1782. In Paris, representatives of Great Britain and the United States sign preliminary peace accords that will later turn into the Treaty of Paris.
1804. In a disgusting display of the bitterness of early American politics, the Republican-Democrats in Congress impeach Federalist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. Part of the charges are the purportedly "seditious and official attack by Chase on the principles of our Constitution" (Thomas Jefferson) which ought not "go unpunished." The Senate acquitted him, and he remains to this day the only Supreme Court Justice ever impeached.
1864. Blood-and-guts, but no brains, General Hood of the Confederacy launches an extremely ill-advised frontal attack on the Union troops at the Battle of Franklin, losing 1/3rd of his troops and fourteen generals (six killed, one captured, the rest wounded) in the process. Undaunted, Hood will go on to face General THomas at the Battle of Nashville, lose again, and then crawl back with barely half his force. The Confederate Army of the Tennessee will be destroyed as an effective fighting force for the remainder of the war.
1939. A few days after a pretext was created, Soviet troops cross the border into Finland, starting the Winter War. While Soviet strength was overwhelming, their leadership was mediocre due to the Great Purge. Finnish resistance was much tougher than expected, but by the following spring the peace treaty will result in Finland ceding 11% of its pre-war territory and 30% of its pre-war assets.
1998. Exxon and Mobil agree to merge, becoming the world's largest company.
2001. Gary Ridgway, a/k/a the Green River killer, is arrested. He will ultimately be convicted of having murdered 41 women, confess to another 30 on top of those, and is believed to be responsible for over 90.
2004 Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings finally loses, after winning nearly $2.5 million, the biggest winner in television game show history.
"I love signature blocks on the Internet. I get to put whatever the hell I want in quotes, pick a pretend author, and bang, it's like he really said it." George Washington