Feb. 22, 2011 (United Press International) -- Today is Monday, Feb. 28, the 59th day of 2011 with 306 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus. The evening stars are Neptune, Saturn, Mars and Venus. Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include French essayist Michel de Montaigne in 1533; American journalist and screenwriter Ben Hecht in 1894; chemist and physicist Linus Pauling, twice winner of the Nobel Prize, in 1901; movie director Vincente Minnelli in 1903; cartoonist Milton Caniff ("Terry and the Pirates," "Steve Canyon") in 1907; Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, in 1926 (age 85); actors Billie Bird in 1908, Zero Mostel in 1915, Charles Durning in 1923 (age 88) and Gavin MacLeod in 1930 (age 81); dancer Tommy Tune in 1939 (age 72); college basketball coach Dean Smith in 1931 (age 80); former race car driver Mario Andretti in 1940 (age 71); Rolling Stones member Brian Jones in 1942; U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in 1948 (age 63); actors Bernadette Peters and Mercedes Ruehl both in 1948 (age 63), John Turturro in 1957 (age 54), Rae Dawn Chong in 1961 (age 50) and Robert Sean Leonard in 1969 (age 42); newspaper columnist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman in 1953 (age 58); comedian Gilbert Gottfried in 1955 (age 56); and hockey player Eric Lindros in 1973 (age 38).On this date in history:
In 1784, the Methodist Church was chartered by John Wesley.
In 1844, an explosion rocked the "war steamer" USS Princeton after it test-fired one of its guns. The blast killed or wounded a number of top U.S. government officials who were aboard.
In 1849, the first shipload of gold seekers arrived in San Francisco after a five-month journey from New York.
In 1854, the Republican Party was founded in a meeting at Ripon, Wis.
In 1885, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company was incorporated in New York as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone.
In 1935, nylon was invented by DuPont (NYSE:DD PRB) (NYSE:DD PRA) (NYSE:DD) researcher Wallace Carothers.
In 1942, Japanese forces landed in Java, the last Allied bastion in the Dutch East Indies.
In 1982, the J. Paul Getty Museum became the most richly endowed museum on Earth when it received a $1.2 billion bequest left by Getty.
In 1983, the concluding episode of the long-running television series "M*A*S*H" drew what was then the largest TV audience in U.S. history.
In 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated on a street in Stockholm.
In 1990, the Soviet Parliament passed a law permitting the leasing of land to individuals for housing and farming. It was another radical change in the Stalinist scheme of a state-run economy.
In 1992, a judge in Rochester Hills, Mich., said euthanasia advocate Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian must stand trial for murder for helping two chronically ill women commit suicide.
Also in 1992, a bomb blamed on the IRA ripped through a London railway station, injuring at least 30 people and shutting down the British capital's rail and subway system.
In 1993, federal agents attempting to serve warrants on the Branch Davidian religious cult's compound near Waco, Texas, were met with a hail of bullets that left at least five dead and 15 wounded and marked the start of a month-and-a-half-long standoff.
Also in 1993, film actress Lillian Gish, a major star in the silents and whose career spanned more than 80 years, died at age 96; and actress/dancer Ruby Keeler, star of '30s musicals died at age 82.
In 1994, NATO was involved in actual combat for the first time in its 45-year history when four U.S. fighter planes operating under NATO auspices shot down four Serb planes that had violated the U.N. no-fly zone in central Bosnia.
In 1996, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana agreed to divorce after 15 years of marriage.
In 1997, the Democratic National Committee said it would return nearly $1.5 million in contributions that may have been illegal or improper.
Also in 1997, former FBI agent Earl Pitts pleaded guilty to spying and became only the second FBI agent convicted of espionage.
In 2000, bowing to international pressure, Jorg Haider resigned as leader of Austria's anti-immigrant Freedom Party. Haider had come under scrutiny for his reported admiration of Adolf Hitler.
In 2001, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the U.S. Pacific Northwest, injuring 250 people and causing more than $1 billion in damage.
In 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a ban on all forms of human cloning, setting up a Senate debate on what would be appropriate research.
In 2005, at least 125 Iraqi police recruits and others were killed when a suicide bomber drove into a crowd outside a government office south of Baghdad.
In 2006, at least 25 people died in an explosion outside a Shiite mosque in Baghdad and 33 more were killed in three other bombings.
In 2007, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Diego declared bankruptcy, halting trials on about 150 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of children by priests.
In 2008, rivals in the bitterly disputed Kenyan presidential election signed a power-sharing agreement in an effort to end a violent two-month aftermath in which an estimated 1,500 people died and as many as 600,000 were displaced.
