Today is Friday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2004 with 343 to follow.
The moon is waxing. 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 Aquarius. They include French author Stendhal, a pseudonym for Marie Henri Beyle, in 1783; French Impressionist painter Edouard Manet in 1832; Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein in 1898; actors Randolph Scott in 1903 and Dan Duryea in 1907; comedian Ernie Kovacs in 1919; actress/singer Chita Rivera in 1933 (age 71); actors Gil Gerard in 1943 (age 61), Rutger Hauer in 1944 (age 60), and Richard Dean Anderson in 1950 (age 54); Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1957 (age 47); and actresses Gail O'Grady in 1963 (age 41) and Tiffini-Amber Thiessen in 1974 (age 30).
On this date in history:
In 1845, Congress decided that all national elections would take place on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.
In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in U.S. history to receive a medical degree.
In 1922, at Toronto General Hospital, 14-year-old Canadian Leonard Thompson became the first person to receive an insulin injection as treatment for diabetes.
In 1948, Gen. Eisenhower said he could not accept a presidential nomination from either party; four years later, he ran as a Republican and was elected 34th president of the United States.
In 1968, the USS Pueblo was seized in the Sea of Japan by North Korea, which claimed the ship was on a spy mission. The crew was held for 11 months before being released on Dec. 22, 1968.
In 1971, the temperature at Prospect Creek, Alaska, dropped to 80 degrees below zero, the lowest temperature ever recorded in the United States.
In 1973, President Nixon announced that U.S. troops would cease fighting in Vietnam at midnight Jan. 27.
In 1980, President Carter reinstated the Selective Service System.
In 1988, Sandinista missiles downed a cargo plane that was dropping U.S.-financed supplies to Contra rebels in southeastern Nicaragua. Four crewmen were killed.
In 1991, Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said heavy bombing had destroyed Iraq's two operating nuclear reactors and damaged chemical facilities.
Also in 1991, Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady asked Congress for another $80 billion toward the bailout of the nation's troubled savings and loan industry.
In 1993, convicted "diet doc" killer Jean Harris was freed, discharged from a New York state hospital after heart surgery and with a grant of clemency from the governor.
In 1997, Madeline Albright was sworn into office to become the first woman secretary of state.
In 2003, Pope John Paul II lobbied European governments to officially recognize the European Union's Christian roots, but diplomatic sources said secular opposition likely would block his efforts.
A thought for the day: it was Mark Twain who said, "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambition. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."