Today is the 365th day of 2017 and the 11th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1600, the British East India Company was chartered.
In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed a bill admitting West Virginia into the United States.
In 1879, Thomas Edison staged the first public demonstration of the electric lightbulb.
In 1999, the United States handed over complete control of the Panama Canal to Panama.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Henri Matisse (1869-1954), artist; George C. Marshall (1880-1959), U.S. military commander/diplomat; Anthony Hopkins (1937- ), actor; John Denver (1943-1997), singer-songwriter; Ben Kingsley (1943- ), actor; Diane von Furstenberg (1946- ), fashion designer; Donna Summer (1948-2012), singer; Bebe Neuwirth (1958- ), actress; Val Kilmer (1959- ), actor; Lance Reddick (1962- ), actor; Nicholas Sparks (1965- ), writer; Psy (1977- ), singer-songwriter; Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas (1995- ), gymnast.
TODAY'S FACT: West Virginia, a new state created from Virginia counties that chose not to secede from the Union, was originally named Kanawha, after the Kanawha River.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1967, Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers defeated Tom Landry's Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Championship Game, 21-17, in subzero weather. The game became known as the "Ice Bowl." Green Bay went on to defeat the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "It isn't easy living with an author. I know this because my wife has informed me of this fact." -- Nicholas Sparks, "Three Weeks With My Brother"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 3,987 -- length in miles of the border between Canada and the lower 48 states.
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter moon (Dec. 26) and full moon (Jan. 1).