*November 8, 1971.* Led Zeppelin releases Led Zeppelin IV, which becomes the third-best-selling album ever in the US, and includes what many fans consider to be the best rock song ever: Stairway to heaven. The album confirmed Led Zeppelin as the biggest rock act on the planet, ushering in an era of vast stadium and festival concerts, and groups performing ever more technically complex songs with increasingly sophisticated and expensive instruments. The trend dominated rock music until the late 1970s, when it was stripped back to its basic roots by Punk. _Led Zeppelin IV_ has sold over 33 million copies worldwide, including 23 million in the US.
Also on November 8: French revolutionaries reopen the former royal palace of the Louvre as a museum (1793); Wilhelm Rontgen discovers X-rays (1895); Operation Torch – US and UK forces land in French North Africa during WWII (1942); John F. Kennedy narrowly defeats Richard Nixon in the US presidential election (1960); Great Britain abolishes the death penalty for murder (1965).
Born on November 8: Edmond Halley (1656), Milton Bradley (1836), Bram Stoker (1847), Margaret Mitchell (1900), Alain Delon (1935), Guus Hiddink (1946), Gretchen Mol (1972)