Today is Monday, Dec. 31, the 366th and final day of 2012.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 31, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an enabling act paving the way for Virginia' western counties to become the state of West Virginia, which took place in June 1863.

Glancing Backward Locally:

25 years ago - 1987

Athens Township Supervisors met with developer Mary Theresa Sullivan last night to discuss her Queen Ester Estates project: an 86-lot subdivision plan at Putnam Lake, located between Stover's Acres and Wilawana, just off exit 59A of Route 17.

The almost $22 million 1988 Bradford County budget was approved yesterday by the commissioners, complete with a 4-mil hike in general revenue expenditures and county property taxes.

Seen around the area: Some debate going on in Wysox about the famous mile and what it should be called.

50 years ago - 1962

Local gastric hypothermia is now being employed to treat ulcer patients at the Robert Packer Hospital. Equipment for the procedure has been presented to the hospital by the Frances Beck Memorial Fund.

Court of honor for Towanda High School's Senior Ball, "Frosty Pines," held Dec. 22, included Sylvia Schmoll, the queen, and Lorelei Boyd, Carol Barnes, Diane Rege and Martha Allen.

Miss Joan Marie Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Williams of Ulster, is one of the winners in a Youth Leadership contest sponsored by the Sayre Elks Lodge. She was the winner of the second prize.

75 years ago - 1937

When Judge Charles Culver takes the oath of office next Monday to succeed himself on the bench, he will be the second Bradford County judge ever to be sworn in for the third time.

Celebrating his birthday today is Edward C. Hulme, Towanda insurance man and prominent Odd Fellow.

The net proceeds from the Charity Ball held in Towanda recently was $214.75, it was announced yesterday. This amount has been turned over to the Visiting Nurse Association of Towanda.

Elsewhere on this date:

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush visited Somalia, where he saw firsthand the famine racking the east African nation, and praised U.S. troops who were providing relief to the starving population.

Ten years ago: Emerging from holiday seclusion at his Texas ranch, President George W. Bush told reporters an attack by Saddam Hussein or a terrorist ally "would cripple our economy." North Korea accused the United States of planning an invasion and vowed to fight "to the last man" hours after it expelled two U.N. monitors, leaving its nuclear program shrouded in secrecy. An explosion at a clandestine fireworks factory in the Mexican port city of Veracruz ignited an entire city block, killing 28 people.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush signed legislation to allow states and local governments to cut investment ties with Sudan because of the violence in Darfur. Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco in 1975, was paroled after 32 years behind bars.

One year ago: President Barack Obama signed a wide-ranging defense bill into law despite having "serious reservations" about provisions that regulated the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists. A NASA spacecraft fired its engine and slipped into orbit around the moon in the first of two back-to-back arrivals over the New Year's weekend.

Today's Birthdays: TV producer George Schlatter is 83. Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is 75. Actor Tim Considine ("My Three Sons") is 72. Actress Sarah Miles is 71. Rock musician Andy Summers is 70. Actor Sir Ben Kingsley is 69. Producer-director Taylor Hackford is 68. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 66. Actor Tim Matheson is 65. Pop singer Burton Cummings is 65. Actor Joe Dallesandro is 64. Rock musician Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) is 61. Actor James Remar is 59. Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 54. Actor Val Kilmer is 53. Singer Paul Westerberg is 53. Actor Don Diamont is 50. Rock musician Ric Ivanisevich (Oleander) is 50. Rock musician Scott Ian (Anthrax) is 49. Actress Gong Li is 47. Author Nicholas Sparks is 47. Actor Lance Reddick is 43. Pop singer Joe McIntyre is 40.

Rock musician Mikko Siren (Apocalyptica) is 37. Rapper PSY (Park Jae-sang) is 35. Rock musician Bob Bryar is 33. Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas is 17.

Thought for Today: "In masks outrageous and austere/ The years go by in single file;/ But none has merited my fear,/ And none has quite escaped my smile." - Elinor Wylie, American author (1885-1928).