• On Nov. 22, 1718, Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, is killed off North Carolina’s Outer Banks during a bloody battle with the British navy. Teach was the most infamous pirate of his day, winning the popular name of Blackbeard for his long, dark beard, which he was said to light on fire during battles to intimidate his enemies.
• On Nov. 17, 1869, the Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red seas, is inaugurated. When it opened, the Suez Canal was only 25 feet deep. Major improvements began in 1876, and today an average of 50 ships navigate the canal daily, carrying more than 300 million tons of goods a year.
• On Nov. 16, 1907, Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory collectively enter the United States as Oklahoma, the 46th state. The name "Oklahoma" is derived from the Choctaw Indian words okla, meaning "people," and humma, meaning "red."
• On Nov. 19, 1969, Brazilian soccer great Pele scores his 1,000th professional goal in a game, against Vasco da Gama in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium. Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Tres Coracos, Brazil, in 1940, Pele scored 1,282 goals in 1,363 games during his career.
• On Nov. 18, 1978, People’s Temple leader Jim Jones leads hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their agricultural commune in remote northwestern Guyana. U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan, who had traveled to Jonestown to investigate, was murdered the day before as he attempted to leave.
• On Nov. 21, 1980, more than 350 million people around the world tune in to television’s popular primetime drama "Dallas" to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. The episode identified Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, as the culprit.
(c) 2009 King Features Synd.