Today is the 345th day of 2015 and the 80th 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 1981, Muhammad Ali fought in his final boxing match, losing a unanimous decision to Trevor Berbick.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "It's an universal law -- intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility." -- 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: New moon (Dec. 11).