Today is Sunday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2012 with 323 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mars and Saturn. The evening stars are Mercury, Neptune, Venus, Jupiter and Uranus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include French architect Etienne-Louis Boullee in 1728; philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1791; Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, and biologist Charles Darwin, both in 1809; labor leader John L. Lewis in 1880; ballerina Anna Pavlova in 1881; U.S. Army Gen. Omar Bradley in 1893; actors Lorne Greene in 1915 and Forrest Tucker in 1919; Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli in 1923 (age 89); baseball player and sports commentator Joe Garagiola in 1926 (age 86); Charles Van Doren, subject of U.S. quiz program scandals, also in 1926 (age 86); former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., in 1930 (age 82); basketball Hall of Fame member Bill Russell in 1934 (age 78); actor Joe Don Baker in 1936 (age 76); author Judy Blume in 1938 (age 74); musician Ray Manzarek, keyboard player for The Doors, in 1939 (age 73); former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 1942 (age 70); actors Maud Adams in 1945 (age 67) and Joanna Kerns in 1953 (age 59), Arsenio Hall in 1956 (age 56) and Josh Brolin in 1968 (age 44); singer Chynna Phillips in 1968 (age 44); and actor Christina Ricci in 1980 (age 32).
On this date in history:
In 1541, Santiago, Chile, was founded.
In 1733, the American colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe.
In 1855, Michigan State University was established at East Lansing, Mich.
In 1877, Alexander Graham Bell's new invention, the telephone, was publicly demonstrated with a hookup between Boston and Salem, Mass.
In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded.
In 1953, the Soviet Union broke off relations with Israel after terrorists bombed the Soviet legation in Tel Aviv, Israel.
In 1973, with first release of U.S. prisoners of war in North Vietnam, 116 POWs were flown from Hanoi to the Philippines.
In 1980, the International Olympic Committee rejected a U.S. proposal to postpone or cancel the 1980 Summer Games or move the site from Moscow as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
In 1993, about 5,000 demonstrators marched on Atlanta's State Capitol to protest the Confederate symbol on the Georgia state flag.
In 1997, The Washington Post reported the Chinese government might have channeled money to the Democratic National Committee to influence the Clinton administration.
In 1999, the U.S. Senate acquitted U.S. President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges.
In 2001, a NASA spacecraft landed on the asteroid EROS.
In 2002, the war crimes trial of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic began at The Hague in the Netherlands.
In 2004, South Korean scientists announced they had created the world's first mature cloned human embryos.
Also in 2004, despite a state law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Thousands of couples applied.
In 2005, officials in Pakistan said the death toll from two weeks of torrential rains and snowstorms was 278.
In 2007, a series of bombings, targeting crowded markets, killed at least 90 people in Baghdad as Shiite Muslims marked the first anniversary of a bombing of a major shrine in Samara.
In 2008, General Motors, which offered buyouts to its 74,000 unionized employees, reported a loss of $38.7 billion for 2007, largest loss ever for an automaker.
Also in 2008, Hezbollah commander Imad Mugniyah, believed to have orchestrated several deadly attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, was killed by a car bomb in Syria.
In 2009, a special court judge ruled that vaccinations don't cause the mental disorder autism in children.
In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed legislation raising the statutory public debt ceiling from $12.394 trillion to $14.294 trillion.
Also in 2010, Amy Bishop Anderson, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, was accused of killing three faculty members and wounding three others in what was reported to be rage over being denied tenure at the school.
And, the Winter Olympics opened in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with more than 20,000 athletes from 80-plus countries competing. In an opening day tragedy, a 21-year-old Georgian luger was killed when he lost control of his sled on the final bend and crashed during a test run.
In 2011, one day after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was forced from office by massive demonstrations, about 4,000 protesters rallied in Yemen's capital of Sanaa, demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh resign.
Also in 2011, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, first U.S. state to extend full collective bargaining to public employees, pushed through a new law to restrict those rights.
A thought for the day: M.G. Siriam said, "Looking at the proliferation of personal Web pages on the 'Net, it looks like very soon everyone on Earth will have 15 megabytes of fame."