Today is the 342nd day of 2014 and the 78th day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1941, the United States declared war on Japan and officially entered World War II.
In 1980, John Lennon was shot to death outside his Manhattan apartment building.
In 1991, the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
TODAY'S BIRTDHAYS: Eli Whitney (1765-1825), inventor; James Thurber (1894-1961), humorist; Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990), entertainer; David Carradine (1936-2009), actor; Jim Morrison (1943-1971), singer-songwriter; Kim Basinger (1953- ), actress; Ann Coulter (1961- ), political commentator; Teri Hatcher (1964- ), actress; Kevin Harvick (1975- ), race car driver; Dominic Monaghan (1976- ), actor; Ryan Newman (1977- ), race car driver; Ian Somerhalder (1978- ), actor; Nicki Minaj (1982- ), rapper; Dwight Howard (1985- ), basketball player.
TODAY'S FACT: The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), encompassing the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the United States, was ratified by the last country, Costa Rica, on Oct. 7, 2007.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1940, the Chicago Bears crushed the Washington Redskins in the NFL championship game, 73-0. It remains the largest margin of victory in NFL history.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Boys are perhaps beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years." -- James Thurber
TODAY'S NUMBER: $1.14 trillion -- value of total U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico in 2013.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Dec. 6) and last quarter moon (Dec. 14).