Today is the 342nd day of 2015 and the 77th 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 BIRTHDAYS: 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; Ryan Newman (1977- ), race car driver; Ian Somerhalder (1978- ), actor; Nicki Minaj (1982- ), rapper; Dwight Howard (1985- ), basketball player; Josh Donaldson (1985- ), baseball 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 routed the Washington Redskins in the NFL championship game, 73-0. It remains the largest margin of victory in NFL history.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "The dog has got more fun out of Man than Man has got out of the dog, for the clearly demonstrable reason that Man is the more laughable of the two animals." -- James Thurber, "The Fireside Book of Dog Stories"
TODAY'S NUMBER: $1.19 trillion -- value of total U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico in 2014.
TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (Dec. 3) and new moon (Dec. 11).