Today is Friday, Nov. 30, the 335th day of 2012. There are 31 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 30, 1982, the Michael Jackson album ‘‘Thriller’’ was released by Epic Records.
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 1939, the Winter War began as Soviet troops invaded Finland. (The conflict ended the following March with a Soviet victory.)
In 1954, Ann Elizabeth Hodges of Oak Grove, Ala., was slightly injured when an 8½-pound chunk of meteorite crashed through the roof of her house, hit a radio cabinet, and then hit her as she lay napping on a couch.
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. Eastern Air Lines Flight 512, a DC-7B, crashed while attempting to land at New York’s Idlewild Airport, killing 25 of the 51 people on board.
In 1966, the former British colony of Barbados became independent.
In 1982, the motion picture ‘‘Gandhi,’’ starring Ben Kingsley as the Indian nationalist leader, had its world premiere in New Delhi.
In 1987, American author James Baldwin died in Saint Paul de Vence, France, at age 63.
Ten years ago: International weapons hunters in Iraq paid an unannounced visit to a military post previously declared ‘‘sensitive’’ and restricted by Baghdad. A nightclub fire in Caracas, Venezuela, killed 50 people.
Five years ago: A man took hostages at a Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, N.H.; Leeland Eisenberg surrendered about five hours later. An Atlasjet plane crashed in southwest Turkey, killing all 57 people on board. An Amtrak train and a freight train collided on a track on the South Side of Chicago, injuring dozens of people. Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel died in Clearwater, Fla., at age 69.
One year ago: The central banks of the wealthiest countries, trying to prevent a debt crisis in Europe from exploding into a global panic, swept in to shore up the world financial system by making it easier for banks to borrow American dollars. Police in Los Angeles and Philadelphia dismantled Occupy Wall Street encampments in both cities. An Arizona jury sentenced Mark Goudeau (goo-DOH') to death for killing nine people in the Phoenix area.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is 94. Actor Robert Guillaume is 85. Radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy is 82. Country singer-recording executive Jimmy Bowen is 75. Movie director Ridley Scott is 75. Movie writer-director Terrence Malick is 69. Rock musician Roger Glover (Deep Purple) is 67. Playwright David Mamet (MA'-meht) is 65. Actress Margaret Whitton is 62. Actor Mandy Patinkin is 60. Musician Shuggie Otis is 59. Country singer Jeannie Kendall is 58. Singer Billy Idol is 57. Historian Michael Beschloss is 57. Rock musician John Ashton (The Psychedelic Furs) is 55. Comedian Colin Mochrie is 55. Former football and baseball player Bo Jackson is 50. Rapper Jalil (Whodini) is 49. Actor-director Ben Stiller is 47. Rock musician Mike Stone is 43. Actress Sandra Oh is 42. Country singer Mindy McCready is 37. Singer Clay Aiken is 34. Actress Elisha Cuthbert is 30. Actress Kaley Cuoco (KWOH'-koh) is 27. Actress Christel Khalil is 25.
Thought for Today: ‘‘I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.’’ — James Baldwin (1924-1987).
(Above Advance for Use Friday, Nov. 30)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.