TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1943, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed supreme allied commander.
In 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first humans to orbit the moon.
In 1973, Congress passed legislation allowing residents of Washington, D.C., to elect a mayor and council with limited authority.
In 1992, President George H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others associated with the Iran-Contra scandal.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Kit Carson (1809-1868), Army scout/frontiersman; Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), poet/critic; Howard Hughes (1905-1976), businessman/aviator/film producer; Ava Gardner (1922-1990), actress; Mary Higgins Clark (1927- ), author; Robert Joffrey (1930-1988), dancer/choreographer; Kate Spade (1962-2018), fashion designer; Ricky Martin (1971- ), singer/actor; Stephenie Meyer (1973- ), author; Ryan Seacrest (1974- ), TV/radio personality.
TODAY'S FACT: Kit Carson left his apprenticeship as a saddle and harness maker to join a wagon train headed west when he was 15 years old.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1950, the Cleveland Browns won the NFL championship by defeating the Los Angeles Rams, 30-28, when Lou "The Toe" Groza kicked a field goal with 20 seconds left.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "The will is free; / Strong is the soul, and wise, and beautiful; / The seeds of god-like power are in us still; / Gods are we, bards, saints, heroes, if we will!" -- Matthew Arnold, "Written in Emerson's Essays"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 34 -- years after his death in 1976 that the estimated $2 billion estate of Howard Hughes, who died without a valid will, was finally settled.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Dec. 22) and last quarter moon (Dec. 29).