Today is Thursday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2008, with 363 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date were under the sign of Capricorn. They include feminist and abolitionist Lucretia Mott in 1793; British Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1883; J.R.R. Tolkien, author of "The Lord of the Rings," in 1892; actor Ray Milland in 1905; entertainer Victor Borge in 1909; Maxine Andrews, of the Andrews Sisters singing trio, in 1918; actors Robert Loggia in 1930 (age 78) and Dabney Coleman in 1932 (age 76); Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull in 1939 (age 69); actress Victoria Principal in 1950 (age 58); and actor/director Mel Gibson in 1956 (age 52).
On this date in history:
In 1777, the Continental Army commanded by Gen. George Washington defeated the British at Princeton, N.J.
In 1938, the first March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was organized.
In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the union.
In 1961, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba after Fidel Castro announced he was a communist.
In 1990, deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega left his refuge in the Vatican Embassy in Panama City and surrendered to U.S. troops. He was whisked to Florida to face narcotics trafficking charges.
In 1991, AIDS was removed from the list of diseases that would automatically bar an infected person from entering the United States.
In 2001, the 107th U.S. Congress convened for the first time with the Senate equally divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans had a 10-member advantage in the House.
Also in 2001, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by half a percent to stem an economic slowdown.
In 2004, a Flash Airline Boeing 737 crashed shortly after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt, killing 148 people.
Also in 2004, a NASA robotic explorer called Spirit touched down on Mars, sending a signal home to California that it survived the descent through the Martian atmosphere.
In 2005, Indonesia's Ministry of Health announced another 14,000 deaths, bringing the total of lives lost in Asia's earthquake and tsunami disaster to 155,000.
In 2006, Jack Abramoff, a powerful Washington lobbyist, agreed to plead guilty to fraud, public corruption and tax evasion charges and to testify against politicians and former colleagues.
Also in 2006, Iran advised the International Atomic Energy Agency it planned to restart work on what it called its "peaceful nuclear energy program."
In 2007, an Iraqi prison guard was arrested for illegally videotaping the Baghdad execution of deposed leader Saddam Hussein and posting it on the Internet.
A thought for the day: Henry David Thoreau said, "Be true to your work, your word and your friend."