Today is Monday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2015 with 339 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 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 in 1918; author Philip Jose Farmer in 1918; actor Paul Newman in 1925; French film director Roger Vadim in 1928; cartoonist, playwright and author Jules Feiffer in 1929 (age 86); sports personality Bob Uecker in 1935 (age 80); actor Scott Glenn in 1941 (age 74); political activist Angela Davis in 1944 (age 71); film critic Gene Siskel in 1946; actor David Strathairn in 1949 (age 66); NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in 1953 (age 62); singer Lucinda Williams in 1953 (age 62); musician Eddie Van Halen in 1955 (age 60); comedian Ellen DeGeneres in 1958 (age 57); hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky in 1961 (age 54).
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 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 2001, a magnitude-7.9 earthquake struck western India, killing more than 20,000 people, injuring tens of thousands and causing billions of dollars in damage.
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.")
In 2013, Johns Hopkins University announced it was receiving $350 million for research and student financial aid from an alumnus: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In 2014, Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, who had been 0-12 against Rafael Nadal, beat the top-ranked Spaniard 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to win the Australian Open.
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