Today in History

November 30
1782   The British sign a preliminary agreement in Paris, recognizing American independence.
1838   Mexico declares war on France.
1861   The British Parliament sends to Queen Victoria an ultimatum for the United States, demanding the release of two Confederate diplomats who were seized on the British ship Trent.
1864   The Union wins the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.
1900   The French government denounces British actions in South Africa, declaring sympathy for the Boers.
1900   Oscar Wilde dies in a Paris hotel room after saying of the room’s wallpaper: “One of us has got to go.”
1906   President Theodore Roosevelt publicly denounces segregation of Japanese schoolchildren in San Francisco.
1919   Women cast votes for the first time in French legislative elections.
1935   Non-belief in Nazism is proclaimed grounds for divorce in Germany.
1939   Soviet bombers attack Helsinki, while publicly insisting that they are airdropping bread to its starving populace, as the Red Army invades Finland. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1945   Russian forces take Danzig in Poland and invade Austria.
1948   The Soviet Union completes the division of Berlin, installing the government in the Soviet sector.
1950   President Harry Truman declares that the United States will use the A-bomb to get peace in Korea.
1956   The United States offers emergency oil to Europe to counter the Arab ban.
1961   The Soviet Union vetoes a UN seat for Kuwait, pleasing Iraq.
1974   India and Pakistan decide to end a 10-year trade ban.
1974   Pioneer II sends photos back to NASA as it nears Jupiter.
1979   Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope in 1,000 years to attend an Orthodox mass.
1981   Representatives of the US and the USSR meet in Geneva, Switzerland, to begin negotiations on reducing the number of intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.
1982   Thriller, Michael Jackson’s second solo album, is released; the album, produced by Quincy Jones, became the best-selling album in history.
1993   US President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (better known as the Brady Bill) into law.
1994   The MS Achille Lauro, a ship with a long history of problems, including a 1985 terrorist hijacking, catches fire off the coast of Somalia.
1995   Operation Desert Storm officially comes to an end.
1998   Exxon and Mobil Oil agree to a $73.7 billion merger, creating the world’s largest company, Exxon-Mobil.
2004   On the game show Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings loses after 74 consecutive victories. It is the longest winning streak in game-show history, earning him a total of over $3 million.
2005   John Sentamu becomes Archbishop of York, making him the Church of England’s first black archbishop.
Born on November 30
1667   Jonathan Swift, English satirist who wrote Gulliver’s Travels.
1835   Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens), American writer best remembered for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
1874   Winston Churchill, British prime minister during and after World War II.
1874   Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables.
1912   Gordon Parks, photographer.
1915   Brownie McGhee, singer and guitarist.
1924   Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American congresswoman; a representative for New York.
1929   Joan Ganz Cooney, television executive, founder of the Children’s Television Workshop and mastermind behind Sesame Street.
1929   Dick Clark, television host; (American Bandstand, 1957-87; Pyramid game show); beginning in 1972 and continuing into the 21st century he hosted Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on television.
1930   G. Gordon Liddy, chief operative for the “White House Plumbers” (July-September 1971) during Richard Nixon‘s administration, he organized and oversaw the Watergate burglaries of the Democratic National Committee headquarters. He served nearly 52 months in federal prison.
1936   Abbie Hoffman, political and social activist; co-founded the Youth International Party (Yippies); he became a symbol of the counterculture era.
1937   Sir Ridley Scott, English film director and producer; (Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise) won a Best Picture Oscar for Gladiator (2000).
1955   Billy Idol (William Broad), punk rock musician; member of Generation X band.
1962   Bo Jackson, the only pro athlete to be named an All-Star in two major American sports (football and baseball); ESPN named him the greatest athlete of all time.

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