Today is Saturday, Dec. 17, the 352nd day of 2016 with 14 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Neptune, and Uranus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include American Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson, who fought as a man under the alias Robert Shurtlieff, in 1760; poet John Greenleaf Whittier in 1807; conductor Arthur Fiedler in 1894; novelist Erskine Caldwell and composer/bandleader Ray Noble, both in 1903; Western swing bandleader/violinist Spade Cooley in 1910; ice cream businessman Burt Baskin in 1913; writer William Safire in 1929; publisher Bob Guccione in 1930; actor George Lindsey in 1928; Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in 1936 (age 80); British singer/actor Tommy Steele, also in 1936 (age 80); blues musician Paul Butterfield in 1942; political commentator Chris Matthews and actor Ernie Hudson, both in 1945 (age 71); comedian Eugene Levy in 1946 (age 70); British rock singer Paul Rodgers in 1949 (age 67); actors Bill Pullman and Barry Livingston, both in 1953 (age 63) and Milla Jovovich in 1975 (age 41); boxer, politician and entertainer Manny Pacquiao in 1978 (age 38); and Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, convicted of violating the Espionage Act by giving classified information to WikiLeaks, in 1987 (age 29).
On this date in history:
In 1790, the Aztec Calendar, or Solar Stone, was uncovered by workmen repairing Mexico City's Central Plaza.
In 1903, Orville Wright made history's first sustained airplane flight, lasting 12 seconds and covering 120 feet near Kitty Hawk, N.C. His brother Wilbur flew 852 feet later that day.
In 1925, U.S. Army Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell, outspoken advocate of a separate Air Force, was found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the good of the armed services. He was awarded the Medal of Honor 20 years after his death.
In 1939, the Nazi warship Graf Spee was scuttled off the coast of Uruguay as British vessels pursued it.
In 1944, the more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans who had been relocated from the West Coast shortly after the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor were told they would be allowed to return home on Jan. 2.
In 1967, the Clean Air Act is signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
In 1975, a federal jury in Sacramento sentenced Lynette Alice "Squeaky" Fromme to life in prison for her attempted assassination of U.S. President Gerald R. Ford. She was released from prison in August 2009.
In 1986, a Las Vegas federal jury awarded entertainer Wayne Newton $19.3 million in his defamation suit against NBC. A judge reduced the award to $5.3 million.
In 1989, "The Simpsons," which began as a section of "The Tracy Ullman Show," had its first stand-alone episode broadcast.
In 1997, New Jersey became the first state in the United States to permit same-sex couples to adopt children.
In 2006, two large Virginia Episcopal parishes and several smaller churches in the state, upset over the consecration of an openly gay bishop and same-sex weddings in some congregations, voted to secede from the worldwide organization.
In 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi self-immolated in protest of his treatment at the hands of a municipal official. This would prove to be the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and set the stage for the Arab Spring.
A thought for the day: "Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else." -- Judy Garland