Today is Friday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2006 with 331 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Jupiter, Pluto and Venus. The evening stars are Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Mercury.
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 88) and Shelley Berman in 1926 (age 80); Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton in 1940 (age 66); and actors Blythe Danner in 1944 (age 62), Morgan Fairchild in 1950 (age 56), Nathan Lane in 1956 (age 50), Thomas Calabro in 1959 (age 47), and Maura Tierney ("ER") in 1965 (age 41).
On this date in history:
In 1870, the 15th Amendment was ratified, decreeing that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.
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 Richard 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 1992, the angry rhetoric escalated between the United States and Japan when Japanese Prime Minister Miyazawa accused U.S. workers of lacking a "work ethic."
In 1993, the federal civil rights trial of four Los Angeles police officers charged in the beating of motorist Rodney King got under way.
In 1994, the shuttle Discovery blasted off into space with the first Russian astronaut aboard a U.S. spacecraft.
Also in 1994, President Bill 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 Tucker 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 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.
In 2004, the discovery of the lethal poison ricin in the mailroom of Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., the Senate majority leader, forced the closing of three Senate office buildings in Washington.
In 2005, investigators looking into the U.N. oil-for-food program reported finding gross mismanagement.
Also in 2005, Alberto Gonzales was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the next attorney general.
And, more than 50 people died when a train rammed a trailer carrying a wedding party at a railroad crossing in India.
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."