Nov 30, 12:05 AM EST

Today in History

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Today in History

Today is Monday, Nov. 30, the 334th day of 2015. There are 31 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 30, 1965, "Unsafe at Any Speed" by Ralph Nader, a book highly critical of the U.S. auto industry, was first released in hardcover by Grossman Publishers.

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 1940, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were married at the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. (The marriage ended in divorce in 1960.)

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 1990, the horror-thriller film "Misery," starring James Caan and Kathy Bates, was released by Columbia Pictures.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush gave an unflinching defense of his Iraq war strategy in a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, refusing to set a timetable for troop withdrawals and asserting that once-shaky Iraqi troops were proving increasingly capable. Shimon Peres quit Israel's Labor Party, his political home of six decades, to campaign for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new organization. Actress Jean Parker died in Woodland Hills, California, at age 90.

Five years ago: Pentagon leaders called for scrapping the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" ban after releasing a survey about the prospect of openly gay troops. The Obama administration announced that all 197 airlines that flew to the U.S. had begun collecting names, genders and birth dates of passengers so the government could check them against terror watch lists before they boarded flights.

One year ago: Pope Francis and the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, issued a joint declaration at the end of Francis' visit to Turkey demanding an end to violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East and calling for dialogue with Muslims. Former U.S. poet laureate Mark Strand, 80, died in New York. Anthony Marshall, 90, a decorated World War II veteran, diplomat and Broadway producer who saw his aristocratic life unravel as he was convicted in 1990 of raiding the fortune of his socialite mother, Brooke Astor, died in New York.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Robert Guillaume is 88. Radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy is 85. Country singer-recording executive Jimmy Bowen is 78. Movie director Ridley Scott is 78. Movie writer-director Terrence Malick is 72. Rock musician Roger Glover (Deep Purple) is 70. Playwright David Mamet (MA'-meht) is 68. Actress Margaret Whitton is 65. Actor Mandy Patinkin is 63. Musician Shuggie Otis is 62. Country singer Jeannie Kendall is 61. Singer Billy Idol is 60. Historian Michael Beschloss is 60. Rock musician John Ashton (The Psychedelic Furs) is 58. Comedian Colin Mochrie is 58. Former football and baseball player Bo Jackson is 53. Rapper Jalil (Whodini) is 52. Actor-director Ben Stiller is 50. Rock musician Mike Stone is 46. Actress Sandra Oh is 45. Singer Clay Aiken is 37. Actor Billy Lush is 34. Actress Elisha Cuthbert is 33. Actress Kaley Cuoco (KWOH'-koh) is 30. Model Chrissy Teigen is 30. Actress Christel Khalil is 28. Actress Rebecca Rittenhouse (TV: "Blood & Oil") is 27. Actress Adelaide Clemens is 26.

Thought for Today: "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities." - Mark Twain (1835-1910).

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