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 American turncoat Gen. Benedict Arnold in 1741; Thornton Waldo Burgess, author of "Peter Rabbit," in 1874; philosopher and medical missionary Albert Schweitzer in 1875; film director Hal Roach in 1892; novelist John Dos Passos in 1896; English photographer Cecil Beaton in 1904; "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney in 1919; actors William Bendix in 1906 and Guy Williams in 1924; drag racing driver Don "Big Daddy" Garlits in 1932 (age 80); singer Jack Jones in 1938 (age 74); civil rights activist Julian Bond in 1940 (age 72); actor Faye Dunaway in 1941 (age 71); astronaut Shannon Lucid in 1943 (age 69); evangelist-turned-actor singer Marjoe Gortner and journalist Nina Totenberg, both in 1944 (age 68); actor Carl Weathers in 1948 (age 64); New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in 1952 (age 60); filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan in 1949 (age 63); film director Steven Soderbergh in 1963 (age 49); television news anchor Shepard Smith in 1964 (age 48); actors Jason Bateman in 1969 (age 43), Emily Watson in 1967 (age 45), LL Cool J in 1968 (age 44) and Kevin Durand in 1974 (age 38); and rock musician David Grohl in 1969 (age 43).
On this date in history:
In 1639, the first constitution in the American colonies, the "Fundamental Orders," was adopted in Hartford, Conn., by representatives of Wethersfield, Windsor and Hartford.
In 1794, Dr. Jesse Bennett of Edom, Va., performed the first successful Caesarean section.
In 1907, an earthquake in Kingston, Jamaica, killed more than 1,000 people.
In 1914, Henry Ford introduced the assembly line method of manufacturing cars, allowing completion of one Model-T Ford every 90 minutes.
In 1952, NBC's "Today," the program that started the morning news show format as we know it, premiered.
In 1964, George Wallace was inaugurated as the governor of Alabama, promising his followers, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!"
In 1969, a series of explosions aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Enterprise off Hawaii killed 27 men.
In 1980, after being released from government control, gold reached a record price, exceeding $800 an ounce.
In 1985, the British pound sank to a record low, $1.11, and the Bank of England raised interest rates to halt the decline.
In 1991, two PLO leaders and a third man were killed in Tunis. Al Fatah, the PLO's main-line faction, blamed a dissident group for the assassinations.
In 1993, David Letterman accepted a multimillion-dollar deal to move his late night talk show to CBS in August after his NBC contract expired.
In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush outlined a plan to establish a U.S. colony on the moon from where manned expeditions to Mars could be launched.
In 2005, a U.S. Army reservist, Spec. Charles Graner, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for abusing detainees at Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison. He said he didn't regret his actions.
In 2007, Saddam Hussein's half brother and the judge who approved the 1982 killing of 148 Shiite men and boys were executed by hanging in Baghdad. Saddam was hanged two weeks earlier.
In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program by more than $32 billion over five years. The program covered more than 6 million children whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but can't afford private insurance.
In 2010, Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince was in ruins as rescue teams searched for victims following the magnitude-7 earthquake that killed thousands and laid waste to government buildings, schools, hospitals, foreign offices and shantytowns.
In 2011, anti-government protesters forced the ouster of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, ending a 23-year rule with a culmination of a mushrooming, monthlong unrest that grew violent and part of a fast-moving protest movement against regimes in North Africa and the Middle East known as the "Arab Spring."
A thought for the day: "Truth," the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, "is the reference of a judgment to something outside that stands as its ground."