Today is the 277th day of 2012 and the 12th day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln designated the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving.
In 1990, East and West Germany were reunified.
In 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938), novelist; Gore Vidal (1925-2012), writer; Chubby Checker (1941- ), musician; Dave Winfield (1951- ), baseball player; Al Sharpton (1954- ), minister/activist; Clive Owen (1964- ), actor; Gwen Stefani (1969- ), singer; Talib Kweli (1975- ), rapper; Ashlee Simpson (1984- ), singer/actress.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1951, New York Giants player Bobby Thomson hit the "Shot Heard 'Round the World," a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to clinch the National League pennant over the Brooklyn Dodgers.
TODAY'S FACT: In 1789, President George Washington announced that Nov. 26, 1789, would be "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer," the first in the nation's history.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation and prejudice." -- Gore Vidal
TODAY'S NUMBER: $1 trillion -- amount of public and private funds that eastern Germany received from western Germany in the five years following reunification.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Sept. 29) and last quarter (Oct. 8).