Today is Monday, Dec. 17, the 352nd day of 2012. There are 14 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 17, 1992, President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (muhl-ROO'-nee) and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari (sah-LEE'-nuhs deh gohr-TAHR'-ee) signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in separate ceremonies. (After approval by the legislative bodies of the leaders' respective countries, the treaty came into force on Jan. 1, 1994.)

Glancing Backward Locally:

25 years ago - 1987

"Pleased" was the reaction of the Bradford County Commissioners when yesterday's bid opening for the new jail construction produced base bid prices from the lowest bidders totaling less than the price which had been estimated for this work by the project architect.

Rob Coleman's five consecutive points in overtime lifted the Towanda Black Knights to a 52-51 victory last night over the North Penn Panthers.

The Health Occupational Students of America sponsored an American Red Cross Bloodmobile on Dec. 8 at the Bradford County Vo-Tech School in North Towanda. Thirty-seven pints of blood were collected from five registered donors.

50 years ago - 1962

Trooper Stanley Karmosky has been assigned to the State Police detail in Towanda, coming from the Wyoming Barracks to replace Trooper Ronald Bolza, who has been transferred to Wyoming.

Business places in Wyalusing Borough will be open until 9 p.m. the nights of Dec. 20-22 for the convenience of Christmas shoppers.

Celebrating his birthday today is Sherman Vanderpool Sr. of Athens, caretaker of the Mills cottages.

75 years ago - 1937

In the Towanda Public School Third Ward, a trip to Grant's toyland was taken recently by the first graders. They were driven there by Miss Alice Hollister's sister, Mrs. Fisher, and by Miss Helen Van Horn.

Confirmation of the sale of the entire Athens furniture works property to the Ingersoll-Rand Company for $10,000 was handed down in Bradford County Court recently.

Celebrating his birthday today is Richard H. Clapper, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. L.J. Clapper of Silvara. Richard is 5 years old.

Elsewhere on this date:

Five years ago: President George W. Bush, addressing a Rotary Club meeting, tried to reassure an edgy public that the economy was "pretty good" despite the mix of a failing housing market, a national credit crunch and surging energy costs.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Armin Mueller-Stahl is 82. Singer-actor Tommy Steele is 76. Rock singer-musician Art Neville is 75. Actor Bernard Hill is 68. Actor Ernie Hudson is 67. Political commentator Chris Matthews is 67. Comedian-actor Eugene Levy is 66. Actress Marilyn Hassett is 65. Actor Wes Studi is 65. Pop musician Jim Bonfanti (The Raspberries) is 64. Actor Joel Brooks is 63. Rock singer Paul Rodgers is 63. Rhythm-and-blues singer Wanda Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 61. Actor Bill Pullman is 59. Actor Barry Livingston is 59. Country singer Sharon White is 59.

Producer-director-writer Peter Farrelly is 56. Rock musician Mike Mills (R.E.M.) is 54. Pop singer Sarah Dallin (Bananarama) is 51. Country musician Tim Chewning is 50. Country singer Tracy Byrd is 46. Country musician Duane Propes is 46. Actress Laurie Holden is 43. DJ Homicide (Sugar Ray) is 42. Actor Sean Patrick Thomas is 42. Actress Claire Forlani is 41. Pop-rock musician Eddie Fisher (OneRepublic) is 39. Actress Sarah Paulson is 38. Actress Marissa Ribisi is 38. Actor Giovanni Ribisi is 38. Actress Milla Jovovich (YO'-vuh-vich) is 37. Singer Bree Sharp is 37. Actress Jennifer Carpenter is 33. Singer-songwriter Ben Goldwasser (MGMT) is 30. Actress Shannon Woodward is 28. Actress Emma Bell is 26. Actress Vanessa Zima is 26. Actor-singer Nat Wolff is 18.

Thought for Today: "Democracy is not an easy form of government, because it is never final; it is a living, changing organism, with a continuous shifting and adjusting of balance between individual freedom and general order." - Ilka Chase, American author, actress, humorist (1905-1978).