Today is Monday, Dec. 17, the 351st day of 2018 with 14 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Mars, Neptune, Saturn 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; English writer Ford Madox Ford in 1873; ice cream businessman Burt Baskin in 1913; Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in 1936 (age 82); British singer/actor Tommy Steele, also in 1936 (age 82); blues musician Paul Butterfield in 1942; Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in 1942 (age 76); political commentator Chris Matthews in 1945 (age 73); actor Ernie Hudson in 1945 (age 73); comedian Eugene Levy in 1946 (age 72); British rock singer Paul Rodgers in 1949 (age 69); actor Bill Pullman in 1953 (age 65); actor Barry Livingston in 1953 (age 65); actor Laurie Holden in 1969 (age 49); MMA fighter Chuck Liddell in 1969 (age 49); actor Sarah Paulson in 1974 (age 44); celebrity pastry chef Duff Goldman in 1974 (age 44); actor Milla Jovovich in 1975 (age 43); boxer/politician/entertainer Manny Pacquiao in 1978 (age 40); Chelsea Manning, born Bradley Manning, in 1987 (age 31); actor Nat Wolff in 1994 (age 24).
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, considered to be the father of the U.S. 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 after the Battle of the River Plate. United Press reporter Roscoe Snipes observed the explosions aboard an airplane.
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 1981, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James Dozier was kidnapped in Verona by Italy's Red Brigades. He was freed 42 days later in a raid by Italian anti-terrorist forces.
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 feature of The Tracy Ullman Show, had its first stand-alone episode broadcast. The popular animated series has spurred look-alike contests, college classes, tattoos and controversy.
In 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a radical Roman Catholic priest and opponent of the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier, was elected president of Haiti in a landslide victory.
In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada formally signed the North American Free Trade Treaty.
In 1996, Kofi Annan of Ghana is elected secretary-general of the United Nations.
In 1997, New Jersey became the first state in the United States to permit same-sex couples to adopt children.
In 2004, the United States officially forgave all of the $4.1 billion owed the government by Iraq and urged other creditors to do the same.
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.
In 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died and his son, Kim Jong Un, took over leadership.
In 2012, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, died at the age of 88. Inouye, a World War II Medal of Honor winner, was in the Senate since 1963 and had been a congressman before that.
In 2013, Angela Merkel began her third term as chancellor of Germany.
In 2015, Libya's warring factions signed a U.N.-brokered deal to form a unity government four years after the death of Moammar Gadhafi.
In 2017, Chile elected former President Sebastian Pinera to a new term in office in the country's run-off election. He previously served from 2010-14.
A thought for the day: "Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else." -- Judy Garland