Today is the 365th day of 2012 and the 10th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1853, the United States completed the Gadsden Purchase, establishing the border with Mexico.
In 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was officially established.
In 2006, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was executed.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), writer; Bo Diddley (1928-2008), R&B singer; Sandy Koufax (1935- ), baseball player; Davy Jones (1945-2012), singer; Patti Smith (1946- ) singer/songwriter; Meredith Vieira (1953- ), TV journalist; Matt Lauer (1957- ), TV journalist; Tracey Ullman (1959- ), actress/comedian; Tiger Woods (1975- ), pro golfer; Eliza Dushku (1980- ), actress; LeBron James (1984- ), basketball player.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1936, Long Island University's 43-game winning streak in basketball came to an end with a 44-31 defeat by Stanford.
TODAY'S FACT: The geographical center of the United States lies 17 miles west of Castle Rock, S.D., but the center of population is about three miles northeast of Plato in Texas County, Mo.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "All the people like us are We, and everyone else is They." -- Rudyard Kipling
TODAY'S NUMBER: 28 -- record-setting number of tropical and subtropical storms in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. This includes one unnamed storm in October that was identified after the season ended.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Dec. 28) and last quarter moon (Jan. 4).