Today is Thursday, Dec. 17, the 352nd day of 2020 with 14 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mars, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, 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 84); British singer/actor Tommy Steele in 1936 (age 84); blues musician Paul Butterfield in 1942; Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in 1942 (age 78); political commentator Chris Matthews in 1945 (age 75); actor Ernie Hudson in 1945 (age 75); comedian Eugene Levy in 1946 (age 74); British rock singer Paul Rodgers in 1949 (age 71); actor Bill Pullman in 1953 (age 67); actor Barry Livingston in 1953 (age 67); actor Laurie Holden in 1969 (age 51); MMA fighter Chuck Liddell in 1969 (age 51); actor Sarah Paulson in 1974 (age 46); celebrity pastry chef Duff Goldman in 1974 (age 46); actor Milla Jovovich in 1975 (age 45); boxer/politician/entertainer Manny Pacquiao in 1978 (age 42); whistle-blower Chelsea Manning in 1987 (age 33); actor Kiersey Clemons in 1993 (age 28); actor Nat Wolff in 1994 (age 26).
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 was 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 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 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 2018, Merriam-Webster announced its 2018 Word of the Year was "justice."
A thought for the day: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" -- Pope Francis