Today is Wednesday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2003 with 357 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Pluto. The evening stars are Mercury,Uranus, Saturn and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include financier Nicholas Biddle in 1786; educator and hymn writer Lowell Mason ("Nearer My God To Thee") in 1792; James Longstreet, Confederate general in the Civil War, in 1821; publisher Frank Doubleday in 1862; reading teacher Evelyn Wood in 1909; actor Jose Ferrer in 1912; comic actor Larry Storch in 1925 (age 78); comedian Soupy Sales in 1926 (age 77); newsman Charles Osgood in 1933 (age 70); the "King of Rock 'n' Roll," Elvis Presley, in 1935; singer Shirley Bassey in 1937 (age 66); game-show host Bob Eubanks in 1938 (age 65); actress Yvette Mimieux in 1941 (age 62); physicist and author Stephen Hawking in 1942 (age 61); singer David Bowie in 1947 (age 56); and actress Ami Dolenz, daughter of former Monkee Mickey Dolenz, in 1970 (age 33).
On this date in history:
In 1815, the forces of American Gen. Andrew Jackson decisively defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, the closing engagement of the War of 1812.
In 1867, Congress approved legislation that, for the first time, allowed blacks to vote in the District of Columbia.
In 1916, Allied forced staged a full retreat from the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, ending a disastrous invasion of the Ottoman Empire that resulted in 250,000 Allied casualties.
In 1973, the trial of the "Watergate Seven" began in Washington, D.C. The defendants were charged with breaking into Democratic Party national headquarters.
In 1976, Chinese Premier Chou En-lai died in Beijing.
In 1987, Kay Orr was inaugurated in Lincoln, Neb., as the nation's first woman Republican governor.
Also in 1987, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 2000 for the first time.
In 1991, one person was killed and 248 injured when a London commuter train crashed into the buffers at a station.
Also in 1991, Pan American World Airways filed for bankruptcy.
In 1993, thousands gathered at Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., to purchase the first issue of a stamp honoring the King of Rock 'n' Roll on what would have been his 58th birthday.
In 1994, Tonya Harding won the U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Detroit, qualifying her for the Winter Olympics. The U.S. Figure Skating Association also named Nancy Kerrigan to the team, despite her injury in an attack two days earlier.
In 1997, a report by University of Texas scientists concluded that exposure to a combination of chemicals was somehow linked to Gulf War Syndrome, responsible for the various ailments reported by veterans of the 1991 conflict.
In 2001, former Gov. Edwin Edwards of Louisiana was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of extorting money from applicants seeking riverboat casino licenses.
In 2002, President Bush signed a major education bill that, among other things, mandated annual testing for students in grades 3-8 and called for tutors for poor schools.
A thought for the day: William Feather said, "Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go."