Today is Thursday, Dec. 19, the 353rd day of 2013. There are 12 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 19, 1843, "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.

Glancing Backward Locally:

25 years ago - 1988

Nearly 200 members and guests of the Athens Senior Citizens Club enjoyed their annual Christmas banquet held at the Elks Club.

Joe and Nancy Terascavage were honored as Volunteers of the Month by the North Penn Home and Center Services.

Troy Aikman likely first draft pick.

50 years ago - 1963

A special meeting was held Wednesday, the members of the Towanda Township School Board voted to reduce the tax on earned income of all residents by 50 percent.

Sixty-five citizens of the county have been notified by Sheriff Frank Detrick to appear in court.

Girl Scouts of the Towanda area will present a program of Christmas carols on the lawn o the court house.

75 years ago - 1938

Monroeton and vicinity was given a treat last Friday evening when the Monroeton Community Orchestra under the direction of Francis E. Galvin presented it's first concert.

Asylum 4-h Club elected the following officers, President, Amos Schmoll, Vice President, Bernard Barrett, secretary Robert Butts; Treasurer, Clair Kilmer.

Musical Stars gave a very fine recital Sunday afternoon at the Studio of Musical Art on Bridge St.

Elsewhere on this date:

Five years ago: Citing imminent danger to the national economy, President George W. Bush ordered an emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industry. An unwavering Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vich) served notice he had no intention of quitting over his corruption arrest, declaring: "I have done nothing wrong." Militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel as Hamas ended a six-month truce.

One year ago: Spurred by the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, President Barack Obama vowed to send Congress new policy proposals for reducing gun violence by Jan. 2013. Four State Department officials resigned under pressure, less than a day after a damning report blamed management failures for a lack of security at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, where militants killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Park Geun-hye (goon-hay), daughter of late South Korean President Park Chung-hee, was elected the country's first female president.

Today's Birthdays: Country singer Little Jimmy Dickens is 93. Actress Cicely Tyson is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 72. Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is 72. Actress Elaine Joyce is 70. Actor Tim Reid is 69. Paleontologist Richard E. Leakey is 69. Musician John McEuen is 68. Singer Janie Fricke is 66. Jazz musician Lenny White is 64. Actor Mike Lookinland is 53. Actress Jennifer Beals is 50. Actor Scott Cohen is 49. Actor Robert MacNaughton is 47. Magician Criss Angel is 46. Rock musician Klaus Eichstadt (Ugly Kid Joe) is 46. Rock musician Kevin Shepard is 45. Actress Kristy Swanson is 44.

Model Tyson Beckford is 43. Actress Amy Locane is 42. Actress Rosa Blasi is 41. Actress Alyssa Milano is 41. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal (JIH'-lihn-hahl) is 33. Actress Marla Sokoloff is 33. Rapper Lady Sovereign is 28. Actor Iain de Caestecker (TV: "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D") is 26.