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1851 - Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick is published in the U.S. by Harper & Brothers, New York - after it was first published on October 18, 1851 by Richard Bentley, London.

1862 - American Civil War: President Abraham Lincoln approves General Ambrose Burnside's plan to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, leading to the Battle of Fredericksburg.

1889 - Pioneer woman journalist Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days.

1911 - Aviation pioneer Eugene Ely performs the first take-off from a ship in Hampton Roads, VA. He took off from a makeshift deck on the light cruiser USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.

1918 - Czechoslovakia becomes a republic.

1921 - The Communist Party of Spain is founded.

1922 - The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) begins radio service in the United Kingdom.

1940 - World War II: In England, the city of Coventry is heavily bombed by German Luftwaffe bombers.

1941 - World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sinks due to torpedo damage from U 81 sustained on November 13.

1952 - First regular UK singles chart published by the New Musical Express.

1965 - Vietnam War: Battle of the Ia Drang begins - the first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces.

1969 - Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.

1970 - Southern Airways DC-9 crashes in the mountains near Huntington, West Virginia, killing 75, including members of the Marshall University football team.


1971 - Mariner program: Mariner 9 reaches Mars, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.

1971 - His Holiness Shenouda III was concescrated as the 117th Patriarch of Alexandria and the See of St. Mark, the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

1972 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 1,000 (1,003.16) for the first time.

1973 - In the United Kingdom, Princess Anne marries Captain Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey.

1975 - Spain abandons Western Sahara.

1979 - Iran hostage crisis: US President Jimmy Carter issues Executive order12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States in response to the hostage crisis.

1982 - Lech Wa??sa, the leader of Poland's outlawed Solidarity movement, is released after eleven months of internment near the Soviet border.

1990 - After German reunification, the (extended) Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland sign a treaty confirming the Oder-Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland.

1991 - American and British authorities announce indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials in connection with the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103.

1991 - Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returns to Phnom Penh after thirteen years of exile.

1991 - A fired United States Postal Service employee goes on a shooting rampage, killing four and wounding five, before committing suicide.

1995 - A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress forces the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.

2000 - Netscape Navigator version 6.0 is launched following two years of open source development.


2001 - Attack on Afghanistan: Afghan Northern Alliance fighters takeover the capital Kabul.

2002 - Argentina defaults on an $805 million World Bank payment.

2002 - The US House of Representatives votes to not create an independent commission to investigate the September 11 attacks.

2003 - Planetoid 90377 Sedna is discovered.


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