Today is Tuesday, Dec. 31, the 365th and last day of 2002.
This is New Year's Eve.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Pluto. The evening stars are Mercury, Uranus, Saturn and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1491; Charles Edward Stuart, Scotland's "Bonnie Prince Charlie," in 1720; French painter Henri Matisse in 1869; Gen. George Marshall, formulator of the Marshall Aid Plan for Europe following World War II, in 1880; folk-blues singer Odetta (Holmes) in 1930 (age 72); actors Anthony Hopkins in 1937 (age 65), Sarah Miles in 1941 (age 61) and Ben Kingsley in 1943 (age 59); singer John Denver in 1943; fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg in 1945 (age 57); singer Donna Summer in 1948 (age 54); and actors Tim Matheson in 1948 (age 54), Bebe Neuwirth in 1958 (age 44) and Val Kilmer in 1959 (age 43).
On this date in history:
In 1879, Thomas Edison gave the first public demonstration of his incandescent lamp in Menlo Park, N.J.
In 1983, the court-ordered breakup of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. took effect at midnight.
In 1984, the nation's first mandatory seat belt law went into effect in the state of New York at midnight.
In 1985, rock singer Rick Nelson, his fiancee and five band members were killed in the New Year's Eve crash of their chartered DC-3 in northeast Texas.
In 1994, Russian forces launched a full air and ground attack on Grozny, the capital city of the rebel republic of Chechnya.
In 1995, a final effort to reach a federal budget compromise failed to end the stalemate between congressional Republicans and President Clinton.
In 1997, Michael Kennedy, 39, a son of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy, was killed when he struck a tree while skiing in Aspen, Colo.
Also in 1997, the Algerian government announced that more than 400 people had been massacred by Islamic extremists during the last nine days of December.
In 1998, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at 9181.43, 16 percent higher than the last trading day of 1997.
Also in 1998, Vice President Al Gore officially entered the 2000 race for the White House when he filed notice with the Federal Election Commission, although he made no announcement.
In 1999, Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal.
In 2000, a blizzard pummeled the northeastern United States with heavy winds and snow whiteouts in New York City and elsewhere. Snow depths reached 20 inches.
A thought for the day: William Shakespeare wrote, "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."