Today is Monday, Dec. 31, the 365th and final day of 2018.
Tonight is New Year's Eve.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Mars, Neptune and Uranus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include Pope Callixtus III, born Alfonso de Borgia, in 1378; Charles Edward Stuart, Scotland's "Bonnie Prince Charlie," in 1720; French painter Henri Matisse in 1869; businesswoman Elizabeth Arden, born Florence Nightingale Graham, in 1878; U.S. Army Gen. George Marshall, formulator of the Marshall Aid Plan for Europe following World War II and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in 1880; songwriter Jule Styne ("Three Coins In the Fountain, "Let It Snow") in 1905; Saudi King Salman in 1935 (age 83); actor Anthony Hopkins in 1937 (age 81); actor Sarah Miles in 1941 (age 77); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Andy Summers (The Police) in 1942 (age 76); actor Ben Kingsley in 1943 (age 75); singer/songwriter John Denver in 1943; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Pete Quaife (The Kinks) in 1943; fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg in 1946 (age 72); rock singer Burton Cummings in 1947 (age 71); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Donna Summer in 1948; actor Tim Matheson in 1947 (age 71); actor Bebe Neuwirth in 1958 (age 60); actor Val Kilmer in 1959 (age 59); writer Nicholas Sparks in 1965 (age 53); singer Joe McIntyre in 1972 (age 46); Donald Trump Jr., businessman/son of President Donald Trump, in 1977 (age 41); singer/dancer Psy, born Park Jae-sang, in 1977 (age 41); actor Ricky Whittle in 1981 (age 37); Canadian Olympic gold medal winning figure skater Patrick Chan in 1990 (age 28); Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Gabby Douglas in 1995 (age 23).
On this date in history:
In 1862, the Union ironclad ship USS Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras, N.C., during a storm. Sixteen members of the crew were lost.
In 1879, Thomas Edison gave the first public demonstration of his incandescent lamp -- in Menlo Park, N.J.
In 1929, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians did their first New Year's Eve broadcast from the Roosevelt Grill in New York City.
In 1968, the Soviet Union tested its supersonic airliner, the TU-144, months before the Anglo-French Concorde.
In 1972, Pittsburgh Pirates great Roberto Clemente and four other people died in a cargo plane crash en route to deliver supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua. The plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from Puerto Rico.
In 1983, the court-ordered breakup of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. took effect.
In 1994, Russian forces launched a full air and ground attack on Grozny, the capital city of the rebel republic of Chechnya.
In 1997, the Algerian government announced that more than 400 people had been massacred by Islamic extremists during the last nine days of December.
In 1999, Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal.
In 2004, authorities in Buenos Aires reported at least 175 deaths and hundreds of injuries in a fire at a crowded nightclub. A government official said, "Only two exits were open; the others were tied up with wire. These young people were doomed in a death trap."
In 2006, Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union, increasing its membership to 27 countries.
A thought for the day: "Hold fast to life and youth." -- Elizabeth Arden