Today is Thursday, Dec. 10, the 344th day of 2009 with 21 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Venus, Mars, Saturn and Mercury. The evening stars are Neptune, Jupiter and Uranus.
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; TV newscaster Chet Huntley in 1911; actress Dorothy Lamour in 1914; actor Harold Gould in 1923 (age 86); actress Susan Dey in 1952 (age 57); and actor/director Kenneth Branagh in 1960 (age 49).
On this date in history:
In 1869, the Territory of Wyoming granted women the right to vote.
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 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 our solar system, orbiting a star 21 million light-years from Earth.
In 1990, the 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 salted away 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 2003, the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council announced the formal establishment of a war crimes tribunal.
Also in 2003, Mick Jagger became Sir Mick after the Rolling Stones' front man was knighted by Prince Charles.
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, the U.S. Supreme Court granted federal judges new flexibility in criminal sentencing with a ruling that those judges should have broad discretion in imposing reasonable sentencing with the right to disagree with federal guidelines.
Also 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.
And, Pulitzer winner and new-journalism pioneer Norman Mailer, author of "The Naked and the Dead," died in New York City of acute kidney failure at 84.
In 2008, the U.S. Congress considered a $14 billion rescue package for Detroit automakers General Motors and Chrysler who said they could not survive until the end of 2008 without financial help. But, while the House of Representatives approved the measure, 237-170, the Senate could not muster enough support and the measure died.
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."