Today is Wednesday, Dec. 31, the 365th and final day of 2014.
Tonight is New Year's Eve
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter and Saturn. Evening stars are Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1491; Charles Edward Stuart, Scotland's "Bonnie Prince Charlie," in 1720; French painter Henri Matisse in 1869; U.S. Army Gen. George Marshall, formulator of the Marshall Aid Plan for Europe following World War II and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in 1880; songwriter Jule Styne ("Three Coins In the Fountain, "Let It Snow") in 1905; cowboy actor/singer Rex Allen in 1920; folk-blues singer Odetta (Holmes) in 1930; actors Anthony Hopkins in 1937 (age 77), Sarah Miles in 1941 (age 73) and Ben Kingsley in 1943 (age 71); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Andy Summers (The Police) in 1942 (age 72); singer/songwriter John Denver and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Pete Quaife (The Kinks), both in 1943; fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg in 1946 (age 68); rock singer Burton Cummings in 1947 (age 67); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Donna Summer in 1948; actors Tim Matheson in 1947 (age 67), Bebe Neuwirth in 1958 (age 56) and Val Kilmer in 1959 (age 55); writer Nicholas Sparks in 1965 (age 49); singer/dancer Psy, born Park Jae-sang, in 1977 (age 37); and Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Gabby Douglas in 1995 (age 19).
On this date in history:
In 1879, Thomas Edison gave the first public demonstration of his incandescent lamp -- in Menlo Park, N.J.
In 1929, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians did their first New Year's Eve broadcast from the Roosevelt Grill in New York City.
In 1983, the court-ordered breakup of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. took effect.
In 1985, fire broke out on a chartered DC-3 aircraft and it crashed in northeastern Texas, killing rock singer Rick Nelson, his fiancee and five band members..
In 1994, Russian forces launched a full air and ground attack on Grozny, the capital city of the rebel republic of Chechnya.
In 1997, the Algerian government announced that more than 400 people had been massacred by Islamic extremists during the last nine days of December.
In 1999, Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal.
In 2004, authorities in Buenos reported at least 175 deaths and hundreds of injuries in a fire at a crowded nightclub. A government official said, "Only two exits were open; the others were tied up with wire. These young people were doomed in a death trap."
In 2006 Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union, increasing its membership to 27 countries. (Croatia became the 28th EU member in 2013.)
In 2013, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at 16,576.66, up 26.5 percent for the year, the biggest gain in nearly two decades.
A thought for the day: "Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one." -- Brad Paisley