There are 22 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
- Four hundred years ago, on Dec. 9, 1608, English poet John Milton was born in London.
On this date:
- In 1854, Alfred, Lord Tennyson's famous poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," was published in England.
- In 1892, "Widowers' Houses," Bernard Shaw's first play, opened at the Royalty Theater in London.
- In 1940, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.
- In 1941, China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.
- In 1942, the Aram Khachaturian ballet "Gayane," featuring the surging "Saber Dance," was first performed by the Kirov Ballet.
- In 1958, the anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.
- In 1965, Nikolai V. Podgorny replaced Anastas I. Mikoyan as president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.
- In 1987, the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, began as riots broke out in Gaza and spread to the West Bank, triggering a strong Israeli counter-response.
- In 1990, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa won Poland's presidential runoff by a landslide.
- In 1992, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (The couple's divorce became final Aug. 28, 1996.)
Ten years ago:
- Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee drew up four proposed articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, all stemming from his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky and long campaign to cover it up.
Five years ago:
- The owners of a Rhode Island nightclub and the tour manager for the rock band Great White were indicted on charges related to a fire the previous February that killed 100 people.
- A suicide bomber killed five victims outside an exclusive Moscow hotel.
- Former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination.
- Former Sen. Paul Simon died in Springfield, Ill., at age 75.
One year ago:
- A young man once affiliated with a missionary school shot nine people at the school near Denver and a megachurch in Colorado Springs; four victims died and the gunman, Matthew Murray, killed himself.
- Pig farmer Robert "Willie" Pickton, accused of being Canada's worst serial killer, was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder, which carried a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
- Republican presidential candidates sought to embrace Hispanics in a Spanish language debate in Coral Gables, Fla.
- The first summit between Europe and Africa in seven years came to an acrimonious end in Lisbon, Portugal.
- Actor Kirk Douglas is 92.
- Actor Dick Van Patten is 80.
- Actor-writer Buck Henry is 78.
- Actress Dame Judi Dench is 74.
- Actor Beau Bridges is 67.
- Jazz singer-musician Dan Hicks is 67.
- Football Hall-of-Famer Dick Butkus is 66.
- Actor Michael Nouri is 63.
- Former Sen. Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., is 61.
- Singer Joan Armatrading is 58.
- Actor Michael Dorn is 56.
- Actor John Malkovich is 55.
- Country singer Sylvia is 52.
- Singer/game show host Donny Osmond is 51.
- Rock musician Nick Seymour (Crowded House) is 50.
- Comedian Mario Cantone is 49.
- Actor Joe Lando is 47.
- Actress Felicity Huffman is 46.
- Country musician Jerry Hughes (Yankee Grey) is 43.
- Rock singer-musician Thomas Flowers (Oleander) is 41.
- Rock musician Brian Bell (Weezer) is 40.
- Rock singer-musician Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) is 39.
- Country musician Brian Hayes (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 39.
- Actress Allison Smith is 39.
- Songwriter Kara DioGuardi is 38.
- Country singer David Kersh is 38.
- Rock musician Tre Cool (Green Day) is 36.
- Rapper Canibus is 34.
- Rock musician Eric Zamora (Save Ferris) is 32.
- Rock singer Imogen Heap is 31.
- Actor Jesse Metcalfe is 30.
- Actor Simon Helberg is 28.
Thought for Today:
"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties."
John Milton, English poet (1608-1674).
"Let's all be careful out there!"