Today is Friday, Dec. 7, the 342nd day of 2012. There are 24 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as part of its plan to conquer Southeast Asian territories; the raid, which claimed some 2,400 American lives, prompted the United States to declare war against Japan the next day.

Glancing Backward Locally:

25 years ago - 1987

Members of the Canton Warriors football team were saluted for winning the NTL in addition to taking the District 4 Class A Championship, at a banquet held in Canton yesterday.

State Rep. J. Scott Chadwick recently presented a state flag to the Canton High School band. The flag was requested for the band when it was noticed that the band front didn't have one to carry.

The Sayre Business Association held its annual "Holiday Glow" event yesterday. Children got a chance to meet Santa, and merchants and businesses offered bargains and deals.

50 years ago - 1962

Celebrating his birthday today is Edward Brenchley of LeRoy, night deputy at the Bradford County jail.

Neal Hallstead of Wellsburg has been appointed the farmer member of the Bradford County Soil Conservation District for the next four years.

Northern Council No. 24, Royal and Select Master Masons, held its annual meeting at Athens yesterday and elected Seth Grodivant of East Smithfield as Thrice Illustrious Master.

75 years ago - 1937

Business places in Towanda will start staying open for the holiday trade on Dec. 15 and will remain open evenings from then until Christmas.

The new 1938 Ford cars are on display today at the Gillette & Co. display rooms on South Main Street, Towanda. Throughout the nation the Ford V-8 passenger cars, commercial cars and trucks will be introduced today to the public and large crowds are expected at the various dealer display rooms.

Harold W. VanNest of Waverly was elected president of the Binghamton district Epworth League for the 10th consecutive year at the convention held recently in Owego.

Elsewhere on this date:

In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1796, electors chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.

In 1808, electors chose James Madison to be the fourth president of the United States.

In 1836, Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the United States.

In 1842, the New York Philharmonic performed its first concert.

In 1909, chemist Leo H. Baekeland received a U.S. patent for Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic.

In 1911, China abolished the requirement that men wear their hair in a queue, or ponytail.

In 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.

In 1972, America's last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral. Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was seriously wounded by an assailant who was then shot dead by her bodyguards.

In 1982, convicted murderer Charlie Brooks Jr. became the first U.S. prisoner to be executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, Texas.

In 1987, 43 people were killed after a gunman aboard a Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner in California apparently opened fire on a fellow passenger, the pilots and himself, causing the plane to crash. Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington summit with President Ronald Reagan.

In 1993, gunman Colin Ferguson opened fire on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train, killing six people and wounding 19. (Ferguson was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.)

Ten years ago: Iraq handed over its long-awaited arms declaration to the United Nations, denying it had doomsday weapons. President Saddam Hussein grudgingly apologized to Kuwait for his 1990 invasion. Shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth, bringing an astronaut and pair of cosmonauts home from a 6-month space station voyage. Bombs tore through four movie theaters in Bangladesh, killing 19. Miss Turkey Azra Akin won the Miss World contest in London, bringing to a close an international pageant that had incited deadly rioting in Nigeria, the original site of the event.

Five years ago: Congressional Democrats demanded a full Justice Department investigation into whether the CIA had obstructed justice by destroying videotapes documenting the harsh 2002 interrogations of two alleged terrorists. Two window washers fell 47 stories from a Manhattan skyscraper when their scaffolding failed; Edgar Moreno was killed, but his brother, Alcides, miraculously survived.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Eli Wallach is 97. Linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky is 84. Bluegrass singer Bobby Osborne is 81. Actress Ellen Burstyn is 80. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is 75. Broadcast journalist Carole Simpson is 72. Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 65. Actor-director-producer James Keach is 65. Country singer Gary Morris is 64. Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 63. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 56. Actress Priscilla Barnes is 55. Former "Tonight Show" announcer Edd Hall is 54. Rock musician Tim Butler (The Psychedelic Furs) is 54. Actor Patrick Fabian is 48. Actor Jeffrey Wright is 47. Actor C. Thomas Howell is 46. Producer-director Jason Winer is 40. NFL player Terrell Owens is 39. Rapper-producer Kon Artis is 38. Pop singer Nicole Appleton (All Saints) is 37. Latin singer Frankie J is 36. Country singer Sunny Sweeney is 36. Actress Shiri Appleby is 34. Pop-rock singer/celebrity judge Sara Bareilles (TV: "The Sing-off") is 33. Singer Aaron Carter is 25.

Thought for Today: "No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace or insure it victory in time of war." - President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933).