Today is Saturday, March 2, the 61st day of 2002 with 304 to follow.
The moon is waning, moving toward its last quarter.
The morning star is Mercury.
The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include statesman DeWitt Clinton, chief sponsor of the Erie Canal project, in 1769; Sam Houston, first president of the Republic of Texas, in 1793; journalist, politician and reformer Carl Schurz in 1829; Pope Pius XII in 1876; publisher Max Schuster in 1897; German composer Kurt Weill in 1900; children's author "Dr. Seuss," Theodor Giesel, in 1904; entertainer Desi Arnaz in 1917; actors Jennifer Jones in 1919 (age 83) and John Cullum in 1930 (age 72); former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1931 (age 71); authors Tom Wolfe in 1931 (age 71) and John Irving in 1942 (age 60); singers Eddie Money in 1949 (age 53) and Karen Carpenter in 1950; comedian Laraine Newman ("Saturday Night Live") in 1952 (age 50); and rock singer Jon Bon Jovi in 1962 (age 40).
On this date in history:
In 1836, Texas proclaimed its independence from Mexico.
In 1925, the first system of interstate highway numbering was introduced in the United States.
In 1943, the Battle of Bismarck Sea began. American warplanes attacked a Japanese convoy en route to New Guinea in the South Pacific. When it was over three days later, the Allies were victorious and Japan's attempt to send reinforcements to New Guinea had been thwarted.
In 1945, toward the close of World War II, units of the U.S. 9th Army reached the Rhine River opposite Dusseldorf, Germany.
In 1949, a U.S. Air Force plane piloted by Capt. James Gallagher completed the first non-stop around-the-world flight in just over 94 hours.
In 1981, the United States announced it was sending 20 military advisers and $25 million in equipment to El Salvador.
In 1990, more than 6,000 drivers and thousands of other employees went on strike against Greyhound, the only nationwide intercity bus line.
In 1991, a four-man CBS News crew captured by Iraq during the Persian Gulf War was released.
Also in 1991, Yugoslavia's Federal Army was sent to Croatia to protect Serbs after violence erupted between Croatian security forces and villagers.
In 1992, President Bush vetoed a bill linking improvements in human rights to continued most-favored-nation trade status for China.
In 1993, six youngsters were shot dead as gunmen opened fire at point-blank range on a truck transporting school children in South Africa's strife-torn Natal province.
Also in 1993, NBC News President Michael Gartner resigned following the furor generated by the network's staged explosions of GM trucks on "Dateline" program.
And in 1993, junk-bond swindler Michael Milken was released on probation.
In 1994, the Mexican government reached a tentative agreement with the Zapatista National Liberation Army, which had launched a rebellion in January in Chiapas state.
In 1995, the balanced budget amendment failed in the Senate after passing the House of Representatives.
In 1996, Bob Dole won the South Carolina Republican primary.
In 1997, a state of emergency was declared in Albania amid public unrest triggered by the collapse of pyramid funds in which many people had invested.
In 1999, conservative writer and TV commentator Pat Buchanan announced his third bid for the presidency, while Texas Gov. George W. Bush said he was setting up a committee to explore a run for the White House.
In 2000, the British government abruptly dropped extradition proceedings against former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who had been held under house arrest in London for 16 months as Spain sought to try him for crimes committed during his regime.
Also in 2000, a longtime political fundraiser for Vice President Al Gore was convicted for arranging more than $100,000 in illegal donations in 1996.
A thought for the day: Mikhail Gorbachev said, "Sometimes when you stand face to face with someone, you cannot see his face."