Today is the 349th day of 2014 and the 85th day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1791, the Bill of Rights took effect after ratification by Virginia.
In 1939, the film "Gone With the Wind" premiered in Atlanta.
In 1961, Adolf Eichmann, considered the architect of the Nazis' "final solution," was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death by an Israeli court.
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced his intention to grant diplomatic recognition to Communist China, severing ties with Taiwan, on Jan. 1, 1979.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), engineer/architect; Maxwell Anderson (1888-1959), playwright; J. Paul Getty (1892-1976), oil tycoon/philanthropist; Betty Smith (1896-1972), author; Tim Conway (1933- ), actor/comedian; Dave Clark (1942- ), musician; Don Johnson (1949- ), actor; Julie Taymor (1952- ), director; Rodney Harrison (1972- ), football player; Adam Brody (1979- ), actor.
TODAY'S FACT: In 2001, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy was reopened after being closed for more than a decade for stabilization and reconstruction efforts.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1982, Bill Parcells became the coach of the NFL's New York Giants.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory." -- Betty Smith, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"
TODAY'S NUMBER: $17 million -- ransom demanded of billionaire J. Paul Getty by the kidnappers of his 16-year-old grandson in 1973, which Getty refused to pay. After the kidnappers sent his grandson's severed ear by mail a few weeks later, Getty secured his grandson's release by agreeing to pay no more than $2.2 million (the maximum amount that would be tax deductible).
TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (Dec. 14) and new moon (Dec. 21).