The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn and Mars. The evening stars are Pluto, Venus, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include English poet William Blake in 1757; John Hyatt, inventor of celluloid, in 1837; architect Henry Bacon, designer of the Lincoln Memorial, in 1866; Motown Records founder Berry Gordy in 1929 (age 77); actress Hope Lange in 1931; singer/composer Randy Newman in 1943 (age 63); ballet dancer Alexander Godunov and band leader Paul Shaffer ("The Late Show With David Letterman"), both in 1949 (age 57); actors Ed Harris in 1950 (age 56), S. Epatha Merkerson ("Law & Order") in 1952 (age 54), and Judd Nelson in 1959 (age 47); and comedian Jon Stewart ("The Daily Show") in 1962 (age 44).
On this date in history:
In 1520, Ferdinand Magellan entered the Pacific Ocean on his way around the world. He was the first European to sail the Pacific from the east.
In 1919, Virginia-born Nancy Astor became the first woman member of the British Parliament.
In 1925, "The Grand Ole Opry," the famed country music show, made its radio debut.
In 1942, a fire at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston killed 491 people. Most victims suffocated or were trampled to death.
In 1958, the United States fired an intercontinental ballistic missile at full range for the first time.
In 1963, Cape Canaveral, the space center in Florida, was renamed Cape Kennedy to honor the assassinated president. Area residents later voted to revert to the original name.
In 1989, Czechoslovak Premier Ladislav Adamec agreed to a coalition government. The next day, the Czech Parliament revoked the Communist Party's monopoly.
In 1992, a fire destroyed parts of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, threatening the famous Lipizzaner stallions.
In 1993, British officials confirmed they have made secret contacts with the outlawed Irish Republican Army in an effort to end the violence in Northern Ireland.
Also in 1993, Carlos Roberto Reina was elected president of Honduras.
In 1994, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and a second inmate were beaten to death by another inmate at the Columbia Correctional Center in Portage, Wis.
In 2002, an explosion hit an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa in Kenya, killing at least 15 people, and two missiles were fired at a departing Israeli passenger plane.
In 2003, an estimated 182 people were killed when two crowded ferries collided during a storm in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2004, a gas explosion in a central China mine killed a reported 166 people. About 123 miners escaped.
Also in 2004, more than 1 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were reported registered to vote in the Jan. 9 election.
In 2005, at least 150 miners were killed in a northeast China coal mine explosion. Seventy-one were reported missing.
Also in 2005, the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein resumed in Baghdad after a 40-day recess but was adjourned for a week to find replacement defense lawyers.
And, in 2005, U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., pleaded guilty to tax evasion and conspiracy charges involving bribes from military contractors.
A thought for the day: Thomas Carlyle said, "... speech is of time, silence is of eternity."
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet
Mena Suvari shares her delightfully awkward Christmas card photo