1903 – The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty is signed between the United States and Panama, giving the United States exclusive rights over the Panama Canal Zone. It was signed by its two main negotiators, Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla, the French diplomatic representative of Panama and US Secretary of State John Hay. This treaty included 24 articles. The Panama Canal was completed in 1914.
1918 – Latvia declares independence from Russia. On November 18, 1918, in Riga, the People’s Council of Latvia declared the independence of the new country, by which Karlis Ulmanis became head of the Provisional Government. German Chancellor August Winnig formally handed over political power to the Latvian Provisional Government on 26 November. The ensuing independence war was part of a general chaotic period of civil border wars in Eastern Europe.
1940 – German dictator Adolf Hitler and Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano meet to discuss the Italian occupation of Greece ordered by Benito Mussolini. Also known as the Italo-Greek War (most of which took place in southern Albania), this invasion would end catastrophically for the Italian army. Greece would be invaded only after the intervention of the German army in the following months. During this conflict, 14,000 Italian and as many Greek soldiers were killed.
1962 – Niels Bohr dies at the age of 77. Bohr, was a Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to the understanding of atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr was also a philosopher and promoter of scientific research. Bohr developed the Bohr model of the atom, in which he proposed that the energy levels of electrons be discrete and that electrons rotate in stable orbits around the atomic nucleus, but could be thrown from one energy level (or orbits) to another.
1963 – Born in Gladsaxe, Peter Schmeichel. Schmeichel, is a former Danish professional footballer, who played as a goalkeeper, and was voted IFFHS World Goalkeeper of the Year in 1992 and 1993. He is best remembered for his most successful years at English club Manchester United, which he won, the UEFA Champions League in 1999. He also won the UEFA Euro 1992 with Denmark. Recognized as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, the IFFHS ranked Schmeichel among the ten best goalkeepers of the twentieth century in 2000.
1988 – US President Ronald Reagan signs a bill allowing the death penalty for drug traffickers. Ronald Reagan’s presidency had an expansion into the federal focus on preventing drug abuse and prosecuting offenders. In the first term of the presidency Ronald Reagan signed the Crime Control Act of 1984, which extended fines to cannabis possession, established a federal system of mandatory minimum sentences, and established procedures for the loss of civilian assets.
1991 – After an 87-day siege, the Croatian town of Vukovar capitulates to the Yugoslav People’s Army and Serbian paramilitary forces. Also known as the Battle of Vukovar, 880 Croatian soldiers and about 1,300 Serb soldiers and paramilitaries were killed during the siege. After the siege of the city, Arkan-led paramilitary forces launched ethnic cleansing and genocide against the local population. Vukovar was recaptured by Croats only a few months later. This will be recognized as one of the fiercest battles in the former Yugoslavia.