1699 - A treaty was signed by Denmark, Russia, Saxony and Poland for the partitioning of the Swedish Empire.
1718 - English pirate Edward Teach (a.k.a. "Blackbeard") was killed during a battle off the coast of North Carolina. British soldiers cornered him aboard his ship and killed him. He was shot and stabbed more than 25 times.
1942 - During World War II, the Battle of Stalingrad began.
1963 - U.S. President Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, TX. Texas Governor John B. Connally was also seriously wounded. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated as the 36th U.S. President.
1972 - U.S. President Richard M. Nixon lifted a ban on American travel to Cuba. The ban had been put in place on February 8, 1963.
1975 - Juan Carlos I was proclaimed King of Spain upon the death of Gen. Francisco Franco.
1977 - Regular passenger service on the Concorde began between New York and Europe.
1986 - An Iranian surface-to-surface missile hit a residential area in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, wounding 20 civilians.
1990 - British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced she would resign.
2005 - Angela Merkel was elected as Germany's first female chancellor.
2005 - Microsoft's XBOX 360 went on sale.