Today is the 353rd day of 2012 and the 88th day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1865, slavery formally ended in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment.
In 1957, the first civilian electricity-generating nuclear facility in the United States opened in Pennsylvania.
In 1958, a U.S. rocket launched SCORE (Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment), the world's first communications satellite, into space.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Ty Cobb (1886-1961), baseball Hall of Famer; Robert Moses (1888-1981), urban planner; Betty Grable (1916-1973), actress; Ossie Davis (1917-2005), actor; Keith Richards (1943- ), musician; Steven Spielberg (1946- ), director; Brad Pitt (1963- ), actor; Katie Holmes (1978- ), actress; Christina Aguilera (1980- ), singer.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1932, a blizzard forced the National Football League to hold its championship game inside Chicago Stadium on an 80-yard field. The Chicago Bears defeated the Portsmouth Spartans, 9-0.
TODAY'S FACT: The SCORE satellite launched in 1958 used a tape recorder to save and relay voice messages. It communicated a Christmas message from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the world via shortwave frequency on Dec. 19.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Cities are created by and for traffic. A city without traffic is a ghost town." -- Robert Moses
TODAY'S NUMBER: 104 -- commercial nuclear power plants operating in the United States as of 2012. Combined, the plants produce nearly 20 percent of the nation's electricity.
TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (Dec. 13) and first quarter moon (Dec. 20).