Today is Sunday, Nov. 30, the 334th day of 2014. There are 31 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Nov. 30, 1864, the Second Battle of Franklin took place in Tennessee during the Civil War as Confederate forces led by Gen. John Bell Hood attacked Union troops commanded by Maj. Gen. John Schofield; Hood's men were driven back with devastating losses.
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, Missouri.
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 1939, the Winter War began as Soviet troops invaded Finland. (The conflict ended the following March with a Soviet victory.)
In 1949, Chinese communist troops captured Chongqing.
In 1954, Ann Elizabeth Hodges of Oak Grove, Alabama, was slightly injured when an 8-1/2-pound chunk of meteor crashed through the roof of her house, hit a radio cabinet, then hit her as she lay napping on a couch.
In 1966, the former British colony of Barbados became independent.
In 1982, the Michael Jackson album "Thriller" was released by Epic Records. The motion picture "Gandhi," starring Ben Kingsley as the Indian nationalist leader, had its world premiere in New Delhi.
In 1994, the cruise ship MS Achille Lauro caught fire off the coast of Somalia; two passengers died during the evacuation of the vessel, which sank two days later. (The Achille Lauro had gained notoriety in 1985 when it was hijacked by Palestinian extremists.)
Ten years ago: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced his resignation. NAACP President Kweisi Mfume (kwah-EE'-see oom-FOO'-may) 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.
Five years ago: Retired Ohio auto worker John Demjanjuk went on trial in Munich, Germany, accused of helping to kill 27,900 Jews as a Nazi death camp guard. (Demjanjuk was convicted in May 2011 of being an accessory to murder; he was sentenced to five years in prison, but was released while his conviction was under appeal; he died in March 2012 at age 91.) In Geneva, the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest atom smasher, broke a world record for proton acceleration. Serena Williams was fined a record $82,500 for her tirade at a U.S. Open line judge. Tiger Woods withdrew from his own golf tournament, citing injuries from a car crash near his Florida home.
One year ago: Paul Walker, 40, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died with his friend, Roger W. Rodas, who was at the wheel of a Porsche sports car that crashed and burned north of Los Angeles. Paul Crouch, 79, an American televangelist who'd built what has been called the world's largest Christian broadcasting network, died in Orange, California.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Robert Guillaume is 87. Radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy is 84. Country singer-recording executive Jimmy Bowen is 77. Movie director Ridley Scott is 77. Movie writer-director Terrence Malick is 71. Rock musician Roger Glover (Deep Purple) is 69. Playwright David Mamet (MA'-meht) is 67. Actress Margaret Whitton is 64. Actor Mandy Patinkin is 62. Musician Shuggie Otis is 61. Country singer Jeannie Kendall is 60. Singer Billy Idol is 59. Historian Michael Beschloss is 59. Rock musician John Ashton (The Psychedelic Furs) is 57. Comedian Colin Mochrie is 57. Former football and baseball player Bo Jackson is 52. Rapper Jalil (Whodini) is 51. Actor-director Ben Stiller is 49. Rock musician Mike Stone is 45. Actress Sandra Oh is 44. Singer Clay Aiken is 36. Actor Billy Lush is 33. Actress Elisha Cuthbert is 32. Actress Kaley Cuoco (KWOH'-koh) is 29. Actress Christel Khalil is 27. Actress Adelaide Clemens (TV: "Rectify") is 25.
Thought for Today: "The real problem is what to do with the problem solvers after the problems are solved." — Gay Talese, American author and journalist.
(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Nov. 30)
Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.