TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1903, Orville Wright made the first controlled, sustained flight in a power-driven airplane.
In 1989, the first episode of "The Simpsons" aired.
In 1992, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed by the leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico.
In 2010, street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest of government mistreatment in Tunisia, becoming a catalyst for Arab Spring protests in the region.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), poet; Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939), novelist; William Safire (1929-2009), columnist; Eugene Levy (1946- ), actor/comedian; Wes Studi (1947- ), actor; Bill Pullman (1953- ), actor; Peter Farrelly (1956- ), filmmaker; Rian Johnson (1973- ), filmmaker; Paula Radcliffe (1973- ), long-distance runner; Sarah Paulson (1974- ), actress; Giovanni Ribisi (1974- ), actor; Milla Jovovich (1975- ), actress; Manny Pacquiao (1978- ), boxer; Chase Utley (1978- ), baseball player.
TODAY'S FACT: An attempt to re-create the Wright brothers' inaugural flight on North Carolina's Outer Banks failed to take off in 2003, on the first flight's 100-year anniversary.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1933, the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants 23-21 to win the first NFL Championship game.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "On the two-way street of communication, a happy symbiosis is achieved when a writer tosses up an offbeat usage or a puzzling word and the working reader figures it out and savors it." -- William Safire, "Let a Simile Be Your Umbrella"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 34 -- Emmy Awards won by "The Simpsons" as of 2019.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Dec. 11) and last quarter moon (Dec. 18).