On This Day … 30 November


  • 977 – Emperor Otto II lifts the siege at Paris and withdraws.
    • His rearguard is defeated while crossing the Aisne River by Frankish forces under King Lothair III.
  • 1707 – The second Siege of Pensacola comes to end with the failure of the British to capture Pensacola, Florida.
  • 1718 – King Charles XII of Sweden dies during a siege of the fortress of Fredriksten in Norway.
  • 1782 – American Revolutionary War: Treaty of Paris: In Paris, representatives from the United States and Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles.
    • Later formalised as the 1783 Treaty of Paris.
  • 1786 – The Grand Duchy of Tuscany, under Pietro Leopoldo I, becomes the first modern state to abolish the death penalty.
    • Later commemorated as Cities for Life Day.
  • 1803 – In New Orleans, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to an official from the French First Republic.
    • Just 20 days later, France transfers the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1853 – Crimean War: Battle of Sinop: The Imperial Russian Navy under Pavel Nakhimov destroys the Ottoman fleet under Osman Pasha at Sinop, a sea port in northern Turkey.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: The Confederate Army of Tennessee suffers heavy losses in an attack on the Union Army of the Ohio in the Battle of Franklin.
  • 1900 – A German engineer patents front-wheel drive for autos.
  • 1939 – Winter War: Soviet forces cross the Finnish border in several places and bomb Helsinki and several other Finnish cities, starting the war.
  • 1940 – World War II: Signing of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of 1940 between the Empire of Japan and the newly formed Wang Jingwei-led Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China. This treaty was considered so unfair to China that it was compared to the Twenty-One Demands.
  • 1942 – World War II: Battle of Tassafaronga; A smaller squadron of Japanese destroyers led by Raizō Tanaka defeats a US cruiser force under Carleton H. Wright.
  • 1947 – Civil War in Mandatory Palestine begins, leading up to the creation of the state of Israel.
  • 1966 – Barbados becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
  • 1967 – South Yemen becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
  • 1971 – Iran seizes the Greater and Lesser Tunbs from the Emirates of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler tells the press that there will be no more public announcements concerning American troop withdrawals from Vietnam because troop levels are now down to 27,000.
  • 1981 – Cold War: In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union begin to negotiate intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe.
    • The meetings end inconclusively on 17 December.
  • 1995 – Official end of Operation Desert Storm.
  • 1995 – US President Bill Clinton visits Northern Ireland and speaks in favour of the “Northern Ireland peace process” to a huge rally at Belfast City Hall; he calls IRA fighters “yesterday’s men”.
  • 1999 – British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems merge to form BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defence contractor and the fourth largest aerospace firm in the world.

People (Births)

  • 1364 – John FitzAlan, 2nd Baron Arundel, Scottish soldier (d. 1390).
  • 1466 – Andrea Doria, Italian admiral (d. 1560).
  • 1554 – Philip Sidney, English soldier, courtier, and poet (d. 1586).
  • 1683 – Ludwig Andreas von Khevenhüller, Austrian field marshal (d. 1744).
  • 1791 – Count Franz Philipp von Lamberg, Austrian field marshal and politician (d. 1848).
  • 1810 – Oliver Winchester, American businessman and politician, founded the Winchester Repeating Arms Company (d. 1880).
  • 1836 – Lord Frederick Cavendish, Anglo-Irish soldier and politician, Chief Secretary for Ireland (d. 1882).
  • 1872 – John McCrae, Canadian physician, soldier, and poet (d. 1918).
  • 1874 – Winston Churchill, English colonel, journalist, and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1965).
  • 1887 – Beatrice Kerr, Australian swimmer and diver (d. 1971).
  • 1937 – Tom Simpson, English cyclist (d. 1967).
  • 1949 – Matthew Festing, 79th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
  • 1950 – Patricia Ann Tracey, American Naval Vice Admiral.
  • 1961 – Innocent Egbunike, Nigerian sprinter and coach.
  • 1961 – Ian Morris, Trinidadian footballer and sprinter.
  • 1966 – David Berkoff, American swimmer.
  • 1968 – Laurent Jalabert, French cyclist and sportscaster.
  • 1972 – Dan Jarvis, English soldier and politician.
  • 1983 – Vladislav Polyakov, Kazakhstani swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1526 – Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, Italian captain (b. 1498).
  • 1864 – Patrick Cleburne, Irish-American general (b. 1828).
  • 1920 – Vladimir May-Mayevsky, Russian general (b. 1867).
  • 1933 – Arthur Currie, Canadian general (b. 1875).
  • 1944 – Paul Masson, French cyclist (b. 1876).
  • 1958 – Hubert Wilkins, Australian military pilot, ornithologist, geographer, and explorer (b. 1888).
  • 2003 – Gertrude Ederle, American swimmer (b. 1906).

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