TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1933, the era of alcohol prohibition ended as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment.
In 1955, Martin Luther King Jr., E.D. Dixon, Rosa Parks and other activists launched an organized bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged, forming the AFL-CIO.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), eighth U.S. president; George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876), U.S. Army officer; Walt Disney (1901-1966), cartoonist/filmmaker; Strom Thurmond (1902-2003), politician; Otto Preminger (1905-1986), film director; Little Richard (1932- ), singer-songwriter; Joan Didion (1934- ), author; Jose Carreras (1946- ), opera singer; Margaret Cho (1968- ), actress/comedian; Keri Hilson (1982- ), singer-songwriter; Frankie Muniz (1985- ), actor.
TODAY'S FACT: The 21st Amendment expressly gave each state the right to restrict or ban the purchase or sale of alcohol, which meant that many states continued to enforce prohibition laws even after 1933. Mississippi was the last state to repeal prohibition, in 1966.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1978, longtime Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose signed a four-year, $3.2 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, becoming Major League Baseball's highest-paid player at the time.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "We tell ourselves stories in order to live. We live entirely by the impression of a narrative line upon disparate images, the shifting phantasmagoria, which is our actual experience." -- Joan Didion
TODAY'S NUMBER: 18 -- total minutes of screen time for Aurora, the main character in Disney's 1959 animated film, "Sleeping Beauty."
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter moon (Dec. 3) and full moon (Dec. 11).