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Today in History

Today is Monday, Nov. 30, the 335th day of 2020. There are 31 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 30, 2000, Al Gore’s lawyers battled for his political survival in the Florida and U.S. Supreme Courts; meanwhile, GOP lawmakers in Tallahassee moved to award the presidency to George W. Bush in case the courts did not by appointing their own slate of electors.

On this date:

In 1782, the United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris for ending the Revolutionary War; the Treaty of Paris was signed in September 1783.

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 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 1960, the last DeSoto was built by Chrysler, which had decided to retire the brand after 32 years.

In 1981, the United States and the Soviet Union opened negotiations in Geneva aimed at reducing nuclear weapons in Europe.

In 1987, American author James Baldwin died in Saint Paul de Vence, France, at age 63.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Bill, which required a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers.

In 2018, former President George H.W. Bush, a World War II hero who rose through the political ranks to the nation’s highest office, died at his Houston home at the age of 94; his wife of more than 70 years, Barbara Bush, had died in April. On the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump and the leaders of Canada and Mexico signed a revised North American trade pact.

Ten years ago: Pentagon leaders called for scrapping the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on openly gay military service after releasing a survey about the prospect of openly gay troops. (The policy was rescinded in 2011.) 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.

Five years ago: Jury selection began in Baltimore in the trial of Officer William Porter, the first of six policemen to face charges in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man who died of a severe spinal injury while in police custody. (All charges against Porter were dropped after a mistrial; three other officers were acquitted; all remaining charges were later dropped.)

One year ago: Nine members of an extended Idaho family died and three others were injured in the crash of a small plane after taking off from the airport in Chamberlain, South Dakota; investigators found that the pilot and a passenger had spent three hours clearing snow and ice from the plane before departure. Wintry weather plagued Thanksgiving weekend travelers across the country, as a powerful and dangerous storm moved eastward, dumping heavy snow from parts of California to the northern Midwest. Amid mounting pressure from mass anti-government protests, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi submitted his resignation to parliament.

Today’s Birthdays: G. Gordon Liddy is 90. Country singer-recording executive Jimmy Bowen is 83. Movie director Ridley Scott is 83. Screenwriter Geoffrey C. Ward is 80. Movie writer-director Terrence Malick is 77. Rock musician Roger Glover (Deep Purple) is 75. Playwright David Mamet (MA’-meht) is 73. Actor Mandy Patinkin is 68. Musician Shuggie Otis is 67. Country singer Jeannie Kendall is 66. Singer Billy Idol is 65. Historian Michael Beschloss is 65. Rock musician John Ashton (The Psychedelic Furs) is 63. Comedian Colin Mochrie is 63. Former football and baseball player Bo Jackson is 58. Rapper Jalil (Whodini) is 57. Actor-director Ben Stiller is 55. Rock musician Mike Stone is 51. Music producer Steve Aoki is 43. Singer Clay Aiken is 42. Actor Billy Lush is 39. Actor Elisha Cuthbert is 38. Actor Kaley Cuoco (KWOH’-koh) is 35. Model Chrissy Teigen (TY’-gihn) is 35. Actor Christel Khalil is 33. Actor Rebecca Rittenhouse is 32. Actor Adelaide Clemens is 31. Actor Tyla Harris is 20.