Today is Thursday, Jan. 29, the 29th day of 2009 with 336 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mars, Jupiter, Mercury and Saturn. The evening stars are Venus, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include Swedish scientist and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg in 1688; American colonial political philosopher Thomas Paine in 1737; William McKinley, 25th president of the United States, in 1843; Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov in 1860; comic actor W.C. Fields in 1880; dramatist Paddy Chayefsky in 1923; actors Victor Mature in 1913, John Forsythe in 1918 (age 91); Katharine Ross in 1940 (age 69), Tom Selleck in 1945 (age 64) and Ann Jillian in 1950 (age 59); talk show host Oprah Winfrey in 1954 (age 55); Olympic gold medal diver Greg Louganis in 1960 (age 49); and actors Nick Turturro in 1962 (age 47), Heather Graham in 1970 (age 39) and Sara Gilbert in 1975 (age 34).
On this date in history:
In 1820, 10 years after mental illness forced him to retire from public life, King George III, the British king who lost the American colonies, died at the age of 82.
In 1861, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union as a free or non-slavery state at a time when Southern states were seceding from the Union.
In 1900, eight baseball teams were organized as the American League. They were in Buffalo, N.Y.; Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; and Minneapolis.
In 1979, Deng Xiaoping, deputy premier of China, and U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed historic accords that reversed decades of U.S. opposition to the People's Republic of China.
In 1988, amid broad efforts toward peace in Central America, Pope John Paul II gave Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega a wary Vatican reception.
In 1991, the United States and the Soviet Union announced they would agree to a cease-fire in the Gulf War if Iraq made an "unequivocal commitment to withdraw from Kuwait."
Also in 1991, in South Africa, the Africa National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party agreed to end their rivalry.
In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton directed the military to stop asking recruits about their sexual orientation as a compromise first step in his plan to lift the ban on homosexuals in the armed services.
In 1995, the San Francisco 49ers became the first team to win five Super Bowls when they routed the San Diego Chargers, 49-26.
In 1996, France announced that it would stop open-air nuclear testing.
In 2000, delegates from more than 130 nations meeting in Montreal adopted the first global treaty regulating trade in genetically modified food products.
In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush warned in his State of the Union address that the war on terrorism was just beginning with thousands of potential terrorists "spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs."
In 2003, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office said the year's federal deficit would soar to $199 billion.
In 2004, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11 people on a Jerusalem bus and injured 50 others. The blast disrupted the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
In 2005, Israel and the United States began efforts to talk EU officials into joining them in efforts to halt Iran's nuclear weapons program.
In 2006, Bob Woodruff, ABC's evening news co-anchor, and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were severely injured when hit by a roadside bomb northwest of Baghdad.
Also in 2006, Kuwait's new ruler, Sheik Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, was sworn in to replace ailing Emir Sheik Saad Abdullah al-Sabah.
In 2007, Iran officials indicated Tehran would expand its economic and military ties with Iraq, including establishment of an Iranian national bank branch in Baghdad.
In 2008, two federal reports alleged substandard care at a veterans' hospital in Marion, Ill., had contributed to 19 deaths over the past two years.
Also in 2008, Brazil said it was talking with France about obtaining the technology it needs to build the first nuclear-powered submarine in Latin America.
A thought for the day: there's a Chinese proverb that says, "Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself."