Today is the 348th day of 2014 and the 84th day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1799, George Washington died at Mount Vernon, his home in Virginia.
In 1819, Alabama was admitted as the 22nd U.S. state.
In 1911, explorer Roald Amundsen and his party became the first humans to reach the South Pole.
In 2001, after Hurricane Michelle devastated Cuba, a commercial shipment of food left the United States for the island nation for the first time since 1962.
In 2012, a 20-year-old gunman killed 26 people, including 20 first-graders, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., before taking his own life.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: James Doolittle (1896-1993), military aviator; Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995), politician; Shirley Jackson (1919-1965), author; Don Hewitt (1922-2009), TV producer; Lee Remick (1935-1991), actress; Patty Duke (1946- ), actress; Bill Buckner (1949- ), baseball player; Michael Moloney (1963- ), interior designer; Vanessa Hudgens (1988- ), actress.
TODAY'S FACT: Historians have estimated that physicians drained five to seven pints of blood from President George Washington in the day prior to his death, in an attempt to cure him.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1988, after losing the first 17 games of the season, the Miami Heat defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 89-88 for the franchise's first win.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality." -- Shirley Jackson, "The Haunting of Hill House"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 3 -- actual poles at the South Pole: the ceremonial pole, the geographical pole and the magnetic pole.
TODAY'S MOON: Last quarter moon (Dec. 14).