Today is Thursday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2012 with 326 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 William Henry Harrison, ninth president of the United States, in 1773; actor Ronald Colman in 1891; former Secretary of State Dean Rusk in 1909; country singer Ernest Tubb and baseball entrepreneur Bill Veeck, both in 1914; actor Kathryn Grayson in 1922; Irish playwright Brendan Behan in 1923; television journalist Roger Mudd in 1928 (age 84); evangelist Garner Ted Armstrong in 1930; Nobel laureate South African author J. M. Coetzee in 1940 (age 72); singer/songwriter Carole King in 1942 (age 70); Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz in 1943 (age 69); author Alice Walker in 1944 (age 68); actors Joe Pesci in 1943 (age 69), Mia Farrow in 1945 (age 67), Judith Light in 1949 (age 63) Ciaran Hinds in 1953 (age 59); and Charles Shaughnessy in 1955 (age 57); and country singer Travis Tritt in 1963 (age 49).
On this date in history:
In 1775, the American colony of Massachusetts declared in rebellion by the British Parliament.
In 1825, after no presidential candidate won the necessary majority, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams the sixth president of the United States.
In 1900, the solid silver trophy known as the Davis Cup was first put up for competition when American collegian Dwight Filley Davis challenged British tennis players to compete against his Harvard team.
In 1943, in a major World War II strategic victory, the Allies retook Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands from the Japanese.
In 1950, U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., charged the U.S. State Department was infested with communists, touching off the infamous "McCarthy era."
In 1964, the Beatles appear on television's "The Ed Sullivan Show." An estimated 73 million people watched.
In 1971, an earthquake shook Los Angeles and killed 64 people.
Also in 1971, Satchel Paige became the first Negro League player voted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 1984, Soviet President Yuri Andropov, in power 15 months, died at age 69.
In 1987, Robert McFarlane, former Reagan administration national security adviser, was hospitalized for an overdose of Valium just hours before he was to testify to a presidential commission about the Iran-Contra scandal.
In 1990, the U.S. stock of Perrier water was recalled because of levels of benzene in violation of EPA standards. The recall was later extended worldwide.
In 1991, Lithuanians overwhelmingly voted to secede from the Soviet Union in an independence plebiscite ruled illegal by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1992, 30 people were reported killed in Senegal in the crash of a plane chartered by Air Senegal for Club Mediterranean.
In 1994, in Cairo, PLO chief Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres initialed an agreement that resolved some contentious issues in the Middle East peace talks.
In 1996, a bomb exploded in a London rail station, killing two and wounding 100. The IRA announced that the Northern Ireland cease-fire was over.
In 2001, nine people were killed when the U.S. submarine USS Greenville collided with a Japanese fishing boat off the coast of Hawaii. The accident took place during a surfacing drill.
In 2005, hospitalized Pope John Paul II, recovering from flu-related respiratory problems, missed celebrating mass to begin Lent for the first time in 26 years.
In 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush said international cooperation had derailed a terrorist plot to fly an airplane into the 73-story Library Tower in Los Angeles.
In 2007, the Pentagon's inspector general told a U.S. Senate committee the Defense Department had tailored intelligence findings on Iraq to suit its audience.
In 2008, the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis delivered a $2 billion science lab to the International Space Station, doubling the station's zero-gravity research capacity.
In 2009, with the death toll expected to reach 200, Australian officials blamed arsonists for at least a portion of their country's worst brushfire rampage.
In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a memorandum setting up a federal task force to tackle childhood obesity.
Also in 2010, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan became Nigeria's acting president by vote of the National Assembly, temporarily succeeding ailing President Umaru
In 2011, U.S. Rep. Christopher Lee, a two-term New York Republican and a married man, resigned from Congress after a flirtatious e-mail exchange with a woman, including a shirtless photo of himself, surfaced on the Internet.
Also in 2011, prosecutors in Milan sought to bring Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to trial on charges of allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute.
A thought for the day: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson said, "Yesterday is not ours to recover but tomorrow is ours to win or lose."