Today is Sunday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2019 with 23 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mars, Mercury and Uranus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include Mary Queen of Scots in 1542; Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin, in 1765; General Motors founder William Durant in 1861; French movie pioneer Georges Melies in 1861; Finnish composer Jean Sibelius in 1865; Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in 1886; entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. in 1925; actor Maximilian Schell in 1930; actor David Carradine in 1936; actor James MacArthur in 1937; Irish flutist James Galway in 1939 (age 80); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jim Morrison in 1943; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Gregg Allman in 1947; writer Bill Bryson in 1951 (age 68); actor Kim Basinger in 1953 (age 66); actor Teri Hatcher in 1964 (age 55); political commentator Ann Coulter in 1961 (age 58); Irish singer/songwriter Sinead O'Connor in 1966 (age 53); rock singer Corey Taylor in 1973 (age 46); actor Dominic Monaghan in 1976 (age 43); actor Ian Somerhalder in 1978 (age 41); singer Ingrid Michaelson in 1979 (age 40); rap artist Nicki Minaj, born Onika Tanya Maraj, in 1982 (age 37); actor AnnaSophia Robb in 1993 (age 26).
On this date in history:
In 1886, delegates from 25 unions founded the American Federation of Labor, forerunner of the modern AFL-CIO, in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1941, President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare that "a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire" as a result of Japan's "unprovoked and dastardly attack."
In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist government, defeated by the Communists, retreated from the mainland to the island of Taiwan.
In 1980, former Beatle John Lennon was shot to death outside his apartment building in New York City. He was 40.
In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the first treaty between the two superpowers to reduce their massive nuclear arsenals.
In 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist when the republics of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed an agreement creating the Commonwealth of Independent States.
In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), stating that free trade would lead to worldwide growth, equality, preservation of the environment and peace.
In 1997, Jenny Shipley was sworn in as the first woman prime minister of New Zealand.
In 2004, the International Business Machines Corp., IBM, reported it was selling its personal computer business to Chinese rival Lenovo Group for $1.25 billion in cash and stock.
In 2005, a Southwest Airlines jetliner overshot a runway at Chicago's Midway International Airport in a snowstorm, crashing through a fence into a city street. A 6-year-old boy in a car hit by the plane was killed and at least 11 people were hurt.
In 2008, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and four co-defendants told a military judge at Guantanamo Bay that they wanted to confess to all charges of murder and war crimes.
In 2009, in what Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called "cowardly terrorist attacks, a series of apparently coordinated car bombings in Baghdad killed 127 people, injured more than 450 and destroyed some government buildings.
In 2010, a prison fire south of Santiago, Chile, that apparently broke out after a fight between inmates killed at least 81 people and injured a dozen others.
In 2018, President Donald Trump announced the departure of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
A thought for the day: "A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself." -- musician Jim Morrison