Today is Friday, March 2, the 62nd day of 2012 with 304 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 statesman DeWitt Clinton, chief sponsor of the Erie Canal project, in 1769; Sam Houston, first president of the Republic of Texas, in 1793; Pope Leo XIII in 1810; journalist, politician and reformer Carl Schurz in 1829; Pope Pius XII in 1876; publisher Max Schuster in 1897; German composer Kurt Weill in 1900; baseball player and World War II-era spy Moe Berg in 1902; children's author "Dr. Seuss," Theodor Geisel, in 1904; baseball star Mel Ott in 1909; entertainer Desi Arnaz in 1917; actors Jennifer Jones in 1919 and John Cullum in 1930 (age 82); former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and writer Tom Wolfe, both in 1931 (age 81); author John Irving and singer Lou Reed, both in 1942 (age 70); Irish musician Rory Gallagher in 1948; singer Karen Carpenter in 1950; comedian Laraine Newman in 1952 (age 60), rock singer Jon Bon Jovi in 1962 (age 50); actor Daniel Craig in 1968 (age 44), musician Chris Martin in 1977 (age 35); and NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 1982 (age 30).
On this date in history:
In 1836, Texas proclaimed independence from Mexico.
In 1925, the first system of interstate highway numbering was introduced in the United States.
In 1933, the movie "King Kong" premiered in New York.
In 1943, in the Battle of Bismarck Sea, U.S. warplanes attacked a Japanese convoy en route to New Guinea in the South Pacific, eventually blocking Japan's attempt to send in reinforcements.
In 1945, units of the U.S. 9th Army reached the Rhine River opposite Dusseldorf, Germany.
In 1949, a U.S. Air Force plane piloted by Capt. James Gallagher completed the first non-stop around-the-world flight in just more than 94 hours.
In 1962, Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain set the single-game NBA scoring record with 100 points against the New York Knicks.
In 1991, Yugoslavia's federal army was sent to Croatia to protect Serbs after violence erupted between Croatian security forces and villagers.
In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush vetoed a bill linking improvements in human rights to continued most-favored-nation trade status for China.
In 1999, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, son of the former president, said he was setting up a committee to explore a run for the White House.
In 2000, a longtime political fundraiser for U.S. Vice President Al Gore was convicted for arranging more than $100,000 in illegal donations in 1996.
In 2004, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., locked up the Democratic presidential nomination with a series of primary victories.
Also in 2004, at least 125 people died in explosions at two Shiite shrines in Iraq.
In 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urged Congress to scrutinize spending and taxes to help solve the problem of federal budget deficits that he called "unsustainable."
In 2006, the United States and India announced agreement on a plan to allow India to buy U.S. nuclear fuel and reactor components. India in return reportedly would separate military and civilian nuclear programs and allow inspections.
In 2007, U.S. Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey announced his resignation amid charges of poor conditions for patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
In 2008, outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin's choice as his successor, Dmitri Medvedev, was elected president in a landslide. Putin remained in power as prime minister.
Also in 2008, the latest clash between Israel and Hamas continued to escalate with more than 100 Palestinians killed in five days of intense fighting.
In 2009, American International Group, the insurance giant whose massive failure helped bring on the global financial crisis, reported a record U.S. quarterly loss of $61.7 billion. The federal government in bailout and extended financing paid AIG about $180 billion to keep the firm afloat.
Also in 2009, the CIA was accused of destroying 92 tapes recording harsh interrogation proceedings with the al-Qaida terror suspects.
In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a program that would offer rebates to American consumers who invest to make their homes energy efficient.
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that an anti-gay Kansas church had a constitutional right to stage a peaceful protest at the funeral of a Marine killed in Iraq. The religious group claimed war deaths were God's punishment of Americans for a tolerance of homosexuality and carried such placards as "Thank God for dead soldiers."
Also in 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a 2-week extension that kept federal agencies open while work continued on a fiscal budget agreement.
A thought for the day: Mikhail Gorbachev said, "Sometimes when you stand face to face with someone, you cannot see his face."