1620: Plymouth Colony settlers sign the Mayflower Compact while the Mayflower was anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor within the hook at the northern tip of Cape Cod. The compact, signed by most of the adult men on the boat, was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. This bas relief in Provincetown, Mass., shows the signing taking place. However, the date would be Nov. 21 by our modern Gregorian calendar.
1750: The F.H.C. Society, also known as the Flat Hat Club, is formed at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., becoming the first college fraternity. Seen here is the college's logo.
1821: Writer and philosopher Fyodor Dostoyevsky, best known for his novels "Crime and Punishment," "The Idiot" and "The Brothers Karamazov," is born in Moscow, Russian Empire.
1831: Escaped slave Nat Turner is hanged in Jerusalem, Va., more than two months after inciting the bloodiest slave rebellion in United States history. The Aug. 21, 1831, rebellion resulted in 60 white deaths and at least 100 black deaths.
1863: Paul Signac, the neo-impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the pointillist style, is born in Paris, France. Signac is seen here in Seurat's portrait of him.
1885: Gen. George Smith Patton Jr., best known for his leadership during World War II, is born in San Gabriel, Calif. Patton, who developed a reputation for eccentricity and for sometimes-controversial gruff outspokenness, commanded corps and armies during World War II in North Africa, Sicily and the European Theater of Operations. In 1944, he assumed command of the U.S. Third Army, which under his leadership advanced farther, captured more enemy prisoners, and liberated more territory in less time than any other army in history. He was also the focus of the epic 1970 Academy Award-winning film "Patton," with the title role played by George C. Scott. He died of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 60 on Dec. 21, 1945, in Heidelberg, Germany, 12 days after suffering a cervical spinal cord injury in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.
1887: Four anarchists convicted of conspiracy in the May 4, 1886, bombing in Chicago that became known as the "Haymarket affair," are executed. August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer and George Engel were among eight convicted in the attack at a labor demonstration that left seven police officers dead. At least four civilians were killed in the ensuing gunfire after the bombing. Seven of the defendants (pictured) had been sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison, but two of the sentences were commuted to life in prison by Illinois Gov. Richard J. Oglesby and another defendant committed suicide in jail before he could be executed. In 1893, newly elected Gov. John Peter Altgeld pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the trial.
1889: The State of Washington is admitted as the 42nd state of the United States.
1911: In what became known as the Great Blue Norther of November 11, 1911, many Midwestern U.S. cities break their record highs and lows on the same day as a strong cold front rolls through. Kansas City saw temperatures go from a record high of 76 degrees in the morning to 11 degrees by midnight. Springfield, Mo., and Oklahoma City also saw record-breaking temperature swings.
1918: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in the forest of Compiègne, France, unofficially bringing World War I to an end. The fighting ended at 11 a.m., (the 11th hour in the 11th month on the 11th day). The war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.
1921: The Tomb of the Unknowns, containing the remains of an unidentified American serviceman from World War I, is dedicated by U.S. President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery. The original tomb, pictured here in 1922, was replaced in 1931 by the present marble tomb.
1922: Author Kurt Vonnegut, best known for novels such as "Cat's Cradle," "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Breakfast of Champions," is born Indianapolis, Ind. He died at the age of 84 on April 11, 2007, after falling down a flight of stairs in his home and suffering massive head trauma.
1925: Comedian and actor Jonathan Winters, best known for roles on television shows including "The Steve Allen Show," "Mork and Mindy" and "Hee Haw" and in movies including "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," is born in Bellbrook, Ohio. Winters, who died at age 87 on April 11, 2013, was especially known for his improv work that inspired many a contemporary stand-up comic including Robin Williams, Jim Carrey and others.
1926: The United States Numbered Highway System, including U.S. Route 66, is established.
1938: Mary Mallon (foreground), better known as "Typhoid Mary," the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, dies at age 69 of pneumonia. She was presumed to have infected some 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook before she was permanently put into quarantine in 1915. She had earlier been quarantined between 1907 and 1910, but was released when she promised to abandon working as a cook and to take reasonable steps to prevent transmitting typhoid to others. Although she was given a job as a laundress, she soon changed her name and returned to cooking, leading to her second and final stint in quarantine.
