Today is Tuesday, Nov. 30, the 335th day of 2004. There are 31 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 30, 1782, the United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.

On this date:

In 1803, Spain completed the process of ceding Louisiana to France, which had sold it to the United States.

In 1804, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase went on trial, accused of political bias. (He was acquitted by the Senate.)

In 1900, Irish writer Oscar Wilde died in Paris at age 46.

In 1936, London's famed Crystal Palace, constructed for the International Exhibition of 1851, was destroyed in a fire.

In 1939, the Russo-Finnish War began as Soviet troops invaded Finland.

In 1954, Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga, Ala., was slightly injured when an 8 1/2-pound meteorite crashed through the roof of her house.

In 1962, U Thant of Burma was elected Secretary-General of the United Nations, succeeding the late Dag Hammarskjold.

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.

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

Ten years ago: Two passengers died and nearly 1,000 others and crew members fled the cruise ship Achille Lauro after it caught fire off the coast of Somalia; the ship sank two days later. (The Achille Lauro had gained notoriety in 1985 when it was hijacked by Palestinian extremists.) Rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and wounded in a New York recording studio in an apparent robbery. (Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996.)

Five 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.

One year ago: U.S. soldiers in Iraq fought back coordinated attacks throughout the northern city of Samarra. Two South Korean contractors were killed in a roadside ambush. Nathaniel Jones, a black man, died during a fight with Cincinnati police in a case that heightened racial tensions. Walt Disney Company vice chairman Roy E. Disney stepped down from the board of directors. Mark Philippoussis gave Australia its 28th Davis Cup title, beating Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero. Former U.S. congressman and World Bank chairman Barber B. Conable Jr. died in Sarasota, Fla., at age 81. Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, died in Wyckoff, N.J., at age 98.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Gordon Parks is 92. Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is 87. Actress Virginia Mayo is 84. Former New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm is 80. Actor Robert Guillaume is 77. TV personality and producer Dick Clark is 75. Radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy is 74. Country singer-recording executive Jimmy Bowen is 67. Movie director Ridley Scott is 67. Singer Rob Grill (The Grassroots) is 61. Movie writer-director Terrence Malick is 61. Singer Luther Ingram is 60. Rock musician Roger Glover (Deep Purple) is 59. Playwright David Mamet is 57. Actress Margaret Whitton is 54. Actor Mandy Patinkin is 52. Musician Shuggie Otis is 51. Singer June Pointer is 51. Country singer Jeannie Kendall is 50. Singer Billy Idol is 49. Rock musician John Ashton (The Psychedelic Furs) is 47. Comedian Colin Mochrie is 47. Football and baseball player Bo Jackson is 42. Rapper Jalil (Whodini) is 41. Actor-director Ben Stiller is 39. Country singer Mindy McCready is 29. Singer Clay Aiken is 26. Actress Elisha Cuthbert ("24") is 22. Actress Kaley Cuoco is 19.

Thought for Today: "A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies." - Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

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