There are 23 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
- On Dec. 8, 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Japan, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On this date:
- In 1776, during the Revolutionary War, George Washington's retreating army crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey into Pennsylvania.
- In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was free of original sin from the moment of her own conception.
- In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan for the Reconstruction of the South.
- In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio.
- In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa as the Communists pressed their attacks.
- In 1978, former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir died in Jerusalem at age 80.
- In 1980, rock star John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan.
- In 1982, a man demanding an end to nuclear weapons held the Washington Monument hostage, threatening to blow it up with explosives he claimed were inside a van. After a 10-hour standoff, Norman D. Mayer was shot dead by police; it turned out there were no explosives.
- In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty at the White House calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
- In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into U.S. law the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect at the start of 1994.
Ten years ago:
- Struggling to stave off impeachment, President Bill Clinton's defenders forcefully pleaded his case before the House Judiciary Committee.
- The Supreme Court ruled that police cannot search people and their cars after merely ticketing them for routine traffic violations.
- San Francisco and several suburbs suffered a power blackout; it was more than seven hours before electricity was fully restored.
Five years ago:
- President George W. Bush signed a $400 billion Medicare overhaul bill that included a prescription drug plan for seniors.
- Congress approved legislation to stem the flood of unwanted junk e-mail known as "spam."
- U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow resigned from Congress just after being convicted in the traffic death of a motorcyclist, Randy Scott, in South Dakota.
- A Greek anti-terrorism court convicted 15 members of the November 17 cell for their roles in a nearly 30-year killing campaign.
One year ago:
- The Justice Department and CIA announced a joint inquiry into the spy agency's destruction of videotapes of interrogations of two suspected terrorists.
- Talk show host Oprah Winfrey publicly endorsed Barack Obama for president during appearances in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
- Skiers, fire-eaters and an ice sculptor joined in worldwide demonstrations to draw attention to global warming.
- Florida quarterback Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.
- Actor-director Maximilian Schell is 78.
- Actor David Carradine is 72.
- Actor James MacArthur is 71.
- Flutist James Galway is 69.
- Singer Jerry Butler is 69.
- Pop musician Bobby Elliott (The Hollies) is 67.
- Actor John Rubinstein is 62.
- Rock singer-musician Gregg Allman is 61.
- Reggae singer Toots Hibbert (Toots and the Maytals) is 60.
- Actress Kim Basinger is 55.
- Rock musician Warren Cuccurullo is 52.
- Rock musician Phil Collen (Def Leppard) is 51.
- Country singer Marty Raybon is 49.
- Rock musician Marty Friedman is 46.
- Actor Wendell Pierce is 45.
- Actress Teri Hatcher is 44.
- Rapper Bushwick Bill (The Geto Boys) is 42.
- Singer Sinead O'Connor is 42.
- Actor Matthew Laborteaux is 42.
- Rock musician Ryan Newell (Sister Hazel) is 36.
- Actor Dominic Monaghan is 32.
- Actor Ian Somerhalder is 30.
- Rock singer Ingrid Michaelson is 29.
- Rock singer-actress Kate Voegele is 22.
- Actress AnnaSophia Robb is 15.
Thought for Today:
"So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private individuals will occasionally kill theirs."
Elbert Hubbard, American author (1856-1915).
"Let's all be careful out there!"