Today is Wednesday, Dec. 18, the 352nd day of 2013. There are 13 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Business of all kinds is brisk; mechanics are crowded with work, and laborers are scarce at any price. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Fred Weyerhaeuser has purchased 50,000 acres of pine lands on Smoke River, Minn., for a downriver syndicate. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Harry T. Knox, son of B.F. Knox, has passed the examination for a license for embalming practice in Illinois. 1938 -- 75 years ago: American Ambassador to Britain Joseph P. Kennedy has returned to New York stating firmly, "If war comes to Europe, we must stay out of it" 1963 -- 50 years ago: A tax levy to help finance Rock Island County's money-losing Niabi Zoo will be submitted to the county forest preserve commission in February. The commission, composed of members of the county board of supervisors, approved the tax proposal, 18 to 8, yesterday afternoon. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Quad-Cities high school students and local businesses collected 75,970 pounds of food between Nov. 28 and Dec 15. for the third annual Student Hunger Drive. Food donated, with an estimated value of $113955, goes to the River Bend Food Bank, Moline.