1940: An unexpected blizzard that became known as the "Armistice Day Blizzard" kills at least 144 in the U.S. Midwest. The storm left a path of devastation 1,000 miles wide through the country and generated snowdrifts up to 20 feet tall. It followed an unseasonably warm morning and went largely undetected by meteorologists.
1951: The movie musical "An American in Paris," starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, premieres in theaters. The movie featured music is by George Gershwin, with lyrics by his brother Ira, and won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, out of eight total nominations.
1951: Marc Summers, the TV personality and producer best known for hosting the Nickelodeon game show "Double Dare" and the Food Network show "Unwrapped," is born Marc Berkowitz in Indianapolis, Ind.
1960: Actor and director Stanley Tucci, best known for movies such as "Big Night," "The Pelican Brief," "Beethoven," "Road to Perdition," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Julie & Julia" and "The Hunger Games," is born in Peekskill, N.Y.
1962: Actress Demi Moore, best known for movies like "St. Elmo's Fire," "Ghost, "A Few Good Men," "Indecent Proposal" and "Disclosure," is born Demetria Gene Guynes in Roswell, N.M.
1964: Actress Calista Flockhart, best known for her roles on the TV series "Ally McBeal" and "Brothers & Sisters," is born in Freeport, Ill.
1966: NASA launches Gemini 12, the 10th and final manned flight of the Gemini program. Buzz Aldrin (left), part of a two-man crew with Jim Lovell (right), set an extra-vehicular activity record of five hours and 30 minutes for one space walk and two stand-up exercises, demonstrating solutions to previous EVA problems.
1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono release the album "Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins" featuring a cover photo of the pair naked. Due to the nudity on the album cover, it came packaged in a plain brown bag. While the album, which features avant garde musical experimentation, failed to chart in the United Kingdom, it did reach No. 124 in the United States.
1969: TV host, fashion designer and author Carson Kressley, best known for the TV shows "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "How to Look Good Naked," is born in Lehigh County, Pa.
1972: The Dow Jones industrial average moves above 1,000 for the first time.
1974: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, an Oscar-nominee for "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "The Aviator" and "Blood Diamond," is born in Los Angeles, Calif. DiCaprio has also starred in movies such as "Romeo + Juliet," "Titanic," "Gangs of New York," "Catch Me If You Can," "The Departed," "Inception" and "The Great Gatsby."
1976: Alexander Calder, the American sculptor and painter best known as the originator of the mobile as an art form, dies at age 78 in New York City. Calder began making mobiles while living abroad in Paris in the early 1930s.
1993: Walt Disney Co. announces plans to build "Disney's America," a U.S. history theme park in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., less than four miles from Manassas National Battlefield Park. The plan was halted later due to local opposition.
1994: The movie adaptation of Anne Rice's best-selling novel "Interview with the Vampire" opens in theaters. Starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea and Christian Slater, the movie opened at No. 1 at the box office with $36.4 million on its way to a worldwide gross of $224 million.
2000: A total of 155 skiers and snowboarders die when an ascending train catches fire in an alpine tunnel in Kaprun, Austria. The train and the tunnel were never re-opened after the disaster and it was replaced by a gondola lift.
2004: Eight days after lapsing into a coma Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat dies at age 75 in a military hospital in a Paris suburb from what French doctors called a massive hemorrhagic stroke. French doctors also said that Arafat suffered from a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, although it is inconclusive what brought about the condition. Mahmoud Abbas was elected chairman of the PLO minutes after Arafat's death was officially announced.
2005: The Madonna album "Confessions on a Dance Floor" is released. The album would earn the singer a Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album and peaked at No. 1 in 40 countries, earning a place in the "2007 Guinness Book of World Records" as the album topping the charts in most countries. In the United States, it debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, becoming her sixth No. 1 album on the chart and the third consecutive album to debut at the top, following 2000's "Music" and 2003's "American Life."
2008: Country singer-songwriter Taylor Swift's sophomore album "Fearless" is released. Based off the success of the crossover pop hits "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me," the album became the best-selling album of 2009 and won four Grammy Awards, with Swift becoming the youngest ever Album of the Year winner.
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