Today is Monday, Nov. 30, the 334th day of 2009. There are 31 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Nov. 30, 1939, the Russo-Finnish War, also known as the Winter War, began as Soviet troops invaded Finland. (The conflict ended the following March with a Soviet victory.)
On this date:
In 1782, the United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.
In 1803, Spain completed the process of ceding Louisiana to France, which had sold it to the United States.
In 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens _ better known as Mark Twain _ was born in Florida, Mo.
In 1874, British statesman Sir Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace.
In 1900, Irish writer Oscar Wilde died in Paris at age 46.
In 1936, London's famed Crystal Palace, constructed for the Great Exhibition of 1851, was destroyed in a fire.
In 1949, Chinese communist troops captured Chongqing.
In 1962, U Thant of Burma, who had been acting secretary-general of the United Nations following the death of Dag Hammarskjold the year before, was elected to a four-year term.
In 1966, the former British colony of Barbados became independent.
In 1981, the United States and the Soviet Union opened negotiations in Geneva aimed at reducing nuclear weapons in Europe.
Ten years ago: The opening of a 135-nation trade gathering in Seattle was disrupted by at least 40,000 demonstrators, some of whom clashed with police.
Five years ago: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced his resignation. NAACP President Kweisi Mfume announced he was stepping down after a nearly nine-year tenure. President George W. Bush tried to repair strained U.S.-Canada relations during a visit to Ottawa. "Jeopardy!" fans saw Ken Jennings end his 74-game winning streak as he lost to real estate agent Nancy Zerg.
One year ago: Space shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth after a nearly 16-day mission to repair and upgrade the international space station. The world's most comprehensive legalized heroin program became permanent with overwhelming approval from Swiss voters, who simultaneously rejected the decriminalization of marijuana.
Today's Birthdays: Historian Jacques Barzun is 102. Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is 91. Actor Robert Guillaume is 82. TV personality and producer Dick Clark is 80. Radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy is 79. Country singer-recording executive Jimmy Bowen is 72. Movie director Ridley Scott is 72. Singer Rob Grill (The Grassroots) is 66. Movie writer-director Terrence Malick is 66. Rock musician Roger Glover (Deep Purple) is 64. Playwright David Mamet is 62. Actress Margaret Whitton is 59. Actor Mandy Patinkin is 57. Musician Shuggie Otis is 56. Country singer Jeannie Kendall is 55. Singer Billy Idol is 54. Historian Michael Beschloss is 54. Rock musician John Ashton (The Psychedelic Furs) is 52. Comedian Colin Mochrie is 52. Former football and baseball player Bo Jackson is 47. Rapper Jalil (Whodini) is 46. Actor-director Ben Stiller is 44. Rock musician Mike Stone is 40. Actress Sandra Oh is 39. Country singer Mindy McCready is 34. Singer Clay Aiken is 31. Actress Elisha Cuthbert is 27. Actress Kaley Cuoco is 24.
Thought for Today: "'Plain English' _ everybody loves it, demands it _ from the other fellow." _ Jacques Barzun, French-born American historian.