1520: Martin Luther publicly burned the papal edict demanding that he recant or face excommunication.
1817: Mississippi was admitted to the union as the 20th state.
1948: The U.N. General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
1965: The Grateful Dead played their first concert, at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.
1967: Singer Otis Redding died at age 26 in the crash of his private plane in Wisconsin.
1980: Rep. John W. Jenrette, D-S.C., resigned to avoid being expelled from the House following his conviction on charges related to the FBI’s Abscam investigation.
1984: South African Bishop Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize.
1994: Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin received the Nobel Peace Prize.
1998: Six astronauts opened the doors to the new international space station.
1998: The Palestinian leadership scrapped constitutional clauses rejecting Israel’s right to exist.
2001: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," the first in a three-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy trilogy, premiered in London.
2002: Former President Jimmy Carter accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomacy in the Middle East in the 1970s.
2007: Former Vice President Al Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with a call for humanity to rise up against a looming climate crisis.
2007: NFL star Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for bankrolling a dogfighting operation and killing dogs that underperformed.
2007: Cristina Fernandez was sworn in as Argentina’s first elected female president.
2009: President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with a humble acknowledgment of his scant accomplishments and a robust defense of the U.S. at war.
2009: James Cameron’s 3-D film epic “Avatar” had its world premiere in London.