Today is Sunday, Dec. 17, the 351st day of 2017 with 14 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Jupiter, Mars and Venus. The evening stars are Mercury 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 81); British singer/actor Tommy Steele, also in 1936 (age 81); blues musician Paul Butterfield in 1942; political commentator Chris Matthews in 1945 (age 72); actor Ernie Hudson in 1945 (age 72); comedian Eugene Levy in 1946 (age 71); British rock singer Paul Rodgers in 1949 (age 68); actor Bill Pullman in 1953 (age 64); actor Barry Livingston in 1953 (age 64); actor Laurie Holden in 1969 (age 48); actor Sarah Paulson in 1974 (age 43); actor Milla Jovovich in 1975 (age 42); boxer, politician and entertainer Manny Pacquiao in 1978 (age 39); Chelsea Manning, born Bradley Manning, in 1987 (age 30); actor Nat Wolff in 1994 (age 23).
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.
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 is 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 1981, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James Dozier was kidnapped in Verona by Italy's Red Brigades. He was freed 42 days later in a raid by Italian anti-terrorist forces.
In 1986, a Las Vegas federal jury awarded entertainer Wayne Newton $19.3 million in his defamation suit against NBC. A judge reduced the award to $5.3 million.
In 1989, The Simpsons, which began as a feature of The Tracy Ullman Show, had its first stand-alone episode broadcast.
In 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a radical Roman Catholic priest and opponent of the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier, was elected president of Haiti in a landslide victory.
In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada formally signed the North American Free Trade Treaty.
In 1996, Kofi Annan of Ghana is elected secretary-general of the United Nations.
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 2006, two large Virginia Episcopal parishes and several smaller churches in the state, upset over the consecration of an openly gay bishop and same-sex weddings in some congregations, voted to secede from the worldwide organization.
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 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died and his son, Kim Jong Un, took over leadership.
In 2012, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, died at the age of 88. Inouye, a World War II Medal of Honor winner, was in the Senate since 1963 and had been a congressman before that.
In 2013, Angela Merkel began her third term as chancellor of Germany.
In 2015, Libya's warring factions signed a U.N.-brokered deal to form a unity government four years after the death of Moammar Gadhafi.
A thought for the day: "Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else." -- Judy Garland