Today is Wednesday, Dec. 19, the 354th day of 2012. There are 12 days left in the year.
Today’s birthdays: Country singer Little Jimmy Dickens is 92. Actress Cicely Tyson is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 71. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is 71. Actress Elaine Joyce is 69. Actor Tim Reid is 68. Paleontologist Richard E. Leakey is 68. Rock singer Alvin Lee (Ten Years After) is 68. Musician John McEuen is 67. Singer Janie Fricke is 65. Jazz musician Lenny White is 63. Actor Mike Lookinland is 52. Actress Jennifer Beals is 49. Actor Scott Cohen is 48. Actor Robert MacNaughton is 46. Magician Criss Angel is 45. Rock musician Klaus Eichstadt (Ugly Kid Joe) is 45. Rock musician Kevin Shepard is 44. Actress Kristy Swanson is 43. Model Tyson Beckford is 42. Actress Amy Locane-Bovenizer is 41. Actress Rosa Blasi is 40. Actress Alyssa Milano is 40. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is 32. Actress Marla Sokoloff is 32. Rapper Lady Sovereign is 27.
In 1777, General George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter.
In 1813, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.
In 1843, ‘‘A Christmas Carol,’’ by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.
In 1910, the artificial fiber rayon was first commercially produced by the American Viscose Co. of Marcus Hook, Pa.
In 1932, the British Broadcasting Corp. began transmitting overseas with its Empire Service to Australia.
In 1946, war broke out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launched widespread attacks against the French.
In 1961, former US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., 73, suffered a debilitating stroke while in Palm Beach, Fla.
In 1971, ‘‘A Clockwork Orange,’’ Stanley Kubrick’s controversial movie adaptation of the Anthony Burgess novel, had its world premiere in the United States.
In 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice (he was later acquitted by the Senate).
In 2002, a judge in New York threw out the convictions of five young men from Harlem in a 1989 attack on a Central Park jogger who’d been raped and left for dead.