The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Mars and Saturn. The evening stars are Venus, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They Millard Fillmore, 13th president of the United States, in 1800; Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, who became St. Bernadette and whose visions led to the foundation of the shrine at Lourdes, France, in 1844; film executive Adolph Zukor in 1873; ghoulish cartoonist Charles Addams in 1912; actor Vincent Gardenia in 1920; author William Blatty ("The Exorcist") in 1928 (age 84); rock 'n' roll band leader Paul Revere in 1938 (age 74); Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner in 1946 (age 66); singer Kenny Loggins in 1948 (age 64); actors Erin Gray in 1950 (age 62) and David Caruso in 1956 (age 56); television personality Katie Couric in 1957 (age 55); and actor Nicolas Cage in 1964 (age 48).
On this date in history:
In 1610, Galileo, using his primitive telescope, discovered the four major moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
In 1927, commercial trans-Atlantic telephone service between New York and London was inaugurated.
In 1931, as the Great Depression was getting under way, a report to U.S. President Herbert Hoover estimated that 4 million to 5 million Americans were out of work.
In 1953, U.S. President Harry Truman announced that the United States had developed the hydrogen bomb.
In 1979, the Cambodian government of Pol Pot was overthrown.
In 1980, the U.S. government authorized $1.5 billion in loans for the Chrysler Corp.
In 1989, Japan's Emperor Hirohito died.
In 1991, loyalist troops attacked Haiti's presidential palace, rescuing President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot and capturing the coup plotters.
In 1993, the EPA released a long-awaited report that classified environmental tobacco smoke as a carcinogen.
In 1997, U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., was re-elected speaker of the House and was then reprimanded for violating House rules and misleading the House ethics committee in its inquiry into possible political use of tax-exempt donations.
In 1998, a federal jury in Denver was unable to agree on a penalty for Terry Nichols, convicted in December 1997 in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. That meant he wouldn't face the death penalty.
In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial opened in the Senate. He was acquitted.
In 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush proposed a tax-cut package of $670 billion over 10 years, a major feature being the elimination of the tax on stock dividends.
In 2005, Mississippi authorities arrested an 80-year-old man for the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers.
In 2008, three explosions and a massive fire at a soon-to-be-opened refrigerated warehouse killed 22 laborers in Incheon, South Korea.
Also in 2008, the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor resumed at The Hague. Taylor was charged with crimes against humanity for supporting rebel troops in Sierra Leone's civil war that claimed about 300,000 lives in the 1990s.
In 2010, U.S. retailers reported that holiday sales in 2009 exceeded those in 2008, which they said was the worst holiday season in sales in decades. The International Council of Shopping Centers said the industry posted a 1.8 percent increase in same-store sales.
In 2011, U.S. unemployment dipped slightly in December, closing out the year at 9.4 percent, compared to 9.6 one month earlier. There were 103,000 jobs added.
Also in 2011, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. economy looked improved but warned the federal deficit could undermine recovery.
A thought for the day: an anonymous author wrote: "Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold -- but so does a hard-boiled egg."
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