Today is Sunday, Dec. 29, the 363rd day of 2013 with two to follow.
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 Capricorn. They include Madame de Pompadour, mistress of French King Louis XV, in 1721; Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh, who patented a waterproof fabric, in 1766; industrialist Charles Goodyear in 1800; Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States, in 1808; British statesman William Gladstone in 1809; band leader Clyde "Sugar Blues" McCoy in 1903; former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley in 1917; golf course designer Pete Dye in 1925 (age 88); actors Inga Swenson in 1932 (age 81), Ed Flanders in 1934, Mary Tyler Moore in 1936 (age 77) and Jon Voight in 1938 (age 75); football Hall of Fame member Ray Nitschke in 1936; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Rick Danko (The Band) in 1942; singer Marianne Faithfull in 1946 (age 67); actors Ted Danson in 1947 (age 66) and Jon Polito in 1950 (age 63); singer Yvonne Elliman in 1951 (age 62); comedian Paula Poundstone in 1959 (age 54); television journalist Ashleigh Banfield in 1967 (age 46); and actor Jude Law in 1972 (age 41).
On this date in history:
In 1170, Anglican churchman/politician Thomas Becket was killed at England's Canterbury Cathedral.
In 1845, Texas was admitted into the United States as the 28th state.
In 1848, gaslights were installed at the White House for the first time.
In 1851, the first chapter of the Young Men's Christian Association -- the YMCA -- opened in Boston.
In 1890, more than 200 Indian men, women and children were massacred by the U.S. 7th Cavalry at Wounded Knee Creek, S.D.
In 1940, London suffered its most devastating air raid when Germans firebombed the city.
In 1975, a terrorist bomb exploded at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, killing 11 people and injuring 75.
In 1983, the United States announced its withdrawal from UNESCO, charging the U.N. cultural and scientific organization was biased against Western nations.
In 1989, playwright Vaclav Havel was sworn in as the first non-communist president of Czechoslovakia since 1948.
In 1992, a Cuban airliner was hijacked to Miami as part of a mass defection. Forty-eight of the 53 people aboard sought and were granted political asylum.
In 2002, Kenyan voters ousted the party that had ruled the nation since 1963 in an election that ended the 24-year presidency of Daniel Arap Moi.
In 2004, actor Jerry Orbach, star of stage, film and TV, best known for his starring role on TV's "Law and Order," died of prostate cancer at the age of 69.
In 2006, AT&T won U.S. approval to complete an $85 billion takeover of BellSouth Corp. after it made a series of consumer-friendly concessions.
In 2011, Kim Jon Un was declared Supreme Leader of North Korea at a memorial service in Pyongyang for his father and former leader Kim Jong Il.
In 2012, Pakistani officials said tainted cough syrup killed up to 36 people over a four-day period. Authorities shut down about a dozen medical stores and seized 8,000 bottles of the syrup.
A thought for the day: Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him."