This is Thursday, Dec. 24, the 359th day of 2020 with seven to follow.
Tonight is Christmas Eve
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 Capricorn. They include English King John I in 1166; frontiersman Christopher "Kit" Carson in 1809; English physicist/inventor James Prescott Joule in 1818; "Raggedy Ann" creator Johnny Gruelle in 1880; film director Michael Curtiz in 1888; industrialist/moviemaker/aviator Howard Hughes in 1905; actor Ava Gardner in 1922; U.S. Army Gen. George Patton IV in 1923; author Mary Higgins Clark in 1927; infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci in 1940 (age 80); author/director Nicholas Meyer in 1945 (age 75); rock musician Lemmy Kilmister in 1945; director Lee Daniels in 1959 (age 61); fashion designer Kate Spade in 1962; basketball commentator Jay Bilas in 1963 (age 57); actor Diedrich Bader in 1966 (age 54); actor Amaury Nolasco in 1970 (age 50); pop singer Ricky Martin in 1971 (age 49); author Stephenie Meyer in 1973 (age 47); television/radio personality Ryan Seacrest in 1974 (age 46); actor Michael Raymond-James in 1977 (age 43); singer Louis Tomlinson in 1991 (age 29).
On this date in history:
In 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed by representatives of the United States and Britain, ending the War of 1812.
In 1851, the Library of Congress and part of the Capitol building in Washington were destroyed by fire.
In 1865, a group of Confederate veterans met in Pulaski, Tenn., to form a secret society they called the Ku Klux Klan.
In 1871, Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Aida" premiered in Cairo. It had been commissioned to commemorate the opening of the Suez Canal.
In 1906, Reginald A. Fessenden, a Canadian-born radio inventor, broadcast the first musical program, a female singer's violin-accompanied "O Holy Night," from Brant Rock, Mass. He had discovered the superheterodyne principle, the basis for modern radio receivers.
In 1909, Miss Jean L. Clemens, younger daughter of Mark Twain, was found dead in a bath tub at the home of her father. Miss Clemens' cause of death is believed to have been the result of an epileptic convulsion.
In 1942, German rocket engineers launched the first surface-to-surface guided missile.
In 1983, officials said one of the United States' severest early season cold waves in history had claimed nearly 300 lives.
In 1990, the bells of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow rang to celebrate Christmas for the first time since the 1924 death of Lenin.
In 1994, gunmen seized Air France Flight 8969 as it prepared to leave Algiers for Paris, killing three hostages. The hostage takers were killed and remaining hostages freed two days later.
In 2005, Hwang Woo-suk, a South Korean scientist whose research on stem cells and cloning won him international acclaim, resigned after admitting he fabricated his groundbreaking paper in which he said he created stem cell colonies from 11 patients.
A thought for the day: "There are no other Everglades in the world. ... The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slow-moving below, the grass and water that is the meaning of the central fact of the Everglades of Florida. It is a river of glass." -- American conservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas