Today is Monday, Dec. 10, the 345th day of 2012 with 21to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Venus and Saturn. Evening stars included Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, founder of the first free school for the deaf, in 1787; poet Emily Dickinson in 1830; librarian Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey decimal book classification system, in 1851; actor Una Merkel in 1903; TV newscaster Chet Huntley in 1911; actors Dorothy Lamour in 1914, Harold Gould in 1923, Dan Blocker in 1928, Tommy Kirk in 1941 (age 71) and Susan Dey in 1952 (age 60); actor/director Kenneth Branagh in 1960 (age 52); singer/actor Nia Peeples in 1961 (age 51); musician Meg White in 1974 (age 38); and actor Raven-Symone in 1985 (age 27).
On this date in history:
In 1817, Mississippi joined the United States as the 20th state.
In 1869, the Territory of Wyoming granted women the right to vote.
In 1884, "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain was published.
In 1898, Spain signed a treaty officially ending the Spanish-American War. It gave Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines to the United States.
In 1901, the Nobel prizes were first awarded in Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm, Sweden.
In 1906, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1936, Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson. His brother succeeded to the throne as King George VI.
In 1941, Japanese troops landed on northern Luzon in the Philippines in the early days of World War II.
In 1950, U.S. diplomat Ralph Joseph Bunche received the Nobel Peace Prize for his peace mediation during the first Arab-Israeli war. He was the first African-American to win the award.
In 1984, the National Science Foundation reported the discovery of the first planet outside the solar system, orbiting a star 21 million light-years from Earth.
In 1990, communists won a major victory in the first postwar multi-party elections in the Yugoslavian republics of Serbia and Montenegro.
In 1997, the Swiss high court ruled that $100 million of the money that had been deposited in banks by former dictator Ferdinand Marcos would be returned to the Philippines government.
In 2002, the Roman Catholic diocese of Manchester, N.H., admitted responsibility for failing to protect children from abusive priests.
In 2004, an Italian court cleared Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of corruption charges.
In 2005, more than 100 people were killed when a passenger plane crashed in the southern Nigerian city of Port Harcourt.
Also in 2005, Richard Pryor, who pushed the envelope on racial themes and vulgarity with standup and movie comedy, died of cardiac arrest. He was 65.
In 2006, Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the former president of Chile who seized power in a bloody 1973 coup and ruled the nation for 17 years, died at the age of 91.
In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin endorsed Dmitri Medvedev, a first deputy prime minister and chairman of the Russian gas monopoly, as his successor in the 2008 presidential election. Medvedev said he would name Putin as prime minister if elected.
In 2008, the U.S. Congress considered a $14 billion rescue package for Detroit automakers General Motors and Chrysler who said they couldn't survive until the end of 2008 without financial help. But, while the House of Representatives approved the measure, 237-170, the Senate couldn't muster enough support and the measure died.
In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama defended ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a speech in Oslo, Norway, where he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.
Also in 2009, a special South Carolina House committee voted to censure, but not impeach, Gov. Mark Sanford for bringing "ridicule, dishonor, disgrace and shame" on the state in a scandal centered on an extramarital affair.
In 2010, Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, represented by a portrait and an empty chair, was honored during the Nobel ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Liu was in a northeastern China prison serving an 11-year sentence for subversion and his family was forbidden from attending.
Also in 2010, trying to stop leaks, U.S. military officials banned troops from using CDs, DVDs, thumb drives and any other form of removable media or risk a court-martial.
In 2011, western countries and the U.N. urged calm in the Democratic Republic of Congo after President Joseph Kabila was declared the winner in disputed elections.
Meanwhile, thousands of Russians took to the streets in Moscow to protest national election results that appeared to keep Vladimir Putin's ruling party in power, calling for Putin's resignation.
A thought for the day: Marcel Proust said, "Only through art can we get outside of ourselves and know another's view of the universe."