The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Mars, Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Venus, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include German astronomer Johannes Kepler in 1571; English engineer George Cayley, father of the science of aerodynamics, in 1773; French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur in 1822; actress Marlene Dietrich in 1901; news correspondent Cokie Roberts in 1943 (age 63); French actor Gerard Depardieu in 1948 (age 58); and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon in 1951 (age 55).
On this date in history:
In 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.
In 1941, Japanese warplanes bombed Manila in the Philippines, even though it had been declared an "open city."
In 1947, the first "Howdy Doody" show, under the title "Puppet Playhouse," was telecast on NBC.
In 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts returned to Earth after orbiting the moon 10 times, paving the way for moon-landing missions.
In 1985, terrorists killed 20 people and wounded 110 in attacks on passengers of the Israeli airline El Al at the Rome and Vienna airports. U.S. President Ronald Reagan blamed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
In 1991, a Scandinavian Airlines jet with 129 aboard crashed and broke apart after taking off from Stockholm. No one was killed.
In 1992, a U.S. jet shot down an Iraqi fighter over southern Iraq's "no-fly" zone in the first such incident since the Persian Gulf War.
In 1997, Britain's Windsor Castle was reopened to the public following restoration work. One hundred rooms of the palace were damaged in a 1992 fire.
In 1998, the smallest of the Chukwu octuplets, born earlier in the month in Houston, died.
In 2001, Arab TV played a tape of fugitive terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in which he said he wanted to destroy the U.S. economy.
In 2002, Chechen rebels, seeking independence from Russia, killed 52 people with two vehicle bombs at pro-Russian government offices.
In 2003, the search continued for bodies in the aftermath of the Christmas Day mudslide in California's San Bernardino Mountains. At least a dozen people were feared dead.
Also in 2003, the Italian government took control of Parmalat, the dairy conglomerate, and arrested its chairman in a major accounting scandal.
In 2004, the death toll jumped to 23,500 in the Asian tsunami with hundreds of thousands reported hurt and many thousands missing.
In 2005, workmen installing a water main in the Iraqi Shiite city of Karbala unearthed a grave containing dozens of bodies from a 1991 massacre.
A thought for the day: an anonymous saying goes, "Education is what you have left over after you have forgotten everything you have learned."
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