Also in 2008, Prince Harry, third in line for the British throne, was pulled from the front lines in Afghanistan immediately after word got out that the prince was on army duty. He had spent 10 weeks in the war zone. The British media knew of the deployment but kept quiet until the story broke on a U.S. Web site.
In 2009, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius accepted U.S. President Barack Obama's nomination as secretary of health and human services after former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle withdrew over a tax problem.
Also in 2009, radio broadcasting icon Paul Harvey, who entertained generations of listeners with his news and comments, died. He was 90.
In 2010, the Winter Olympics came to a close in Vancouver with host Canada winning the most gold medals (14) and the United States first in overall medals (37) including nine golds.
Also in 2010, a powerful winter storm with high winds and heavy rain killed more than 50 people in four European countries. A thought for the day: it was Ben Hecht who wrote, "Do it first, do it yourself and keep on doin' it."Today is Tuesday, March 1, the 60th day of 2011 with 305 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus. The evening stars are Neptune, Saturn, Mars and Venus. Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include Polish composer Frederic Chopin in 1810; author William Dean Howells in 1837; big band leader Glenn Miller in 1904; actor David Niven in 1910; writer Ralph Ellison and legendary St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray, both in 1914; poet Robert Lowell in 1917; Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Yitzhak Rabin and Mad magazine publisher William Gaines, both in 1922; Donald "Deke" Slayton, one of the original Mercury astronauts, in 1924; singer Harry Belafonte and jurist Robert Bork, both in 1927 (age 84); actors Robert Conrad in 1930 (age 81) and Alan Thicke in 1947 (age 64); Roger Daltrey of The Who in 1944 (age 67); director Ron Howard in 1954 (age 57); actors Catherine Bach in 1954 (age 57) and Tim Daly in 1956 (age 55); and singers Ke$ha in 1987 (age 24) and Justin Bieber in 1994 (age 17).On this date in history:
In 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro was established.
In 1692, the notorious witch-hunt began in the Salem village of the Massachusetts Bay colony, eventually resulting in the executions of 19 innocent men and women.
In 1780, Pennsylvania became the first state to abolish slavery.
In 1781, the American colonies adopted the Articles of Confederation, paving the way for a federal union.
In 1803, Ohio was admitted to the union as the 17th state.
In 1867, Nebraska was admitted to the union as the 37th state.
In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established by an act of Congress. It was the first area in the world to be designated a national park.
In 1932, aviator Charles Lindbergh's son was kidnapped. The boy's body was found May 12 and Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the crime in 1936.
In 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives, wounding five members of Congress.
In 1961, U.S. President John Kennedy formed the Peace Corps.
In 1971, a bomb exploded in a restroom in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol, causing $300,000 damage but no injuries. The Weather Underground, a leftist radical group that opposed the Vietnam War, claimed responsibility.
In 1991, the United States reopened its embassy in newly liberated Kuwait.
Also in 1991, after 23 years of insurgency in Colombia, the Popular Liberation Army put down its arms in exchange for two seats in the national assembly.
In 1992, the collapse of a building housing a cafe in East Jerusalem killed 23 people.
In 1994, the Muslim-dominated government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bosnia's Croats agreed to a federation embracing portions of their war-torn country under their control.
In 1999, Rwandan rebels killed eight tourists, including two Americans, a Ugandan game warden and three rangers in a national forest in Uganda.
In 2000, in a rare unanimous vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to allow most Social Security recipients to earn as much money as they want without losing any benefits.
In 2003, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States was captured in Pakistan.
Also in 2003, as the possibility of war in Iraq grew, the Turkish Parliament refused to permit U.S. troops on Turkish soil.
In 2004, a new interim government took over in Haiti after a bloody, monthlong insurrection, one day after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled into exile.
In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that execution of juvenile offenders is unconstitutional.
In 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush made an unscheduled visit to Afghanistan to discuss security matters.
In 2007, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced that he would be a candidate for president in 2008.
Also in 2007, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who served as an adviser in the Kennedy Administration, died at age 89.
In 2008, the Dow Jones industrials fell 315.17 points and went into March at 12,266.39 after a fourth consecutive monthly drop. Crude oil prices topped $101 a barrel.
Also in 2008, Israeli forces carried out more attacks in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 45 Palestinians. About 60 others were injured.
In 2009, longstanding rivalries between civilian and military leaders in the small West African nation of Guinea Bissau led to the assassinations of President Joao Bernardo Vieira and Gen. Batista Tagme Na Waie, the army chief of staff.