Today is the 348th day of 2012 and the 83rd day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1577, Sir Francis Drake left England on a three-year voyage around the world.
In 2002, Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as archbishop of Boston following sex abuse scandals in the archdiocese.
In 2003, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. military forces in a small underground hideout near Tikrit, Iraq.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), poet; Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882), first lady; Diego Rivera (1886-1957), painter; Dick Van Dyke (1925- ), actor; Christopher Plummer (1929- ), actor; Ted Nugent (1948- ), musician; Steve Buscemi (1957- ), actor; Jamie Foxx (1967- ), actor; Sergei Fedorov (1969- ), hockey player; Taylor Swift (1989- ), singer.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2007, the "Mitchell Report" was released, indicating widespread steroid use in professional baseball and naming dozens of players involved.
TODAY'S FACT: Mexican artist Diego Rivera painted a fresco on a ground-floor wall at Rockefeller Center in 1933. However, the commissioned work was destroyed shortly after completion because it contained a portrait of Vladimir Lenin.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Whenever books are burned, men also in the end are burned." -- Heinrich Heine
TODAY'S NUMBER: 6 -- Mary Todd Lincoln's age when her mother died. Abraham Lincoln's mother died when he was 9.
TODAY'S MOON: New moon (Dec. 13).