926), Che Guevara (1928-1967) and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembarked in Cuba to initiate the Cuban Revolution.
1961: Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared in a nationally broadcast speech that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt communism.
1991: Canada and Poland became the first nations to recognize the independence of Ukraine from the Soviet Union.
2001: Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
1818: Illinois becomes the 21st U.S. state.
1898: The Duquesne Country and Athletic Club defeated an all-star collection of early football players 16-0, in what is considered to be the first all-star game in professional American football.
1904: Jupiter’s moon Himalia was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at University of California’s Lick Observatory near San Jose, Calif.
1910: Modern neon lighting was first demonstrated by Georges Claude (1870-1960) at the Paris Motor Show.
1992: A test engineer for Sema Group in Paris, France, used a personal computer to send the world’s first text message via the Vodafone network to the phone of a colleague.
1997: The first international treaty banning the manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines was signed in Ottawa, Canada, by representatives of 121 countries. (The United States, People’s Republic of China, and Russia did not sign.)
1999: NASA lost radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander as the spacecraft entered the Red Planet’s thin atmosphere. Engineers speculate that the craft struck the Martian surface at high velocity and was destroyed.
2005: XCOR Aerospace of Mojave, Calif., made the first manned rocket aircraft delivery of U.S. Mail, from Mojave to California City, Calif., both in Kern County.