Today is the 362nd day of 2012 and the seventh day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1831, the HMS Beagle, with naturalist Charles Darwin aboard, set sail from Great Britain.
In 2002, North Korea announced it would resume developing nuclear-grade plutonium and ordered International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to leave the country.
In 2007, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated after a campaign rally in Rawalpindi.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), astronomer; Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), biologist/chemist; Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992), actress/singer; John Amos (1939- ), actor; Cokie Roberts (1943- ), journalist; Gerard Depardieu (1948- ), actor; Sarah Vowell (1969- ), social commentator; Masi Oka (1974- ), actor; Carson Palmer (1979- ), football player; Cole Hamels (1983- ), baseball player.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2004, retired NFL defensive end Reggie White died of cardiac arrhythmia at age 43. White, who remains second on the career sack list with 198.5, was voted to the Pro Bowl 13 times during his 15-year career and was a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 2006.
TODAY'S FACT: France is far more reliant on nuclear power than any other nation in the world. More than 75 percent of the country's electricity is nuclear-generated.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses." -- Johannes Kepler
TODAY'S NUMBER: 3,300 -- approximate number of people buried at Westminster Abbey, many of them in unmarked graves. Charles Darwin is among the famous scientists buried there.
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter moon (Dec. 20) and full moon (Dec. 28).