Today is Wednesday, Dec. 19, the 353rd day of 2018 with 12 to go.
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 King Philip V of Spain in 1683; women's suffrage leader Mary Livermore in 1820; novelist Eleanor Porter (Pollyanna) in 1868; baseball Hall of Fame member Ford Frick in 1894; Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev in 1906; French singer Edith Piaf in 1915; country singer Little Jimmy Dickens in 1920; actor Cicely Tyson in 1924 (age 94); baseball Hall of Fame member Al Kaline in 1934 (age 84); folk singer Phil Ochs in 1940; former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in 1941 (age 77); British rock musician Alvin Lee in 1944; bluegrass musician John McEuen in 1945 (age 73); actor Tim Reid in 1944 (age 74); actor Robert Urich in 1946; actor Jennifer Beals in 1963 (age 55); actor Robert MacNaughton in 1966 (age 52); magician Criss Angel, born Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos, in 1967 (age 51); model/actor Tyson Beckford in 1970 (age 48); actor Alyssa Milano in 1972 (age 46); actor Jake Gyllenhaal in 1980 (age 38); actor Marla Sokoloff in 1980 (age 38); actor Keiynan Lonsdale in 1991 (age 27).
On this date in history:
In 1777, Gen. George Washington and the Continental Army began a winter encampment at Valley Forge, Pa.
In 1946 the First Indochina War began with Vietnamese troops under Ho Chi Minh clashing with the French at Hanoi.
In 1958, the U.S. satellite SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment), launched aboard an Atlas rocket, transmitted the first radio voice broadcast from space, a 58-word recorded Christmas greeting from President Dwight Eisenhower.
In 1972, the splashdown of Apollo 17 ended the United States' manned moon exploration program. "It's a beautiful day," astronaut Eugene Cernan said upon exiting the command module.
In 1974, Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the United States under President Gerald Ford.
In 1984, the prime ministers of Britain and China signed an agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.
In 1998, Bill Clinton became the second U.S. president to be impeached (Andrew Johnson was the first) by the House of Representatives, which approved articles charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice. Like Johnson, he was acquitted by the Senate.
In 2006, a Libyan court sentenced five Bulgarian nurses and a doctor to death for deliberately infecting 426 children with HIV.
In 2008, Mark Felt, an FBI official who became known as The Washington Post journalists' shadowy source "Deep Throat" in the Watergate scandal, died at the age of 95.
In 2012, Britain announced it would begin a gradual withdrawal of its forces in Afghanistan in April 2013.
In 2012, South Koreans head to the polls to elect Park Geun-hye as the nation's first female president.
In 2013, Target, confirming a security breach, said criminals stole credit and debit card information millions of people who shopped in its stores in the post-Thanksgiving period.
In 2016, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker drove a truck into a group of people at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more. The driver, Anis Amri, was killed days later in Milan when confronted by police.
A thought for the day: "The world which I shall soon leave is very different from that into which I was born, and is a much better world to live in." -- Mary Livermore