The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Mars and Saturn, the evening stars Venus, Jupiter, 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; Max Patkin, the Clown Prince of Baseball, in 1920; actors Ray Bolger in 1904, Paul Henreid in 1908, Sal Mineo in 1939 and William Sanderson in 1944 (age 68); historian Stephen Ambrose in 1936; Olympic decathlon champion Bill Toomey in 1939 (age 73); singers Johnnie Ray in 1927, Frank Sinatra Jr. in 1944 (age 68), Jim Croce in 1943 and Rod Stewart in 1945 (age 67); musicians Ronnie Hawkins in 1935 (age 77) and Donald Fagen in 1948 (age 64); X-rated film actor Linda Lovelace in 1949; boxer George Foreman in 1949 (age 63); singer Pat Benatar in 1953 (age 59); screenwriter Fran Walsh in 1959 (age 53).
On this date in history:
In 49 B.C., Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, beginning the Roman civil war.
In 1776, "Common Sense" by political philosopher Thomas Paine was published. The pamphlet advocated American independence from England.
In 1861, Florida seceded from the United States.
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.
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 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.
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, North Korea announced it was withdrawing from the 1979 nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
In 2006, Iran unsealed its nuclear facility at Natanz and resumed atomic research for what it claimed to be peaceful purposes but sparking international ire.
In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush announced he was sending more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, most of them deployed in Baghdad, in what was labeled a troop "surge."
Also in 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $2.10-an-hour increase in the national minimum wage, raising the figure to $7.25.
In 2008, U.S. forces mounted a major air offensive against al-Qaida targets on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, the military said. Within 10 minutes, warplanes dropped 38 1,000-pound bombs on suspected al-Qaida safe houses.
Also in 2008, at least 23 people were killed and 60 others injured when a suicide bomber detonated outside a busy courthouse at midday in Lahore, Pakistan.
And, Edmund Hillary, who rose to international fame as a member of the first climbing party to scale Mount Everest, died in Auckland, New Zealand, at age 88.
In 2009, a published report said Israel dropped a plan to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities after U.S. President George W. Bush denied permission to fly over Iraq. The New York Times said further the Bush administration also turned down a request for bunker-busting bombs.
Also in 2009, six Somali pirates drowned during a dispute in their overloaded boat as they tried to escape with an alleged $3 million ransom for the Saudi oil supertanker Sirius Star.
In 2010, some major resurgent U.S. banks, shored up by federal taxpayer bailouts, were reported preparing to dole out millions of dollars in bonuses to executives, a move that drew harsh criticism from Americans still reeling from the financial collapse.
In 2011, Mississippi sisters, Gladys and Jaime Scott, now in their 30s, were released from prison after serving 16 years of a life sentence for a reported $11 armed robbery, and became a national civil rights cause, on condition that one donates a kidney to her ailing sibling, if doctors say it's safe.
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."
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