Today is Sunday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2014 with 339 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mars, Saturn and Venus. The evening stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune and Uranus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include French philosopher Claude Helvetius in 1715; U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1880; Austrian singer Maria von Trapp, whose family was the basis for "The Sound of Music," in 1905; Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and author Philip Jose Farmer, both in 1918; actor Paul Newman in 1925; French film director Roger Vadim in 1928; cartoonist, playwright and author Jules Feiffer in 1929 (age 85); sports personality Bob Uecker in 1935 (age 79); actors Scott Glenn in 1941 (age 73) and David Strathairn in 1949 (age 65); political activist Angela Davis in 1944 (age 70); film critic Gene Siskel in 1946; NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and singer Lucinda Williams, both in 1953 (age 61); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Eddie Van Halen in 1955 (age 59); comedian Ellen DeGeneres in 1958 (age 56); and hockey Hall of Fame member Wayne Gretzky in 1961 (age 53).
On this date in history:
In 1788, the first shipload of British convicts arrived in Australia. The establishment of an Australian prison colony was aimed at relieving overcrowding in British prisons.
In 1837, Michigan joined the United States as the 26th state.
In 1861, Louisiana seceded from the United States.
In 1875, the electric dental drill was patented by George Green of Kalamazoo, Mich.
In 1918, to promote food conservation during World War I, the U.S. government called for one meatless day, two wheatless days and two porkless days each week.
In 1949, the 200-inch Hal Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California has first-light exposure.
In 1950, India ceased to be a British dominion and became the Republic of India, most populous democracy in the world.
In 1980, six Americans hidden for three months in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran were smuggled out of Iran by Canadian diplomats.
In 1988, "The Phantom of the Opera" opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre in New York.
In 1990, hurricane-force winds pounded the British Isles and much of Northern Europe, killing at least 92 people and knocking out power to nearly 1 million people.
In 1991, Iraq fired Scuds at Israel and Saudi Arabia but most were intercepted by Patriot missiles.
In 2001, more than 20,000 people were killed when a magnitude-7.9 earthquake struck western India.
In 2005, a Marine helicopter crashed in Iraq killing all 31 Americans aboard.
In 2009, a 33-year-old single California mother, Nadya Suleman, who already had six children, gave birth to eight babies, only the second set of octuplets ever to be born alive in the United States. (She became known as "Octomom.")
A thought for the day: "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." -- Bertrand Russell