Today is Wednesday, Feb. 25, the 56th day of 2009 with 309 to follow.
The moon is new. The morning stars are Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune and Saturn. The evening stars are Venus and Uranus.
Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1841; Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso in 1873; U.S. statesman John Foster Dulles in 1888; actor Herbert "Zeppo" Marx, the "sane" sibling of the early Marx Brothers movies, in 1901; actor Jim Backus in 1913; tennis player Bobby Riggs in 1918; producer/writer Larry Gelbart in 1928 (age 81); actors Tom Courtenay in 1937 (age 72) and Diane Baker in 1938 (age 71); former Beatle George Harrison in 1943; director Neil Jordan in 1950 (age 59); and actress Tea Leoni in 1966 (age 43).
On this date in history:
In 1791, the First Bank of the U.S. at Philadelphia became the first national bank chartered by Congress.
In 1836, Samuel Colt patented a "revolving gun," the first of the six-shooters.
In 1868, U.S. President Andrew Johnson was impeached for violation of the Tenure of Office Act. He was acquitted of the charges the following May by one vote.
In 1870, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Miss., was sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African-American to sit in Congress.
In 1964, Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) defeated Sonny Liston to become the world heavyweight boxing champion.
In 1967, U.S. warships began shelling Vietnam.
In 1986, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos left his Manila palace for Hawaii, ending 20 years in power. The United States recognized Corazon Aquino as president of the Philippines.
In 1990, Violeta Chamorro, the U.S.-backed candidate for the presidency of Nicaragua, scored an upset victory over President Daniel Ortega, leader of the leftist Sandinista Liberation Front.
In 1991, as the Persian Gulf War ground assault continued, Iraq ordered its forces to withdraw from Kuwait.
Also in 1991, the Warsaw Pact nations signed an agreement to dissolve their alliance after 36 years.
In 1994, 32 Muslim worshippers were killed by a Jewish settler who opened fire with an automatic rifle inside the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank town of Hebron. The settler was overpowered and beaten to death.
In 1996, a bus bombing in Jerusalem killed 25 people.
In 1997, documents revealed U.S. President Bill Clinton endorsed rewarding Democratic contributors with such perks as golf games with him or overnight stays in the White House.
In 2000, four white New York City police officers were acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo, slain as he sat in his doorway.
In 2003, as the possibility of war loomed, the chief U.N. weapons inspector said Iraq was showing new signs of cooperation in dismantling its weapons arsenal.
In 2005, authorities arrested Dennis Rader, a municipal employee and church leader, for the so-called BTK serial killings that terrorized Wichita, Kan. The attacker referred to himself as "BTK," for bind, torture, kill.
Also in 2005, in the first terrorist attack in Israel in four months, a suicide bombing outside a Tel Aviv nightclub killed four and injured 50 others.
In 2006, new fears of an Iraqi civil war rose as violence continued days after terrorists bombed a revered Shiite mosque in Baghdad. In one incident, more than 12 members of a Shiite family were reported killed in a retaliatory attack.
Also in 2006, veteran Emmy-winning comic star Don Knotts, best known for his Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show," died of lung cancer. He was 81.
In 2007, Iran claimed to have fired its first rocket into space. Iran reportedly had relied on Russia to put its satellites into space in the past.
In 2008, Ford Motor Company urged workers to accept buyout offers in a reported effort to pass along jobs to lower wage employees and reduce losses.
A thought for the day: John Foster Dulles said, "A man's accomplishments in life are the cumulative effect of his attention to detail."