Today is Friday, Jan. 4, the fourth day of 2019 with 361 to follow.

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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 mathematician/astronomer/physicist Isaac Newton in 1643; German folklore/fairy tale collector Jacob Grimm in 1785; French teacher of the blind Louis Braille in 1809; Charles Stratton, the dwarf known as Gen. Tom Thumb, an entertainer and protege of showman P.T. Barnum, in 1838; actor Barbara Rush in 1927 (age 92); Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and player Don Shula in 1930 (age 89); former heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson in 1935; actor Dyan Cannon in 1937 (age 82); author Maureen Reagan (daughter of former President Ronald Reagan), in 1941; American historian/writer Doris Kearns Goodwin in 1943 (age 76); fashion designer Tina Knowles (mother of singer Beyonce Knowles) in 1954 (age 65); comedian Andy Borowitz in 1958 (age 61); R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe in 1960 (age 59); actor Dave Foley in 1963 (age 56); singer Till Lindemann (Rammstein) in 1963 (age 56); actor Julia Ormond in 1965 (age 54); actor Patrice Lovely in 1968 (age 51); actor Coco Jones in 1998 (age 21); actor Jaeden Lieberher in 2003 (age 16).

 

On this date in history:

In 1853, Solomon Northrop regains his freedom following his kidnapping and being sold into slavery. He would later write a memoir, 12 Years a Slave, which would be made into an award-nominated feature film.

In 1885, Dr. William Grant of Davenport, Iowa, performed the first successful appendectomy.

In 1893, U.S. President Benjamin Harrison granted amnesty to all people who had abstained from practicing polygamy since Nov. 1, 1890. It was part of a deal for Utah to achieve statehood.

In 1896, Utah was admitted to the United States as the 45th state.

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In 1936, Billboard magazine published the first pop music chart.

In 1951, Chinese and North Korean forces captured the South Korean capital of Seoul.

In 1954, a young musician who worked in a machine shop paid $4 to record two songs for his mother. His name: Elvis Presley.

In 1965, the "Great Society" is proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address. The Great Society was a set of domestic programs to eliminate poverty and racial injustice.

In 1975, Elizabeth Ann Seton was canonized as the first Roman Catholic saint born in America.

In 1987, Spanish guitar great Andres Segovia arrived in the United States for his final American tour. He died four months later in Madrid at the age of 94.

In 1990, a passenger train collided with a stationary train in Sangi, Pakistan, killing more than 200 people.

In 1995, the 104th U.S. Congress convened with Republicans in control in both houses for the first time since 1953. Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., began his term as speaker of the House.

In 1996, General Motors announced it would begin mass selling an electric vehicle, the EV1, for the first time.

In 2000, Bill Belichick resigned as head coach of the New York Jets one day after being posted to the job when Bill Parcels resigned.

In 2007, the 110th U.S. Congress convened, with Democrats in control of both the House of Representatives and Senate. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., became the first woman elected speaker of the House.

In 2010, thousands of people attended the opening of the Burj Khalifa (Burj Dubai Tower), the world's tallest building, in the United Arab Emirates. At 2,717 feet, it's more than twice as tall as New York City's Empire State Building.

In 2014, the Tennessee Titans fired Coach Mike Munchak, ending his 31-year career as a player (member of the Hall of Fame and nine-time Pro Bowler) and coach with the franchise.

In 2018, a powerful winter storm meteorologists described as a "bomb cyclone" caused the Atlantic Ocean to breach the seawall in Massachusetts, causing tidal flooding and forcing residents to evacuate.

A thought for the day: "The Great Society asks not how much, but how good; not only how to create wealth but how to use it; not only how fast we are going, but where we are headed." -- President Lyndon B. Johnson