Today is Thursday, Dec. 19, the 353rd day of 2013 with 12 to go.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn. The evening stars are Neptune, Uranus and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include women's suffrage leader Mary Livermore in 1820; novelist Eleanor Porter ("Pollyanna") in 1868; baseball Hall of Fame member Commissioner Ford Frick in 1894; British actor Ralph Richardson in 1902; Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev in 1906; French dramatist Jean Genet, a pioneer in the theater of the absurd, in 1910; French singer Edith Piaf in 1915; country singer Little Jimmy Dickens in 1920 (age 93); actor Cicely Tyson in 1933 (age 80); baseball Hall of Fame member Al Kaline in 1934 (age 79); folk singer Phil Ochs in 1940; former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in 1941 (age 72); British rock musician Alvin Lee in 1944; bluegrass musician John McEuen in 1945 (68); actors Tim Reid in 1944 (age 69), Robert Urich in 1946, Jennifer Beals in 1963 (age 50), Robert MacNaughton in 1966 (age 47), Alyssa Milano in 1972 (age 41) and Jake Gyllenhaal in 1980 (age 33).
On this date in history:
In 1777, Gen. George Washington and the Continental Army began a winter encampment at Valley Forge, Pa.
In 1958, the U.S. satellite Atlas transmitted the first radio voice broadcast from space, a 58-word recorded Christmas greeting from U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.
In 1972, the splashdown of Apollo 17 ended the United States' manned moon exploration program.
In 1984, the prime ministers of Britain and China signed an agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.
In 1998, Bill Clinton became the second U.S. president to be impeached (Andrew Johnson was the first) by the House of Representatives, which approved articles charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice. (Like Johnson, he was acquitted by the Senate.)
In 2002, South Korea elected Roh Moo-hyun as its president.
In 2006, a Libyan court sentenced five Bulgarian nurses and a doctor to death for deliberately infecting 426 children with HIV.
In 2007, conservative Lee Myung-bak won the South Korea presidential election.
In 2008, Mark Felt, an FBI official who became known as The Washington Post journalists' shadowy source "Deep Throat" in the Watergate scandal, died at the age of 95.
In 2009, Irish Catholic Bishop Donald Murray resigned after bring criticized in a report that accused the church of covering up priests' alleged sexual abuse of Dublin children.
In 2012, Britain announced it would begin a gradual withdrawal of its forces in Afghanistan in April 2013.
A thought for the day: "Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." -- George Bernard Shaw