1528: Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in Texas when he and a crew of 80 to 90 men are shipwrecked on what was probably Galveston Island.
1789: Pope Pius VI appoints Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States.
1814: Adolphe Sax, the musical instrument designer and musician who invented the saxophone, is born in Dinant, Wallonia, Belgium.
1854: Composer John Philip Sousa, known particularly for American military and patriotic marches, including "Semper Fidelis" (the official march of the U.S. Marine Corps) and "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (the National March of the United States of America), is born in Washington, D.C.
1860: Abraham Lincoln is elected to be the 16th president of the United States. Questions surrounding the expansion of slavery and the rights of slave owners had broken the Democratic Party into Northern and Southern factions, and a new Constitutional Union Party appeared, thus four candidates split the vote, with Republican Lincoln earning 39.8 percent of the vote for 180 electoral votes, compared to 29.5 percent for Democratic candidate Stephen A. Douglas, 18.1 percent for Southern Democrat John C. Breckenridge and 12.6 percent for Constitutional Union candidate John Bell. Before Lincoln's inauguration, seven Southern states seceded and formed the Confederacy, a precursor to the Civil War.
1861: Jefferson Davis, a former U.S. secretary of war and U.S. senator, is elected president of the Confederate States of America. He ran without opposition, and the election simply confirmed the decision that had been made by the Confederate Congress earlier in the year.
1861: James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball, is born in Ramsay Township (now part of Mississippi Mills, Ontario, Canada).
1865: The CSS Shenandoah is the last Confederate combat unit to surrender after circumnavigating the globe on a cruise on which it sank or captured 38 vessels. The ship is notable for firing the last shot of the American Civil War, at a whaler in waters off the Aleutian Islands.
1869: In New Brunswick, N.J., Rutgers College defeats Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey), 6-4, in the first official intercollegiate American football game. The game little resembled what we know today as American football, as there was no running with the ball, each team included 25 players and the ball was perfectly spherical. A week later, the two teams met again in a rematch, this time with Princeton winning 8-0.
1887: Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Walter Johnson, one of the most celebrated and dominating players in baseball history, is born in Humboldt, Kan. Johnson, who played his entire 21-year career for the Washington Senators, set several pitching records, some of which remain unbroken today. He still leads in all-time career shutouts with 110, is second in wins with 417 and fourth in complete games with 531. He also once held the career record in strikeouts with 3,508 and was the only player in the 3,000 strikeout club for more than 50 years until Bob Gibson joined him in 1974.
1888: U.S. Sen. Benjamin Harrison, a Republican from Indiana, beats President Grover Cleveland in his re-election bid, 233 electoral votes to 168. Despite losing the electoral vote, Democratic candidate Cleveland actually received slightly more popular votes in the election, garnering 48.6 percent of the vote to Harrison's 47.8 percent, making it the third of only four U.S. presidential elections in which the winner of the electoral college did not win the popular vote. The other three came in 1824, 1876 and 2000.
1893: Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, whose works are among the most popular concert and theatrical music in the classical repertoire, dies at the age of 53 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
1900: U.S. President William McKinley is re-elected, with the Republican incumbent beating William Jennings Bryan in a rematch of the 1896 election. McKinley garnered 51.6 percent of the vote and 292 electoral votes compared to Bryan's 45.5 percent and 155. McKinley would die following an assassination attempt in September 1901 less than a year into his second term as president and be succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.
1903: Actress June Marlowe, who appeared in six "Our Gang" short subjects as the lovely schoolteacher Miss Crabtree, is born in St. Cloud, Minn.
1928: Republican candidate Herbert Hoover wins the U.S. presidential election in a landslide victory over Democrat Alfred E. Smith. Hoover received 58.2 percent of the vote and 444 electoral votes compared to Smith's 40.8 percent and 87 electoral votes.
1928: Jacob Schick, who founded the Schick Dry Shaver, Inc., razor company, patents the first electric razor. His first electric razor required the use of two hands, one to hold the bulky engine, while the other hand held the whirling razor attached to the motor by a dangling cord.
1931: Film director Mike Nichols, best known for directing movies such as "The Graduate" (for which he won an Oscar for Best Director), "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," "Silkwood," "Working Girl" and "Angels in America," is born under the birth name Michael Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin, Germany.
1935: Electrical engineer and inventor Edwin H. Armstrong announces his development of FM broadcasting. Rather than varying ("modulating") the amplitude of a radio wave to encode an audio signal, the new method varied the frequency. FM enabled the transmission and reception of a wider range of audio frequencies, as well as audio free of static, a common problem in AM radio.
1944: Plutonium is first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility in Washington state, home to the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world. Plutonium manufactured at the site would be used in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site in New Mexico, and in "Fat Man," the bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan.
1946: Actress Sally Field, whose rose to fame on TV in the 1960s on "Gidget" and as Sister Bertrille on "The Flying Nun," is born in Pasadena, Calif. Field is also known for roles in movies such as "Norma Rae" and "Places in the Heart" (for which she won Oscars for Best Actress) as well as "Sybil," "Smokey and the Bandit," "Steel Magnolias" and "Forrest Gump."
