The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Venus, Mercury, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include silent screen actor Francis X. Bushman in 1883; poet Robinson Jeffers in 1887; actors Ray Bolger in 1904, Paul Henreid in 1908 and Sal Mineo in 1939; singers Johnnie Ray in 1927, Frank Sinatra Jr. in 1944 (age 63), Jim Croce in 1943 and Rod Stewart in 1945 (age 62); boxer George Foreman in 1949 (age 58); and singer Pat Benatar in 1953 (age 54).
On this date in history:
In 1776, "Common Sense" by political philosopher Thomas Paine was published. The pamphlet advocated independence from England.
In 1878, a constitutional amendment that would give women the right to vote was introduced into the U.S. Senate. It wasn't until 42 years later that the amendment was signed into law.
In 1901, oil was discovered at the Spindletop claim near Beaumont, Texas, launching the Southwest oil boom.
In 1920, the League of Nations came into being as the Treaty of Versailles went into effect. The United States did not join the league.
In 1946, the first meeting of the U.N. General Assembly convened in London.
In 1984, the United States established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican for the first time in 116 years.
In 1994, NATO approved a plan for a limited expansion of the membership to Eastern European nations.
In 1996, rebels in the Russian republic of Chechnya holding 2,000 rebels released all but 130 and were allowed to flee. However, before they reached the border, Russian troops attacked the convoy, beginning a five-day standoff.
Also in 1996, Israel freed 812 Palestinians from jails.
In 2000, America Online announced it had agreed to buy Time Warner for $165 billion, in what would be the biggest merger in history.
In 2003, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed orders sending 62,000 troops to the Gulf Coast region. Britain deployed an aircraft carrier and said it would send 26,000 troops to the region.
Also in 2003, North Korea announced it was withdrawing from the 1979 nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
In 2004, a New York to Washington commuter plane was diverted to Dulles International Airport after a man passed a note containing a bomb threat to the crew. There was no bomb and authorities said later the arrested man was not a terrorist.
Also in 2005, gunmen assassinated Baghdad's deputy police chief and his police officer son in the latest attack against government symbols.
And, CBS News announced it had fired four employees for producing a flawed report on U.S. President George Bush's military record.
In 2006, Iran unsealed its nuclear facility at Natanz and resumed atomic research for what it claimed to be peaceful purposes but sparking international anger.
A thought for the day: Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."