In 1620, the passengers and crew of the Mayflower sighted Cape Cod.
In 1872, fire destroyed nearly 800 buildings in Boston.
In 1918, it was announced that Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II would abdicate. He then fled to the Netherlands.
In 1952, Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, died.
In 1953, Welsh author-poet Dylan Thomas died in New York at age 39.
In 1961, U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert M. White became the first pilot to fly an X-15 rocket plane at six times the speed of sound. The Beatles’ future manager, Brian Epstein, first saw the group perform at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.
In 1963, twin disasters struck Japan as some 450 miners were killed in a coal-dust explosion, and about 160 people died in a train crash.
In 1965, the great Northeast blackout occurred as a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours left 30 million people in seven states and part of Canada without electricity.
In 1967, a Saturn V rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.
In 1970, former French President Charles de Gaulle died at age 79.
In 1976, the U.N. General Assembly approved resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa, including one characterizing the white-ruled government as “illegitimate.”
In 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.
Ten years ago: Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s (joon-ee-chee-roh koh-ee-zoo-meez) ruling bloc won a majority in the country’s parliamentary elections. Three-time Top Fuel champion Shirley Muldowney, 63, ended her 30-year racing career with a loss in the second round of the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway in California. Comic actor Art Carney died in Chester, Conn., at age 85.
Five years ago: Barack Obama’s transition chief, John Podesta, told Fox News Sunday the president-elect planned to review President George W. Bush’s executive orders on such things as stem cell research and domestic drilling for oil and natural gas. China unveiled a $586 billion stimulus package aimed at inoculating the world’s fourth-largest economy against the global financial crisis.
One year ago: Retired four-star Army Gen. David Petraeus resigned as CIA director after an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was revealed by an FBI investigation.
Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog is 82. Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson is 78. Actor Charlie Robinson is 68. Movie director Bille August is 65. Actor Robert David Hall is 65. Actor Lou Ferrigno is 62. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is 61. Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin is 54. Rock musician Dee Plakas (L7) is 53. Actress Ion Overman is 44. Rapper Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) is 44. Rapper Scarface (Geto Boys) is 43. Blues singer Susan Tedeschi (teh-DEHS’-kee) is 43. Actor Jason Antoon is 42. Actor Eric Dane is 41. Singer Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sisqo (Dru Hill) is 35. Country singer Corey Smith is 34. Actress Nikki Blonsky is 25. Actress-model Analeigh Tipton is 25.