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This Day in History, Dec. 19.

On this date in 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.

Today is Thursday, Dec. 19, the 353rd day of 2013. There are 12 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 19, 1843, "A Christmas Carol,'' by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.

On this date:

In 1777, Gen. 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 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 1950, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was named commander of the military forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In 1961, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., 73, suffered a debilitating stroke while in Palm Beach, Fla.

In 1984, a fire at the Wilberg Mine near Orangeville, Utah, killed 27 people. Britain and China signed an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.

In 1986, Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.

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).

Ten years ago: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to halt his nation's drive to develop nuclear and chemical weapons.

Five years ago: An unwavering Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich served notice he had no intention of quitting over his corruption arrest, declaring: "I have done nothing wrong.''

One year ago: Spurred by the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, President Barack Obama vowed to send Congress new policy proposals for reducing gun violence by Jan. 2013.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Cicely Tyson is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 72. Actress Elaine Joyce is 70. Actor Tim Reid is 69. Paleontologist Richard E. Leakey is 69. Musician John McEuen is 68. Singer Janie Fricke is 66. Actor Mike Lookinland is 53. Actress Jennifer Beals is 50. Rock musician Kevin Shepard is 45. Actress Kristy Swanson is 44. Actress Alyssa Milano is 41.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Dec 19, 2013
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