Today is Wednesday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2015 with 344 to follow. 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 Aquarius. They include soldier and Vermont folk hero Ethan Allen in 1738; explorer and historian John Fremont in 1813; Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in 1824; firearms designer John Browning in 1855; Roger Nash Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, in 1884; French fashion designer Christian Dior in 1905; German high-wire walker Karl Wallenda in 1905; actor Telly Savalas in 1922; actor Paul Scofield in 1922; British comedian Benny Hill in 1924; disc jockey Robert "Wolfman Jack" Smith in 1938; golfer Jack Nicklaus in 1940 (age 75); opera star Placido Domingo (age 74) in 1941; folk musician Richie Havens in 1941; singer Mac Davis (age 73) in 1942; singer Edwin Starr in 1942; actor Jill Eikenberry in 1947 (age 68); singer Billy Ocean in 1950 (age 65); former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke in 1950 (age 65); U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in 1951 (age 64); Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1953 (age 62); actor Robby Benson in 1956 (age 59); actor Geena Davis in 1956 (age 59); basketball Hall of Fame member Hakeem Olajuwon in 1963 (age 52); singer Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton in 1976 (age 39).
On this date in history: In 1793, French King Louis XVI was executed in Paris. In 1861, Mississippi Sen. Jefferson Davis resigned from the U.S. Senate, 12 days before Mississippi seceded from the Union. He later became president of the Confederate States of America. In 1924, Vladimir Lenin, architect of the Bolshevik Revolution and the first leader of the Soviet Union, died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 54. In 1954, the world's first atomic-powered submarine, the Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Conn. In 1976, the supersonic Concorde airplane was put into service by Britain and France. In 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter pardoned American Vietnam War-era draft evaders and ordered a case-by-case study of deserters. In 1997, the full U.S. House of Representatives voted 395-28 to reprimand Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., for violating House rules and misleading congressional investigators looking into his possible misuse of tax-exempt donations for political purposes. In 1998, Pope John Paul II arrived in Havana for his first visit to Cuba. In 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau said Hispanics had moved past African-Americans as the largest minority group in the United States. In 2009, Sen. Hillary Clinton won near-unanimous Senate confirmation as U.S. secretary of state. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a far-reaching and controversial 5-4 decision, ruled that the government cannot restrict the spending of corporations and unions for political campaigns. In 2012, signaling what observers believed to be a new political era in Egypt, Islamist parties won 47 percent of the seats in parliamentary elections. In 2013, a sudden snowfall caused two massive pileups on slippery interstates in the Cincinnati area. The crashes in near-whiteout conditions killed a young girl and injured about 20 other people. "It was just chaos, absolute chaos," a sheriff's officer said. In 2014, a report from three former war-crimes prosecutors said they found evidence of widespread killings and torture by forces of the government of Syria. The report, which included thousands of photographs apparently smuggled out of the war-torn country, told of killings that were "systematic, ordered and directed from above."
A thought for the day: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." -- Henry David Thoreau