Today is the 358th day of 2012 and the third day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1783, George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army.
In 1823, the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (better known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas") was first published anonymously in the Troy (N.Y.) Sentinel. The poem was later attributed to Clement C. Moore.
In 1986, the lightweight composite aircraft Voyager completed the first nonstop flight around the globe without refueling.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Joseph Smith (1805-1844), religious leader; Sarah Breedlove Walker (1867-1919), entrepreneur; Akihito (1933- ), emperor of Japan; Wesley Clark (1944- ), Army general; Harry Shearer (1943- ), actor/comedian; Susan Lucci (1946- ), actress; William Kristol (1952- ), political commentator; Eddie Vedder (1964- ), musician; Hanley Ramirez (1983- ), baseball player.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1972, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Oakland Raiders, 13-7, on a bizarre last-second touchdown that became known as the "Immaculate Reception."
TODAY'S FACT: In 2006, an original handwritten copy of "A Visit From St. Nicholas" sold in a private sale for $280,000.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Whether it's overt or covert, you pay enormous consequences for using force." -- Gen. Wesley Clark
TODAY'S NUMBER: 18 -- Daytime Emmy nominations Susan Lucci received before finally winning the award in 1999.
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter moon (Dec. 20) and full moon (Dec. 28).