1820 – The American whaler Essex, while hunting sperm whales off the South American coast, is rammed twice by an enraged bull whale and sunk. 20 crew members escape in small boats, but only five survive.
1942 – Joe Biden is born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He becomes a U.S. senator from Delaware, vice president under Barack Obama, and is now the president-elect.
1945 – 24 high-ranking Nazis go on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, for atrocities committed during World War II. 12 were sentenced to death; seven to prison terms and three were acquitted. Another committed suicide and one was deemed incompetent to stand trial.
1982 – Cal wins an improbable last-second football victory over Stanford, completing five lateral passes around members of Stanford’s marching band who had entered the field early to celebrate what they thought was a victory.