Today is Monday, Dec. 18, the 352nd day of 2017. There are 13 days left in the year.
irthdays: Former attorney general Ramsey Clark is 90. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is 74. Writer-director Alan Rudolph is 74. Director Steven Spielberg is 71. Blues artist Ron Piazza is 70. Movie reviewer Leonard Maltin is 67. Actor Ray Liotta is 62. Comedian Ron White is 61. Actor Brad Pitt is 54. Former professional wrestler ‘‘Stone Cold’’ Steve Austin is 53. Actress Rachel Griffiths is 49. Rapper DMX is 47. Tennis Hall of Famer Arantxa Sanchez Vicario is 46. Limp Bizkit DJ Lethal is 45. Actress Katie Holmes is 39. Singer Christina Aguilera is 37.
In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared in effect by Secretary of State William H. Seward.
In 1892, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet ‘‘The Nutcracker’’ publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia; although now considered a classic, it received a generally negative reception from critics.
In 1916, during World War I, the 10-month Battle of Verdun ended with French troops succeeding in repulsing a major German offensive.
In 1917, Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting ‘‘the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors’’ and sent it to the states for ratification.
In 1944, the Supreme Court generally upheld the government’s wartime evacuation of people of Japanese descent from the West Coast.
In 1956, Japan was admitted to the United Nations.
In 1972, the United States began heavy bombing of North Vietnamese targets during the Vietnam War. (The bombardment ended 11 days later.)
In 1992, Kim Young-sam was elected South Korea’s first civilian president in three decades.
In 1995, the Ted Williams Tunnel connecting South Boston to East Boston opened, after four years of work.
In 2007, the White House said President George W. Bush had approved ‘‘a significant reduction’’ in the US nuclear weapons stockpile, cutting it to less than one-quarter its size at the end of the Cold War.
In 2012, classes resumed in Newtown, Conn., except at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the scene of a massacre four days earlier.
Last year, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a military camp in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, killing at least 52 soldiers; the Islamic State group’s Yemen-based affiliate claimed responsibility.