Today is Friday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2009 with 342 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mars, Mercury and Saturn. The evening stars are Jupiter, Venus, 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 1898 and Dan Duryea in 1907; comedian Ernie Kovacs in 1919; actress/singer Chita Rivera in 1933 (age 76); actors Gil Gerard in 1943 (age 66), Rutger Hauer in 1944 (age 65), and Richard Dean Anderson ("MacGyver") in 1950 (age 59); Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1957 (age 52); and actresses Gail O'Grady in 1963 (age 46) and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen in 1974 (age 35).
On this date in history:
In 1845, the U.S. 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, U.S. Army Gen. Dwight Eisenhower said he couldn't 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.
In 1971, the temperature at Prospect Creek, Alaska, dropped to 80 degrees below zero, the lowest temperature recorded in the United States.
In 1973, U.S. President Richard Nixon announced that U.S. troops would cease fighting in Vietnam at midnight Jan. 27.
In 1980, U.S. President Jimmy 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, U.S. Army 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, U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady asked Congress for another $80 billion toward the bailout of the nation's savings and loan industry.
In 1997, Madeline Albright was sworn into office to become the first woman U.S. secretary of State.
In 2004, Bob Keeshan, the easy-going, bushy-mustached actor who created the classic children's television show "Captain Kangaroo," died at the age of 76.
In 2005, Johnny Carson, host of TV's "Tonight Show" for 30 years and a powerful presence in American entertainment, died of emphysema at age 79.
Also in 2005, Viktor Yushchenko was sworn in as Ukraine's president, ending a tumultuous election and promising a period of radical, liberal reforms.
In 2006, Ford Motor Co., reflecting the downsizing of the U.S. auto industry, said it would close 14 factories and eliminate 30,000 jobs over the next six years.
Also in 2006, Canadian voters chose Stephen Harper's Conservation Party over outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin's Labor Party in a close parliamentary election.
In 2007, in his first State of the Union address before a Democratic-controlled Congress, U.S. President George Bush warned of "the serious challenge of global climate change."
In 2008, tens of thousands of Palestinians rushed into Egypt to buy food and supplies after members of Hamas destroyed parts of a wall separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt.
Also in 2008, Thailand returned to civilian rule after a military council that had ruled the country for 16 months disbanded.
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."