Today is Sunday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 2006 with 315 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Neptune, Jupiter, Pluto and Venus. The evening stars are Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Mercury.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include British actor David Garrick in 1717; actress Merle Oberon in 1911; bandleader Stan Kenton in 1912; jockey Eddie Arcaro in 1916; novelist Carson McCullers in 1917; actor Lee Marvin in 1924; singers William "Smokey" Robinson in 1940 (age 66) and Lou Christie in 1943 (age 63); author Amy Tan in 1952 (age 54); actors Jeff Daniels in 1955 (age 51), Justine Bateman in 1966 (age 40), and Andrew Shue and Benicio Del Toro, both in 1967 (age 39); singer Seal in 1963 (age 43); and Britain's Prince Andrew in 1960 (age 46).
On this date in history:
In 1473, Nicolaus Copernicus, the father of modern astronomy, was born in Torun, a city in north-central Poland on the Vistula River.
In 1807, Aaron Burr, a former U.S. vice president, was arrested in Alabama on charges of plotting to annex Spanish territory in Louisiana and Mexico to be used toward the establishment of an independent republic.
In 1878, Thomas Edison patented the first gramophone.
In 1922, vaudeville star Ed Wynn became the first big name in show business to sign for a regular radio show.
In 1942, as a security measure during World War II, the U.S. government began relocating Japanese-Americans living in coastal Pacific areas to internment camps located in remote areas of several states. They were allowed to return to their homes in January, 1945.
In 1945, U.S. Marines landed on the island of Iwo Jima, opening one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific during World War II.
In 1986, the Senate endorsed the U.N. convention against genocide, 37 years after President Harry Truman first sought approval of the accord.
In 1993, a Superior Court judge ruled that a gay group had the right to march in South Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
In 1997, China's "paramount leader" Deng Xiaoping died at age 92.
In 2002, President George W. Bush, on an Asian tour, told the Japanese parliament that the United States, if necessary, would come to the aid of South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan.
In 2003, all 289 people aboard were killed an Iranian military transport plane when it crashed in a mountainous region of southeastern Iran.
In 2004, former Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling was indicted on fraud, conspiracy and insider trading charges.
In 2005, Iran was reported to be making ready for a possible U.S. attack or at least appearing to prepare for war to dissuade Washington from such an attack.
Also in 2005, U.S. Roman Catholic officials said they received 1,092 charges of clergy sex abuse, most involving boys.
A thought for the day: it was Henry Ward Beecher who said, "Every charitable act is a stepping stone toward heaven."