There are 18 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
- On Dec. 13, 1862, Union forces suffered a major defeat to the Confederates in the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg (Va.).
On this date:
- In 1642, Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sighted present-day New Zealand.
- In 1769, Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, received its charter.
- In 1835, Phillips Brooks, the American Episcopal bishop who wrote the words to "O Little Town of Bethlehem," was born in Boston.
- In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office.
- In 1928, George Gershwin's musical work "An American in Paris" had its premiere, at Carnegie Hall in New York.
- In 1944, during World War II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze attack that claimed more than 130 lives.
- In 1978, the Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into circulation in July 1979.
- In 1981, authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. (Martial law formally ended in 1983.)
- In 1994, an American Eagle commuter plane crashed short of Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, killing 15 of the 20 people on board.
- In 1996, the U.N. Security Council chose Kofi Annan of Ghana to become the world body's seventh secretary-general.
Ten years ago:
- With a grave impeachment threat looming, President Bill Clinton told a news conference in Jerusalem he would not resign, and insisted he did not commit perjury.
- Voters in Puerto Rico rejected U.S. statehood.
Five years ago:
- Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, Iraq, near his hometown of Tikrit.
- A summit to forge a European Union constitution collapsed in Brussels, Belgium.
- Oklahoma quarterback Jason White won the Heisman Trophy.
- Former Sen. William V. Roth Jr., R-Del., creator of Roth IRA accounts, died in Washington at age 82.
One year ago:
- Democratic presidential hopefuls meeting in Johnston, Iowa, called for higher taxes on the highest-paid Americans and on big corporations in an unusually cordial debate.
- Shareholders of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, approved a takeover by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
- Major League Baseball's Mitchell Report was released, identifying 85 names to differing degrees in connection with the alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
- Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz is 88.
- Actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke is 83.
- Actor Christopher Plummer is 79.
- Actor Robert Prosky is 78. (Sadly, he passed 0n 2008-12-08)
- Country singer Buck White is 78.
- Music/film producer Lou Adler is 75.
- Movie producer Richard Zanuck is 74.
- Singer John Davidson is 67.
- Actress Kathy Garver (TV: "Family Affair") is 63.
- Singer Ted Nugent is 60.
- Rock musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter is 60.
- Country musician Ron Getman is 60.
- Actor Robert Lindsay is 59.
- Country singer-musician Randy Owen is 59.
- Actress Wendie Malick is 58.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is 55.
- Country singer John Anderson is 54.
- Singer-songwriter Steve Forbert is 54.
- Singer-actor Morris Day is 52.
- Actor Steve Buscemi is 51.
- Actor Johnny Whitaker is 49.
- Actor-comedian Jamie Foxx is 41.
- TV personality Debbie Matenopoulos is 34.
- Rock singer-musician Thomas Delonge is 33.
- Actor James Kyson Lee is 33.
- Actress Chelsea Hertford is 27.
- Rock singer Amy Lee (Evanescence) is 27.
- Country singer Taylor Swift is 19.
Thought for Today:
"My theory is to enjoy life, but the practice is against it."
Charles Lamb, English essayist (1775-1834).
"Let's all be careful out there!"