There are 12 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
- On Dec. 19, 1843, "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.
On this date:
- In 1777, Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter.
- In 1813, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.
- In 1907, 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pa.
- In 1932, the British Broadcasting Corporation began transmitting overseas with its Empire Service to Australia.
- In 1946, war broke out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launched widespread attacks against the French.
- In 1957, Meredith Willson's musical play "The Music Man" opened on Broadway.
- In 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
- In 1974, Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the United States.
- In 1986, Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.
- In 1997, a SilkAir Boeing 737-300 plunged from the sky, crashing into an Indonesian river and killing all 104 people aboard.
Ten years ago:
- President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice (he was later acquitted by the Senate).
- Two days after his confession of marital infidelity, Bob Livingston told the House he wouldn't serve as its next speaker.
- President Clinton halted airstrikes against Iraq after a fourth day of attacks.
Five years ago:
- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to halt his nation's drive to develop nuclear and chemical weapons.
- Design plans were unveiled for the signature skyscraper — a 1,776-foot glass tower — at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.
- Death claimed actress Hope Lange at age 70 and actor Les Tremayne at age 90.
One year ago:
- President George W. Bush signed legislation increasing fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles and requiring wider use of ethanol.
- An explosion and fire at a chemical plant in Jacksonville, Fla., killed four workers.
- An express train derailed in southern Pakistan, killing at least 40 people.
- Former Hyundai CEO Lee Myung-bak won South Korea's presidency.
- Rescuers found Frederick Dominguez and his three children, who had been lost in the mountains for three days during a snowstorm, in a northern California ravine.
- Country singer Little Jimmy Dickens is 88.
- Composer-lyricist Robert Sherman ("Mary Poppins") is 83.
- Actress Cicely Tyson is 75.
- Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 67.
- Actor Tim Reid is 64.
- Paleontologist Richard E. Leakey is 64.
- Rock singer Alvin Lee (Ten Years After) is 64.
- Actress Elaine Joyce is 63.
- Musician John McEuen is 63.
- Singer Janie Fricke is 61.
- Jazz musician Lenny White is 59.
- Actor Mike Lookinland is 48.
- Actress Jennifer Beals is 45.
- Actor Scott Cohen is 44.
- Actor Robert MacNaughton is 42.
- Magician Criss Angel is 41.
- Rock musician Kevin Shepard is 40.
- Actress Kristy Swanson is 39.
- Model Tyson Beckford is 38.
- Actress Amy Locane is 37.
- Actress Rosa Blasi is 36.
- Actress Alyssa Milano is 36.
- Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is 28.
- Actress Marla Sokoloff is 28.
- Rapper Lady Sovereign is 23.
Thought for Today:
"Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them."
Paul Valery, French poet and critic (1871-1945).
"Let's all be careful out there!"