1724 - Joseph Blake (alias Blueskin) was hanged at London's Tyburn gallows; a highwayman known for attacking 'Thief-Taker General' (and thief) Jonathan Wild at the Old Bailey, Blake was later immortalized in Blueskin's Ballad by John Gay.
1750 - The College of William and Mary's F.H.C. Society - also known as the Flat Hat Club - was formed at Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, making it the first-ever fraternity in the United States.
1778 - Seneca Indians in central New York state killed more than forty people, in what came to be known as the Cherry Valley Massacre.
1805 - At the Battle of Dürenstein 8000 French troops commanded by Édouard Mortier attempted to slow the retreat of a vastly superior Russian and Austrian force under Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov.
1831 - Nat Turner was hanged at Jerusalem, Virginia, for having incited a violent slave rebellion the previous August.
1839 - The Virginia Military Institute was founded.
1864 - Union General William Tecumseh Sherman began burning Atlanta to the ground in preparation for his famous March to the Sea; these events form the core of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone With the Wind and the 1939 movie of the same name*.
*The most technically difficult sequence in the film has earned a place in film lore; the vast set-piece of the burning of Atlanta is indicated in the screenplay by just two words: 'Atlanta burns'. To this day, anything overly ambitious demanded by the director of a film will have the technicians on set grumbling these same two words until such time as they (inevitably) manage to achieve it.
1880 - Australian bushranger Ned Kelly was hanged at Melbourne Gaol.
1887 - Construction of the Manchester Ship Canal was begun at Eastham.
1889 - Washington became the 42nd US state.
1918 - At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month an armistice between Germany and Allied forces was signed, in a railway carriage near France's Compiègne Forest, ending World War I (then known as the Great War); on the same day Austrian Emperor Charles I relinquished all political power, but did not abdicate.
1919 - The Centralia Massacre in Centralia, Washington, resulted in the deaths of four members of the American Legion and the lynching of a local leader of the IWW.
1921 - The Tomb of the Unknowns was dedicated by US President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery.
1926 - Route 66 was established between Chicago and Los Angeles.
1966 - NASA launched Gemini 12.
1975 - Australia's Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed the government of Gough Whitlam and commissioned Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister, announcing a general election to be held in early December; the country's gravest constitutional crisis to date is now more commonly known as The Dismissal.
1992 - The Church of England voted to allow women priests.
2004 - New Zealand's Tomb of the Unknown Warrior was dedicated at the National War Memorial in Wellington.
2008 - The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) set sail on her final voyage, to Dubai.
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