Today is Friday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2004, with 364 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto. The evening stars are Saturn, Venus, Mars, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include Virginia patriot Nathaniel Bacon in 1647; British Gen. James Wolfe, hero of the battle of Quebec in 1727; fan dancer Sally Rand in 1904; author Isaac Asimov in 1920; singer Julius La Rosa in 1930 (age 74) and singer/songwriter Roger Miller in 1936; former televangelist Jim Bakker in 1939 (age 65); actors Tia Carrere in 1967 (age 37) and Cuba Gooding Jr. in 1968 (age 36; and model Christy Turlington in 1969 (age 35).
On this date in history:
In 1788, Georgia ratified the Constitution, the fourth of the original 13 colonies to do so, and was admitted to the union.
In 1811, Sen. Timothy Pickering, a Federalist from Massachusetts, became the first senator to be censured after being accused of violating congressional law by publicly revealing secret documents communicated by the president to the Senate.
In 1942, Japanese forces occupied Manila, forcing U.S. and Philippine forces under Gen. Douglas MacArthur to withdraw to the Bataan peninsula.
In 1959, the Soviet Union launched Lunik-1, the first unmanned spacecraft to travel to the moon.
In 1974, President Nixon signed a bill requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 mph or lose federal highway funds.
In 1990, elite Soviet interior ministry troops seized buildings in the Baltic republics of Latvia and Lithuania.
Also in 1990, Britain's most wanted terrorist suspect, Patrick Sheehy, was found dead in the Republic of Ireland.
In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated a Democrat to his Cabinet, picking Norman Mineta, President Clinton's commerce secretary, to head the Department of Transportation.
In 2003, a general strike crippled Venezuela and led to violence that claimed two lives and wounded dozens in a Jan. 3 clash.
A thought for the day: an anonymous saying is, "He who dies with the most toys is, nonetheless, still dead."