Today is Saturday, Feb. 25, the 56th day of 2012 with 310 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune, Mars and Saturn. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus and Venus.
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; British writer Anthony Burgess in 1917; tennis player Bobby Riggs in 1918; producer/writer Larry Gelbart in 1928; actors Tom Courtenay in 1937 (age 75) and Diane Baker in 1938 (age 74); talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael in 1942 (age 70); former Beatle George Harrison in 1943; director Neil Jordan in 1950 (age 62); sportscaster James Brown in 1951 (age 61); comedian Carrot Top, born Scott Thompson, in 1965 (age 47); and actors Tea Leoni in 1966 (age 46) and Sean Astin in 1971 (age 41).
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 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 1901, The United States Steel Corp. was founded by J.P. Morgan.
In 1951, Buenos Aires played host to the first Pan American Games.
In 1964, Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) defeated Sonny Liston and was named world heavyweight boxing champion.
In 1967, U.S. warships began shelling Vietnam.
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 in 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 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.
In 2006, 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 Co. urged workers to accept buyout offers in a reported effort to pass along jobs to lower wage employees and reduce losses.
In 2009, a Turkish Airliner crashed while trying to land in Amsterdam, killing a reported nine people and injuring another 50.
Also in 2009, a second day of fighting between Islamic militants and Somali government troops backed by African Union peacekeepers shook Mogadishu. At least 35 civilians have died and about 130 others have been reported injured.
In 2010, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was accused of alleged violation of congressional ethics rules. The House Ethics Committee cited Caribbean trips said to be funded by corporate interests.
Also in 2010, Viktor Yanukovych was sworn in as president of Ukraine, vowing to lead the country out of turmoil as a bridge between East and West.
In 2011, Iraqi security forces opened fire on protesters taking part in a "Day of Rage" demonstration, killing at least 29 people.
Also in 2011, Irish voters turned sharply against the Fianna Fail party, which had dominated politics in Ireland since the 1930s, with a parliamentary election rout blamed on a severe financial crisis and other problems.
A thought for the day: John Foster Dulles said, "A man's accomplishments in life are the cumulative effect of his attention to detail."