Today is Friday, Feb. 7, the 38th day of 2003 with 327 to follow.
The moon is waxing.
The morning stars are Mercury, Mars, Venus, Neptune and Pluto. The evening stars are Uranus, Jupiter and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include English statesman and writer Sir Thomas More in 1478; farm equipment manufacturer John Deere in 1804; English novelist Charles Dickens in 1812; Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev, who devised the periodic table, in 1834; "Little House" books author Laura Ingalls Wilder in 1867; ragtime composer and piano player Eubie Blake in 1883; novelist Sinclair Lewis in 1885; Olympic swimmer and actor Buster Crabbe in 1908; actors Miguel Ferrer in 1954 (age 49) and James Spader in 1960 (age 43); country singer Garth Brooks in 1962 (age 41); and comedian Chris Rock in 1966 (age 37).
On this date in history:
in 1904, a massive fire, possibly started by a discarded cigarette, struck Baltimore, burning for 31 hours and destroying an 80-block downtown area. Miraculously no lives or homes were lost.
In 1915, D.W. Griffith's "Birth Of A Nation," a landmark in the history of cinema and the first American full-length motion picture, opened in Los Angeles and was immediately a smash hit though many found its racism offensive.
In 1940, British railroads were nationalized.
In 1956, Autherine Lucy, the first black person admitted to the University of Alabama, was expelled after she accused school officials of conspiring in the riots that accompanied her court-ordered enrollment.
In 1964, the Beatles arrived in the United States for the first time and immediately set off a frantic wave of "Beatlemania."
In 1973, the Senate voted to set up a committee to investigate the break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington's Watergate complex.
In 1984, two American shuttle astronauts made the first untethered space walk.
Also in 1986, Haiti's President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier fled to France.
In 1989, a State Department report on international human rights accused Israel of mishandling the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories.
In 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was inaugurated as Haiti's first democratically elected president in 186 years.
In 1992, three people were killed and one critically injured when a gunman angry with his girlfriend opened fire in Winter Garden, Fla.
In 1993, another 13 women accused Sen. Bob Packwood of improper advances, bringing the total to 23 women who have said the Oregon Republican harassed them with unwelcome sexual overtures.
In 1995, the alleged "mastermind" in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, was arrested in Pakistan. He was extradited to New York the next day.
Also in 1995, President Clinton invited the two sides in the major league baseball strike to the White House in a final effort to reach an agreement. The next day, he announced the effort had failed and called for binding arbitration.
In 1998, the Winter Olympics opened in Nagano, Japan.
In 1999, King Hussein of Jordan died following a battle with cancer. He was 63. Hussein had ruled Jordan for 46 years.
Despite exchanges between Israel and the Palestinians that at times approached outright warfare, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, after meeting with President Bush, said he expected a Palestinian state to emerge from the conflict.
A thought for the day: Victor Hugo wrote, "An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come."