Today is the 345th day of 2014 and the 81st day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1816, Indiana was admitted as the 19th U.S. state.
In 1941, the United States declared war on Germany and Italy.
In 1946, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.
In 1972, the lunar module for Apollo 17, the final manned mission of the Apollo space program, touched ground on the moon.
In 2008, investment banker Bernie Madoff was arrested for perpetrating one of the largest Ponzi-scheme frauds in U.S. history.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), composer; Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947), New York City mayor; Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), novelist/dissident; Rita Moreno (1931- ), actress; John Kerry (1943- ), U.S. secretary of state; Teri Garr (1947- ), actress; Mo'Nique (1967- ), actress; Mos Def (1973- ), actor/rapper; Hailee Steinfeld, (1996- ), actress.
TODAY'S FACT: Apollo 17, which set records for the longest lunar surface exploration and the most lunar material collected, remains the most recent manned lunar mission.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2009, pro golfer Tiger Woods announced he was taking "an indefinite break" from the sport due to chaos in his personal life. He returned in April 2010.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Own only what you can always carry with you: Know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag." -- Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
TODAY'S NUMBER: $17.3 billion -- total (in principal) lost by clients in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. $48 billion more was lost in fictitious profits.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Dec. 6) and last quarter moon (Dec. 14).