This is a federal holiday observing Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
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 Scottish engineer James Watt, inventor of the steam engine, in 1736; Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1807; American short story writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe in 1809; English metallurgist Henry Bessemer in 1813; French post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne in 1839; Ebony magazine founder John H. Johnson in 1918; former United Nations Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar in 1920 (age 84); actress Jean Stapleton in 1923 (age 81); actor Fritz Weaver in 1926 (age 78); television newscaster Robert MacNeil in 1931 (age 73); singer Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers in 1939 (age 65); actress Shelley Fabares in 1942 (age 62): singers Janis Joplin in 1943 and Dolly Parton in 1946 (age 58); and singer/actors Michael Crawford in 1942 (age 62) and Desi Arnez Jr. in 1953 (age 51).
On this date in history:
In 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union.
In 1938, the Spanish Nationalist air force bombed Barcelona and Valencia, killing 700 civilians and wounding hundreds more.
In 1975, China published a new constitution that adopted the precepts and policies of Mao Tse-tung.
In 1977, President Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D'Aquino, who had been convicted of treason for her World War II Japanese propaganda broadcasts as Tokyo Rose.
Also in 1993, as a TV crew filmed a graveside interview in North Lauderdale, Fla, the father of a teen-age suicide victim suddenly shot and killed his ex-wife, whom he blamed for their daughter's death. The man was arrested the next day in Texas.
In 1995, Russian forces captured the presidential palace in the rebel republic of Chechnya.
In 1997, two bombs exploded at a Tulsa, Okla., abortion clinic that had been bombed two weeks earlier.
In 1999, NATO warned Yugoslav Pres. Slobodan Milosevic that he must honor the 1998 cease-fire negotiated with the rebels in Kosovo or face air strikes.
In 2001, President Clinton announced he had made a deal with the independent prosecutor that would prevent him from being indicted after he left office.
In 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the Bush administration might allow Saddam Hussein to seek safe haven in another country as a way to avoid war.
A thought for the day: In "As You Like It," William Shakespeare wrote:
"All the world's a stage,
"And all the men and women merely players.
"They have their exits and their entrances,
"And one man in his time plays many parts,
"His acts being seven ages."