Today is the 366th day of 2012 and the 11th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1759, the first Guinness brewery was founded in Dublin, Ireland.
In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed a bill admitting West Virginia into the United States.
In 1879, Thomas Edison staged the first public demonstration of the electric light bulb.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Henri Matisse (1869-1954), artist; George C. Marshall (1880-1959), U.S. military commander/diplomat; Anthony Hopkins (1937- ), actor; John Denver (1943-1997), singer/songwriter; Ben Kingsley (1943- ), actor; Diane von Furstenberg (1946- ), fashion designer; Donna Summer (1948-2012), singer; Bebe Neuwirth (1958- ), actress; Val Kilmer (1959- ), actor; Nicholas Sparks (1965- ), writer; Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas (1995- ), gymnast.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1967, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17, in subzero weather. The game became known as the "Ice Bowl."
TODAY'S FACT: West Virginia, a new state created from Virginia counties that chose not to secede from the Union, was originally named Kanawha, after the Kanawha River.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "The artist begins with a vision -- a creative operation requiring effort. Creativity takes courage." -- Henri Matisse
TODAY'S NUMBER: 3,987 -- length in miles of the border between Canada and the lower 48 states.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Dec. 28) and last quarter moon (Jan. 4).