On Nov. 12, 1920, baseball got its first “czar” as Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was elected commissioner of the American and National Leagues.
In 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.
In 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in Washington, D.C., giving the green light to traffic.
In 1942, the World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. (The Allies ended up winning a major victory over Japanese forces.)
In 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.
In 1969, news of the My Lai (mee ly) Massacre carried out by U.S. forces in South Vietnam in March 1968 was broken by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.
In 1975, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas retired because of failing health, ending a record 36-year term.
In 1982, Yuri V. Andropov (ahn-DROH’-pawf) was elected to succeed the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee.
In 1987, the American Medical Association issued a policy statement saying it was unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person had AIDS or was HIV-positive.
In 1996, a Saudi Boeing 747 jetliner collided shortly after takeoff from New Delhi, India, with a Kazak Ilyushin (il-YOO’-shin)-76 cargo plane, killing 349 people.
In 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 headed to the Dominican Republic, crashed after takeoff from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.
In 2009, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan (nih-DAHL’ mah-LEEK’ hah-SAHN’) was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting rampage. (Hasan was later convicted and sentenced to death; no execution date has been set.)
In 2019, Venice saw its worst flooding in more than 50 years, with the water reaching 6.14 feet above average sea level; damage was estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.