1947: "Meet the Press" makes its television debut in a 30-minute, live press conference format. James A. Farley, the former postmaster general and former Democratic National Committee chairman, was the show's first guest. Despite bearing little resemblance to its original format, today the show is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history. Pictured is the earliest photograph in existence of the show, featuring the Dec. 4, 1947, episode with U.S. Sen. Robert Taft as the show's guest.
1948: Singer-songwriter Glenn Frey, best known as a founding member of The Eagles and for his solo work, is born in Detroit, Mich.
1955: Maria Shriver, journalist and the former first lady of California, as the then-wife of actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is born in Chicago. Shriver is also a member of the Kennedy family, with her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a sister of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Edward Kennedy.
1956: President Dwight D. Eisenhower is re-elected, with the Republican incumbent defeating Democratic candidate Adlai E. Stevenson in a rematch of the 1952 election. Eisenhower overwhelmingly won a second term, carrying 41 states and garnering 57.4 percent of the popular vote and 457 electoral votes, compared to Stevenson's 42 percent and 73 electoral votes.
1962: The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution condemning South Africa's racist apartheid policies and calls for all U.N. member states to cease military and economic relations with the nation.
1967: Phil Donahue begins his TV talk show, "The Phil Donahue Show," in Dayton, Ohio. The show, which was the first to use the daytime talk show format and would eventually become known simply as "Donahue," would run for three years locally before going on to a 26-year run as a nationally syndicated TV show.
1970: Actor Ethan Hawke, best known for roles in movies such as "Dead Poets Society," "Reality Bites," "Before Sunrise" and "Training Day," is born in Austin, Texas.
1971: The United States Atomic Energy Commission tests the largest U.S. underground hydrogen bomb, code-named Cannikin, on Amchitka Island in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska. The ground lifts 20 feet, caused by an explosive force almost 400 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb. Here, the warhead used in the test is being lowered into test shaft.
1972: Actress Thandie Newton, best known for movies like "The Pursuit of Happyness," "Mission: Impossible II," "Crash" and "2012," is born in London, England.
1972: Actress and model Rebecca Romijn, best known for her role as Mystique in the "X-Men" films, and for her recurring role as Alexis Meade on the TV series "Ugly Betty," is born in Berkeley, Calif.
1975: The English punk band the Sex Pistols make their debut, playing at Saint Martins College in London, England, in support of a pub rock group called Bazooka Joe. The Sex Pistols perform several cover songs, including The Who's "Substitute" and the Small Faces' "Whatcha Gonna Do About It," using Bazooka Joe's amps and drums. Before the band could play the few original songs they had written to date, Bazooka Joe members pulled the plugs as they saw their gear being trashed. A brief physical altercation between members of the two bands took place on stage, although the details of the fight are sketchy today. Here the band is seen during a 1977 performance.
1981: Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers becomes the first rookie to win a Cy Young Award, and the first player in MLB history to win both the Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young in the same season. Valenzuela won his first eight decisions for the Dodgers on his way to a 13-7 record, 2.48 ERA and a World Series Championship.
1984: U.S. President Ronald Reagan wins a landslide re-election over Democratic candidate Walter Mondale, capturing 49 states to Mondale's one (his home state of Minnesota) plus Washington, D.C. Reagan's 525 electoral votes is the highest total ever received by a presidential candidate, while Mondale's 13 electoral votes is the second-fewest ever received by a second-place candidate, second only to Alf Landon's eight in 1936.
1988: Actress Emma Stone, best known for roles in movies such as "Superbad," "Easy A," "Zombieland," "The Help" and "The Amazing Spider-Man," is born in Scottsdale, Ariz.
1991: Robert M. Gates becomes the 15th director of the CIA. Gates would also serve as U.S. secretary of defense between 2006 and 2011 under both Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
1991: Actress Gene Tierney, best remembered for her performance in the title role of "Laura" (pictured) and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Actress in "Leave Her to Heaven," dies of emphysema at the age of 70 in Houston, Texas. Tierney also had roles in movies such as "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," "Heaven Can Wait" and "The Razor's Edge."
1995: Art Modell announces that he has signed a deal that would relocate the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens, the first time the city had a football team since 1983 when they were the Baltimore Colts. The outrage and controversy that erupted led to an agreement allowing Modell (seen here in 1991) to move his team while relinquishing ownership of the Browns' name, colors, logos and history, paving the way for a new Cleveland Browns team that resumed play in 1999.
1996: The drama "The English Patient," starring Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe and Kristin Scott Thomas, and directed by Anthony Minghella, premieres in Los Angeles. The movie would go on to win nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Binoche, and Best Director.
2001: Britney Spears' album "Britney" is released. The album, featuring the singles "I'm a Slave 4 U" and "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman," would hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
2007: Country singer Hank Thompson, whose best known hits include "The Wild Side of Life," "Rub-a-Dub-Dub" and "Wake Up, Irene," dies of lung cancer at the age of 82.
2009: The government reports that unemployment rose to 10.2 percent in the U.S. in October, the first time the jobless rate had hit double digits since 1983.
2010: Swiebodzin, Poland, announces the world's biggest statue of Jesus, called Christ the King, is completed. The concrete and fiberglass statue is 108-feet tall with a 10-foot-tall gilded crown, and, along with its mound, it reaches 172 feet overall.