Today is Tuesday, Dec. 4, the 339th day of 2012. There are 27 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 4, 1619, a group of settlers from Bristol, England, arrived at Berkeley Hundred in present-day Charles City County, Va., where they held a service thanking God for their safe arrival. (Some suggest this was the true first Thanksgiving in America, ahead of the Pilgrims' arrival in Massachusetts.)

Glancing Backward Locally:

25 years ago - 1987

Although the federally-mandated construction of the $5.4 million secondary sewer treatment plant at the Athens-Sayre facility means a sharp increase in sewer rates, it may also open the door for the expansion of business and industry in the Valley.

Bradford County Commissioner William Gannon, who's in his final month of his third term in office and did not opt to seek re-election to a fourth term, will begin a new job next week as community development director of the NY-Penn Health Systems Agency.

Virginia and Richard Davis of Hillsgrove, Sullivan County, were selected as volunteers of the month recently by North Penn Home and Center Services.

50 years ago - 1962

On April 10, 1861, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon F. Mason of Tuscarora Township transferred a piece of property in that township to Daniel Brotzman. The deed covering this transaction of more than 101 years ago was just recorded last Friday at the office of the register and recorder.

Towanda Borough Council at its monthly meeting last night discussed a proposed ordinance changing parking meter hours in the borough and decided against operation of the meters Thursday evenings.

Preston Bailey and Mike Scheithauer, North Towanda youths, found a weather balloon yesterday near the former's home. The balloon is believed to have come down shortly before it was found. It bore the date Feb. 19, 1962.

75 years ago - 1937

This afternoon at 2 p.m. Santa Claus is due to arrive in Towanda. Hundreds of youngsters from Towanda and vicinity are expected to greet him as his train pulls in to the Washington Street Station.

Celebrating his birthday today is Paul Marshall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Marshall of Towanda, one of the best football players in Towanda High School's history, and captain of the 1937-38 Orange and Black basketball squad.

Shirley Smith, with 306,000 votes, was leading the babies in the Keystone Theater's popularity contest yesterday morning.

Elsewhere on this date:

In 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

In 1816, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States.

In 1912, Medal of Honor recipient Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, the Marine Corps pilot who led the "Black Sheep Squadron" during World War II, was born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference.

In 1942, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time in World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had been created to provide jobs during the Depression.

In 1945, the Senate approved U.S. participation in the United Nations by a vote of 65-7.

In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard.

In 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone.

In 1984, a five-day hijack drama began as four armed men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, where the hijackers killed American passenger Charles Hegna.

In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity. Pan American World Airways ceased operations.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush ordered American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were blocking food for starving millions.

In 1996, the Mars Pathfinder lifted off from Cape Canaveral and began speeding toward Mars on a 310 million-mile odyssey. (It arrived on Mars in July 1997.)

Today's Birthdays: Actress-singer Deanna Durbin is 91. Game show host Wink Martindale is 79. Pop singer Freddy Cannon is 76. Actor-producer Max Baer Jr. is 75. Actress Gemma Jones is 70. Rock musician Bob Mosley (Moby Grape) is 70. Singer-musician Chris Hillman is 68. Musician Terry Woods (The Pogues) is 65. Rock singer Southside Johnny Lyon is 64. Actor Jeff Bridges is 63. Rock musician Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Rossington Collins Band) is 61. Actress Patricia Wettig is 61. Actor Tony Todd is 58. Jazz singer Cassandra Wilson is 57. Country musician Brian Prout (Diamond Rio) is 57. Rock musician Bob Griffin (The BoDeans) is 53. Rock singer Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge) is 50. Actress Marisa Tomei is 48. Actress Chelsea Noble is 48. Actor-comedian Fred Armisen is 46. Rapper Jay-Z is 43. Actor Kevin Sussman is 42. Actress-model Tyra Banks is 39. Country singer Lila McCann is 31. Actress Lindsay Felton is 28. Actor Orlando Brown is 25.

Thought for Today: "Many are called but few get up." - Oliver Herford, American author (1863-1935).