977 – Emperor Otto II lifts the siege at Paris and withdraws. His rearguard is defeated while crossing the Aisne River by Frankish forces under King Lothair III.
1707 – The second Siege of Pensacola comes to end with the failure of the British to capture Pensacola, Florida.
1782 – In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles which are later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris.
1786 – The Grand Duchy of Tuscany, under Pietro Leopoldo I, becomes the first modern state to abolish the death penalty.
1803 – In New Orleans, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, France transfers the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.
1804 – The Democratic-Republican-controlled United States Senate begins an impeachment trial of Federalist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase.
1853 – The Imperial Russian Navy under Pavel Nakhimov destroys the Ottoman fleet under Osman Pasha at Sinop, a sea port in northern Turkey.
1939 – Soviet forces cross the Finnish border in several places and bomb Helsinki and several other Finnish cities, starting the Winter War.
1954 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States, the Hodges meteoritecrashes through a roof and hits a woman taking an afternoon nap; this is the only documented case in the Western Hemisphere of a human being hit by a rock from space.
1998 – Exxon and Mobil sign a US$73.7 billion agreement to merge, thus creating ExxonMobil, the world’s largest company.
1999 – In Seattle, United States, demonstrations against a World Trade Organization meeting by anti-globalization protesters catch police unprepared and force the cancellation of opening ceremonies.
1667 – Jonathan Swift, Irish satirist and essayist (d. 1745)
1929 – Joan Ganz Cooney, American screenwriter and producer, co-created Sesame Street
1930 – Mary Harris Jones, American Labor organizer (b. 1837)
1997 – Kathy Acker, American author, poet, and playwright (b. 1947)
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