Today is the 346th day of 2012 and the 81st day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1941, the United States declared war on Germany and Italy.
In 1972, the lunar module for Apollo 17, the final manned mission of the Apollo space program, touched ground on the moon.
In 2008, investment banker Bernie Madoff was arrested for perpetrating one of the largest Ponzi-scheme frauds in U.S. history.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), composer; Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947), New York City mayor; Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), novelist/dissident; Rita Moreno (1931- ), actress; John Kerry (1943- ), senator; Teri Garr (1949- ), actress; Mo'Nique (1967- ), actress; Mos Def (1973- ), actor/rapper; Hailee Steinfeld, (1996- ), actress.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2009, pro golfer Tiger Woods announced he was taking "an indefinite break" from the sport due to chaos in his personal life.
TODAY'S FACT: Apollo 17, which set records for the longest lunar surface exploration and the most lunar material collected, remains the most recent manned lunar mission.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "For a country to have a great writer is like having a second government. That is why no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones." -- Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
TODAY'S NUMBER: $33.5 million -- Alex Rodriguez's estimated total earnings in 2012, making him the highest paid baseball player.
TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (Dec. 6) and new moon (Dec. 13).