Today is Tuesday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2004 with 332 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto. The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Saturn and Uranus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include German composer Felix Mendelssohn in 1809; American journalist Horace Greeley in 1811; Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor of medicine, in 1821; poet and novelist Gertrude Stein in 1874; artist Norman Rockwell in 1894; author James Michener in 1907; comedians Joey Bishop in 1918 (age 86) and Shelley Berman in 1926 (age 78); Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton in 1940 (age 64); and actors Blythe Danner in 1944 (age 60), Morgan Fairchild in 1950 (age 54), Nathan Lane in 1956 (age 48), Thomas Calabro in 1959 (age 45), and Maura Tierney ("ER") in 1965 (age 39).
On this date in history:
In 1870, the 15th Amendment, which granted that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude, was ratified.
In 1913, the 16th Amendment, allowing establishment of an income tax, became part of the U.S. Constitution after ratification by Wyoming.
In 1917, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany after a German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare.
In 1924, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, died in Washington at the age of 67.
In 1966, the Soviet Union accomplished the first controlled landing on the moon, when the unmanned spacecraft Lunik 9 touched down on the Ocean of Storms.
In 1973, President Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act.
In 1984, a Long Beach, Calif., hospital announced the birth of the world's first baby conceived by embryo transplant.
In 1986, President Reagan named a commission to probe the Challenger space shuttle explosion.
In 1992, the angry rhetoric escalated between the United States and Japan when Japanese Prime Minister Miyazawa accused American workers of lacking a "work ethic."
And in 1992, pretrial hearings began in Simi Valley, Calif., in the criminal trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused in the videotaped beating of a black motorist.
In 1993, the federal civil rights trial of four police officers charged in the Rodney King beating opened in Los Angeles.
In 1994, the shuttle Discovery blasted off into space with the first Russian astronaut aboard a U.S. spacecraft.
Also in 1994, President Clinton announced the United States was lifting its trade embargo against Vietnam.
In 1996, a U.S. army sergeant became the first American killed on the Bosnia peacekeeping mission.
In 1998, Texas executed Karla Faye Tucke the first female inmate to be put to death by the state in 135 years.
Also in 1998, a U.S. Marines jetfighter, flying low over mountains in Italy, severed a ski lift cable, sending 20 people in a cable car plunging to their deaths.
In 1999, former Vice President Dan Quayle announced he was forming an exploratory committee to consider running for the Republican presidential nomination. He later decided not to run.
In 2002 sports, The New England Patriots upset the St. Louis Rams in one of the most exciting Super Bowl games ever, 20-17, on Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal as time ran out.
In 2003, President George W. Bush sent lawmakers a $2.23 trillion budget for 2004, including major new tax cuts and a big increase in defense spending, projecting a deficit of $307.4 billion.
A thought for the day: Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."