Today is Thursday, Dec. 20, the 355th day of 2012. There are 11 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 20, 1812, German authors Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of the first edition of their collection of folk stories, titled "Children's and Household Tales."

Glancing Backward Locally:

25 years ago - 1987

The Towanda Area Chamber of Commerce Rev-Up Committee announced the winners of their Christmas decorating contest. The first place residential winners are Keith and Judy Burgess of Towanda, and the first place business winner is James Smith Funeral Home.

Mansfield University will offer undergraduate and graduate courses in Bradford County locations during the upcoming spring semester. Locations include Towanda High School, Northeast Bradford Elementary School, and Robert Packer Hospital.

The Athens Bulldogs, in hosting a four-team wrestling tournament, earned a second-place finish as they crowned three champions. Placing behind front-runner Milton, the Bulldogs totaled 131 points. Third place went to Wellsboro followed by Berwick.

50 years ago - 1962

A molybdenum alloy (MTC) containing .5 percent titanium and .03 percent carbon that is manufactured solely by powder metallurgical techniques has been developed by the Chemical and Metallurgical Division of Sylvania Electric Products Inc. The alloy was developed by Roger B. Bargainnier of the Metals Research and Development Section of the Towanda Sylvania plant.

Christmas decorations in the Wysox area will be judged this weekend. Nine prizes are offered: $20, $15, $10 and six prizes of $5.

The Panthers of Northeast Bradford High School, coached by William Jordan, won their second wrestling match of the current campaign yesterday with a 42-18 victory over the Canton High jayvees.

75 years ago - 1937

The Towanda Chamber of Commerce has arranged for an officer to be on duty at the public parking lot at the foot of Pine Street from now until Christmas for the convenience of shoppers. Officer Fay Bennett will be there afternoons and evenings to assist in parking of cars and in getting cars out of the lot.

Three prizes will be given by the Towanda Lions Club in the home-lighting contest it is sponsoring in Towanda for the Christmas season. First prize is a bridge lamp, second prizes is two pin-it-up lamps and third prize is one pin-it-up lamp.

Mr. and Mrs. Albert Bailey entertained the pupils and teachers of the Primary department of the Baptist Sunday School Tuesday to a Christmas party. A tree lighted and beautifully trimmed decorated the room. Gifts were given to each pupil present. Refreshments served were sandwiches, cocoa, ice cream, cake, wafers, oranges, popcorn balls and miniature satchels of candy.

Elsewhere on this date:

In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States.

In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union as all 169 delegates to a special convention in Charleston voted in favor of separation.

In 1864, Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Ga., as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his "March to the Sea."

Today's Birthdays: Actress Audrey Totter is 95. Actor John Hillerman is 80. Rock musician-music producer Bobby Colomby is 68. Rock musician Peter Criss is 67. Psychic/illusionist Uri Geller is 66. Producer Dick Wolf ("Law & Order") is 66. Rock musician Alan Parsons is 64. Actress Jenny Agutter is 60. Actor Michael Badalucco is 58. Actress Blanche Baker is 56. Rock singer Billy Bragg is 55. Rock singer-musician Mike Watt is 55. Actor Joel Gretsch is 49. Country singer Kris Tyler is 48. Rock singer Chris Robinson is 46. Actress Nicole deBoer is 42. Movie director Todd Phillips is 42. Singer David Cook ("American Idol") is 30. Actor Jonah Hill is 29. Singer JoJo is 22.

Thought for Today: "Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." - G.K. Chesterton, English poet-essayist (1874-1936).