Today is Friday, Dec. 28, the 363rd day of 2012. There are three days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 28, 1912, San Francisco's Municipal Railway began operations with Mayor James Rolph Jr. at the controls of Streetcar No. 1 as 50,000 spectators looked on.

Glancing Backward Locally:

25 years ago - 1987

The Sayre Monday Club met recently at the Sayre Methodist Church with 20 members present. Emeline Mitchell was welcomed as a new member.

Penn State Wilkes-Barre has been designated by the Navy as an approved facility for teaching Biomedical Equipment Technicians for the Naval Reserve Allied Medical Personnel Program.

Former Sayre police officer John (Jack) Rhodes, whose most recent endeavors have resulted in a transformation to Sayre's Island Pond, has been named "Individual of the Year" by WATS-WAVR.

50 years ago - 1962

The Towanda Fire Department yesterday made arrangements to lend a fully equipped pumper to the Good Will Fire Company of Laceyville, which lost most of its equipment in a fire Christmas morning.

William H. Gregory, Sullivan County farm extension agent, is the new president of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce.

Election of George R. Wallace as vice president of the Lehigh Valley Railroad is announced by Allen J. Greenough, president.

75 years ago - 1937

Edward J. Smith of Troy, well known in Towanda, has received an appointment as an engineer for the State Department of Forests and Waters, Harrisburg. The salary is $3,000 annually.

Celebrating his birthday today is Norman Aten of Towanda, assistant superintendent of Bradford County schools.

The Villagers, a group of young men who organized to provide the Valley towns with an outstanding social affair during the Christmas season, held their fifth annual formal dance in the Ingersoll-Rand hall in Athens yesterday. About 400 attended.

Elsewhere on this date:

In 1612, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed the planet Neptune, but mistook it for a star. (Neptune wasn't officially discovered until 1846 by Johann Gottfried Galle.)

In 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down because of differences with President Andrew Jackson.

In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

In 1856, the 28th president of the United States, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, was born in Staunton, Va.

In 1897, the play "Cyrano de Bergerac," by Edmond Rostand, premiered in Paris.

In 1917, the New York Evening Mail published "A Neglected Anniversary," a facetious, as well as fictitious, essay by H.L. Mencken recounting the history of bathtubs in America.

In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

In 1961, the Tennessee Williams play "Night of the Iguana" opened on Broadway. Former first lady Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, died in Washington at age 89.

In 1972, Kim Il Sung, the premier of North Korea, was named the country's president under a new constitution.

In 1982, Nevell Johnson Jr., a black man, was mortally wounded by a police officer in a Miami video arcade, setting off three days of race-related disturbances that left another man dead.

In 1987, a mass killing came to light as the bodies of 14 relatives of Ronald Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover, Ark., after Simmons shot and killed two other people in Russellville. (Simmons was executed in 1990.)

Today's Birthdays: Comic book creator Stan Lee is 90. Former United Auto Workers union president Owen Bieber is 83. Actor Martin Milner is 81. Actress Nichelle Nichols is 80. Actress Dame Maggie Smith is 78. Rock singer-musician Charles Neville is 74. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., is 68. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., is 66. Rock singer-musician Edgar Winter is 66. Actor Denzel Washington is 58. Country singer Joe Diffie is 54. Country musician Mike McGuire (Shenandoah) is 54. Actor Chad McQueen is 52. Country singer-musician Marty Roe (Diamond Rio) is 52. Actor Malcolm Gets is 48. Actor Mauricio Mendoza is 43. Comedian Seth Meyers is 39. Actor Brendan Hines is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer John Legend is 34. Actress Sienna Miller is 31. Actor Thomas Dekker is 25. Actress Mackenzie Rosman is 23. Pop singer David Archuleta (TV: "American Idol") is 22.

Thought for Today: "If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree." - Michael Crichton (KRY'-tuhn), American author (1942-2008).