The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto, The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune,
Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include French fairy tale writer Charles Perrault, author of the Mother Goose stories, in 1628; Horatio Alger, author of rags-to-riches stories, in 1832; Alfred Fuller, the original Fuller Brush Man, in 1885; singer Sophie Tucker in 1884; English photographer Cecil Beaton in 1904; Hollywood columnist Army Archerd in 1919 (age 85); and actors Robert Stack in 1919, Gwen Verdon in 1925, Charles Nelson Reilly in 1931 (age 73), Richard Moll in 1943 (age 61), Kevin Anderson in 1960 (age 44), Julia Louis-Dreyfus in 1961 (age 43), and Penelope Ann Miller in 1964 (age 40).
On this date in history:
In 1864, composer Stephen Foster ("My Old Kentucky Home") died in a New York hospital, three days after he was found sick and almost penniless in a hotel room.
In 1910, radio pioneer and electron tube inventor Lee Deforest arranged the world's first radio broadcast -- a performance by the New York Metropolitan Opera -- to the public in New York City.
In 1941, Irish novelist James Joyce died at age 58.
In 1982, an Air Florida Boeing 737 crashed into a Potomac River Bridge in Washington, D.C., killing 78 people.
In 1987, seven top New York Mafia bosses were sentenced to 100 years in prison each, including the heads of the Genovese, Colombo and Lucchese crime families.
In 1991, a Soviet crackdown in the Baltics killed 15 and injured 140.
Also in 1991, at least 40 South Africans were killed and 50 injured when fighting erupted during a soccer game in Orkney.
In 1993, U.S. and allied fighter planes bombed targets in southern Iraq to punish Saddam Hussein for his repeated violations of U.N. resolutions that ended the Persian Gulf War.
Also in 1993, a House task force said it found no "credible" evidence that 1980 Reagan campaign officials tried to delay the release of U.S. hostages held by Iran.
And in 1993, President Bush bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on former President Reagan.
In 1994, President Clinton met with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow.
Also in 1994, authorities in Portland, Ore., arrested Tonya Harding's bodyguard and another man in connection with the attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan a week earlier in Detroit.
And in 1994, a mistrial was declared in the trial of Erik Menendez, accused of killing his parents. Fifteen days later, a mistrial was declared in the case of Menendez's brother, Lyle.
In 1995, the president of Italy asked independent politician Lamberto Dini to form a new government.
In 1996, Republican Sen. William Cohen of Maine announced his retirement. This made a record 13 senators choosing not to seek new terms. By year's end, Cohen would join the Clinton cabinet.
In 1997, President Clinton awarded the Medal of Honor to seven black soldiers for their courage in action in Italy during World War II. It was the first time the medal was given to black World War II servicemen.
Also in 1997, millionaire Steve Fossett took off from St. Louis in an attempt to fly around the world in a hot-air balloon.
In 1998, Iraq, for the second time in as many months, barred U.N. weapons inspectors from doing their job.
In 1999, Michael Jordan, regarded by many as the greatest basketball player ever, announced his retirement. He had led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships.
In 2001, more than 800 people were killed when an early morning earthquake shook the coast of El Salvador.
In 2003, Pope John Paul II argued forcibly against war in Iraq except as "the very last option" and said such a conflict would be "a defeat for humanity."
A thought for the day: in "The Guardian," Sir Alec Issigonis wrote that, "A camel is a horse designed by committee."