In 1889 North Dakota becomes the 39th and South Dakota becomes the 40th U.S. state.
In 1917 British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour expresses support for a "national home" for the Jews of Palestine in a statement that came to be known as "The Balfour Declaration."
In 1920 KDKA/Pittsburgh goes on the air as America's first commercial radio station, broadcasting returns from the Harding-Cox presidential election.
In 1930 Haile Selassie is crowned emperor of Ethiopia.
In 1936 The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) inaugurates public "high-definition" TV service with a broadcast from Alexandra Palace in north London.
In 1947 Howard Hughes pilots his huge wooden flying boat, known as the "Spruce Goose," for the first and last time over Long Beach Harbor in California. The flight lasts for only a minute.
In 1948 President Truman confounds pollsters and newspapers by being re-elected in a narrow upset over Republican challenger, Thomas E. Dewey.
In 1954 J.S. Thurmond becomes the first Senator elected by a write-in vote in South Carolina.
In 1957 The first titanium mill opens in Toronto, Ohio.
In 1957 Montreal goalie Jacques Plante, hit by a hockey putt, is the first to wear a face mask for protection.
In 1959 Game show contestant, Charles Van Doren admits to a House subcommittee that he had been given the answers in advance when he appeared on NBC's game show "Twenty-One."
In 1962 President John F. Kennedy announces that the Cuban missle bases were being dismantled.
In 1963 South Vietnamese President Ngo Dihn Diem is assassinated in a military coup.
In 1964 CBS purchases the New York Yankees.
In 1976 Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter becomes the first candidate from the Deep South since the Civil War to be elected President of the United States, as he defeats incumbent Gerald R. Ford.
In 1978 The crew of Soyuz 29 returns to Earth aboard Soyuz 31.
In 1979 Black militant Joanne Chesimard escapes from a New Jersey prison, where she had been serving a life sentence for the 1973 slaying of a New Jersey state trooper.
In 1981 President Reagan met at the White House with Jordan's King Hussein, who endorsed a Saudi Arabian peace plan for the Middle East.
In 1983 President Reagan signs a bill establishing a federal holiday on the third Monday in January in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1984 Velma Barfield, convicted of the poisoning death of her boyfriend, is put to death in Raleigh, NC, becoming the first woman executed in the U.S. since 1962.
In 1985 South Africa adopts strict bans on the news media.
In 1986 Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon release American hospital administrator David Jacobsen after holding him for 17 months.
In 1987 Zhao Ziyang is appointed head of China's Communist Party, succeeding his mentor, Deng Xiaoping.
In 1988 A computer worm (virus) is unleashed by a Cornell University graduate student begins replicating, clogging thousands of computers around the country, but causing no real damage.
In 1989 President Bush and congressional Republicans drop their Capitol Hill quest for a cut in the capital gains tax.
In 1990 The White House announces that President Bush would spend Thanksgiving with American GI's in Saudi Arabia.
In 1992 Basketball star Magic Johnson retires again, this time for good, because of fear caused by his HIV infection.
In 1992 Movie comedy producer Hal Roach dies in Los Angeles at age 100.
In 1993 Wildfires in Southern California push through areas of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, burning 35,000 acres and 200 homes.
In 1994 More than 475 people are killed when fire from a derailed fuel train surges on floodwaters in Durunka, Egypt.
In 1994 Paul Hill is convicted of murder for the July 29 shotgun slayings of a Florida abortion doctor and his bodyguard.
In 1995 A man claiming to hold a bomb hijacks a school bus with 11 disabled children aboard and leads police around Miami-area highways before being fatally shot by police.
In 1996 A tentative labor contract is reached between General Motors and the United Auto Workers, averting a national strike.
In 1997 A labor agreement between Amtrak and maintenance workers averts a possible national passenger rail strike.
In 1997 Iraq bars two American weapons experts from entering the country, the second such refusal in a week.
In 1998 Central American officials estimate more than 7,000 people had died in floods and mudslides triggered by Hurricane Mitch.
In 1998 Microsoft chairman Bill Gates testifies at his company's antitrust trial, appearing on videotape inside a federal courtroom in Washington.
In 1999 Xerox repairman Byran Uyesugi opens fire on his co-workers in Honolulu, killing seven of them. (Uyesugi was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.)
In 2000 An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts move into the international space station.
In 2004 President George W. Bush is elected to a second term.