Saturday, Dec. 8

Today is the 342nd day of 2018 and the 78th day of autumn.

TODAY’S HISTORY: In 1941, the United States declared war on Japan and officially entered World War II.

In 1980, John Lennon was shot to death outside his Manhattan apartment building.

In 1991, the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS: Eli Whitney (1765-1825), inventor; James Thurber (1894-1961), humorist; Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990), entertainer; David Carradine (1936-2009), actor; Jim Morrison (1943-1971), singer-songwriter; Kim Basinger (1953- ), actress; Ann Coulter (1961- ), political commentator; Teri Hatcher (1964- ), actress; Kevin Harvick (1975- ), race car driver; Nicki Minaj (1982- ), rapper; Dwight Howard (1985- ), basketball player; Josh Donaldson (1985- ), baseball player.

TODAY’S FACT: SpaceX became the first private company in the world to successfully launch, place in orbit and recover a spacecraft on this day in 2010.

TODAY’S SPORTS: In 1940, the Chicago Bears routed the Washington Redskins in the NFL championship game, 73-0. It remains the largest margin of victory in NFL history.

TODAY’S QUOTE: “All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.” — James Thurber, “The Shore and the Sea”

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