The History Channel
• On Dec. 1, 1830, French novelist Victor Hugo is due to turn in a draft of his book Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Despite his contract, he instead wrote two plays, Marion de Lorme andHernani, and the book is not published until 1831.
• On Nov. 26, 1862, Oxford mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson sends a handwritten manuscript called Alice's Adventures Under Ground to 10-year-old Alice Liddell. Dodgson made up the story one day on a picnic, and Alice insisted he write it down. He published it under his nom de plume, Lewis Carroll, in 1865.
• On Nov. 28, 1914, the New York Stock Exchange reopens for bond trading after nearly four months, the longest stoppage in the exchange's history. The outbreak of World War I in Europe forced the NYSE to shut its doors on July 31, 1914.
• On Dec. 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi, Italian-born Nobel Prize-winning physicist, directs and controls the first nuclear chain reaction. He created a jury-rigged laboratory under the bleachers in Stagg Field at the University of Chicago.
• On Nov. 30, 1954, the first modern instance of a meteorite striking a human being occurs at Sylacauga, Ala., when an 8 1/2 pound meteorite crashes through the roof of a house and into the living room, bounces off a radio, and strikes a woman on the hip. The victim suffered a nasty bruise.
• On Nov. 29, 1963, one week after President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, President Lyndon Johnson establishes a special commission to investigate the assassination. After 10 months the Warren Commission report was released, concluding that there was no conspiracy.
• On Nov. 27, 1978, former Board of Supervisors member Dan White murders Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk at City Hall in San Francisco. When White pleaded a diminished capacity defense and claimed that copious amounts of junk food caused him to suffer mental problems, the so-called Twinkie Defense was born.