►Today is Sunday, Dec. 16, the 351st day of 2012. There are 15 days left in the year.
►Today’s Birthdays: Civil rights attorney Morris Dees is 76. Actress Joyce Bulifant is 75. Actress Liv Ullmann is 74. CBS news correspondent Lesley Stahl is 71. TV producer Steven Bochco is 69.. Pop musician Tony Hicks (The Hollies) is 67. Actor Ben Cross is 65. Rock singer-musician Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) is 63. Actor Sam Robards is 51. Actor Jon Tenney is 51. Actor Benjamin Bratt is 49. Actor Jonathan Scarfe is 37. Country musician Chris Scruggs is 30. Actress Amanda Setton is 27. Actress Hallee Hirsh is 25. Actress Anna Popplewell is 24.
►In 1653, Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
►In 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea into Boston Harbor to protest tea taxes.
►In 1944, the World War II Battle of the Bulge began as German forces launched a surprise attack against Allied forces in Belgium (the Allies were eventually able to beat the Germans back).
►In 1962, Nepal’s Panchayat Constitution was proclaimed.
►In 1982, Environmental Protection Agency head Anne M. Gorsuch became the first Cabinet-level officer to be cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to submit documents requested by a congressional committee.