30 November 2008

This day in history: 30 Nov

1803: The Spanish transferred Lower Louisiana (including the city of New Orleans) to France. (Twenty days later, the French transferred it to the United States.)

1804: The US Senate began an impeachment trial against Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. This was the third impeachment trial, and the only such trial to date of a Supreme Court justice.

1853: The Russians destroyed the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Sinope - the first battle of the Crimean War.

1864: The Army of Tennessee, under General John Bell Hood, attacked Union forces at Franklin, Tennessee. The battle was a Pyrrhic victory for the Confederates, with almost three times as many casualties as the Union had.

1934: Flying Scotsman, a Gresley A1 4-6-2 (nr 4472) operated by the London and North Eastern Railway, became the first steam locomotive to officially exceed 100 mph.

1936: The Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire.

1939: Soviet forces commanded by General K A Meretskov invaded Finland.

1940: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were married, in Greenwich, Connecticut.

1942: Eight Japanese destroyers under Rear Admiral Raizo Tanaka defeated a US force consisting of five cruisers and four destroyers, commanded by Rear Admiral Carleton H Wright, in the Battle of Tassafaronga (aka the Fourth Battle of Savo Island). Destroyer Takanami and heavy cruiser USS Northampton (CA 26) were sunk; USS Minneapolis (CA 36), New Orleans (CA 32) and Pensacola (CA 24) were damaged.

1954: An 8.5-lb meteorite crashed through the roof of a house in Sylacauga, Alabama, bounced off a radio, and hit Mrs Ann Hodges - the only verified case of a person's being struck by a meteorite.

2000: Space shuttle Endeavour (mission STS-97) was launched from Cape Canaveral with a crew consisting of commander Brent W Jett, pilot Michael J Bloomfield, and mission specialists Joseph R Tanner, Carlos I Noriega and Marc Garneau.

King Edmund II "Ironside" (989-1016), Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), General Sir Arthur Currie GCMG KCB (1875-1933), Sir Hubert Wilkins MC* (1888-1958), Herbert Khaury (1932-1996) and Gertrude Ederle (1906-2003) died on this date.

And happy birthday to Andrea Doria (1466-1560), Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Oliver Winchester (1810-1880), Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), Sir Winston Churchill KG OM CH TD FRS PC (1874-1965), Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), Efrem Zimbalist Jr (1918-TBD), Allan Sherman (1924-1973), Richard Crenna (1926-2003), Robert Guillaume (1927-TBD), G Gordon Liddy (1930-TBD), Sir Ridley Scott (1937-TBD), my sister (1944-2000), Colin Mochrie (1957-TBD), Ben Stiller (1965-TBD) and my niece (1969-TBD).

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