TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1492, Christopher Columbus became the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola, now the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
In 1790, the U.S. Congress moved from New York City to Philadelphia.
In 1877, the first edition of The Washington Post was published.
In 1957, two months after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the United States attempted to launch its first satellite, but the Vanguard rocket exploded on the launch pad.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), poet; Ira Gershwin (1896-1983), lyricist; Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995), photojournalist; Baby Face Nelson (1908-1934), criminal; Dave Brubeck (1920-2012), jazz pianist; Steven Wright (1955- ), comedian; Andrew Cuomo (1957- ), New York governor; Nick Park (1958- ), director/animator; Judd Apatow (1967- ), filmmaker.
TODAY'S FACT: The world's first pediatric heart transplant (which was also the first human-to-human heart transplant in the United States) was performed at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, on this day in 1967.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2003, after a loss to Navy, Army became the first Division I college football team in history to finish the season 0-13.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Holding hands at midnight / 'Neath a starry sky ... / Nice work if you can get it / And you can get it if you try." -- Ira Gershwin, "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 898 -- steps to the top of the Washington Monument when it was completed on this day in 1884. (The bottom step was later converted to a wheelchair ramp, bringing the total to 897.)
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter moon (Dec. 3) and full moon (Dec. 11).