The almanac

United Press International

Today is Sunday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2014 with 311 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mars, Mercury, Saturn and Venus. The evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus.


Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include British diarist Samuel Pepys in 1633; German composer George Frideric Handel in 1685; Mayer Amschel Rothschild, European banker and founder of the Rothschild financial dynasty, in 1744; writer and philosopher W.E.B. DuBois in 1868; film director Victor Fleming ("Gone With The Wind," "The Wizard of Oz") in 1889; journalist-author William Shirer in 1904; Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay on the flight that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, in 1915; former congressman and longtime University of Nebraska football Coach Tom Osborne in 1937 (age 77); actor Peter Fonda in 1940 (age 74); football Hall of Fame member Fred Biletnikoff in 1943 (age 71); rock musician Johnny Winter and novelist John Roswell Camp (who writes as John Sandford), both in 1944 (age 70); Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko in 1954 (age 60); and actors Patricia Richardson in 1951 (age 63), Emily Blunt in 1983 (age 31) and Dakota Fanning in 1994 (age 20).


On this date in history:

In 1903, The United States was granted a lease "in perpetuity" on Guantanamo Bay by Cuban officials.

In 1942, a Japanese submarine surfaced off the coast of California and fired 25 shells at an oil refinery near Santa Barbara.

In 1945, members of the 5th Division of the U.S. Marines planted a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi on the strategically important Pacific island of Iwo Jima at the end of one of World War II's bloodiest battles.

In 1982, Canada, Japan and the Common Market nations of Europe joined the United States in economic and diplomatic sanctions against Poland and the Soviet Union to protest imposition of martial law in Poland.

In 1991, military forces in Thailand overthrew the elected government and imposed martial law.

In 1994, Bosnia's warring Croats and Muslims signed a cease-fire. The Croats agreed to pull back from the Muslim city of Mostar, which had been under siege.

In 1995, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at more than 4,000 for the first time -- at 4,003.33.

In 1997, Scottish scientists introduced Dolly the cloned sheep to the world. She was the first mammal successfully cloned from a cell from an adult animal.


In 1998, a series of tornadoes raked central Florida, killing 42 people and injuring more than 200 others.

In 1999, a jury in Jasper, Texas, convicted self-described white supremacist John King in the June 1998 killing of a black man who'd been dragged to his death behind a pickup truck. (King was sentenced to death two days later.)

In 2006, the snow-covered roof of a Moscow market collapsed, killing at least 60 people and injuring more than two dozen others.

In 2010, a Gallup Poll indicated that 19.9 percent of the U.S. workforce was unemployed or underemployed.

In 2012, Joe Paterno, the longtime Penn State football coach who was fired amid a child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, died of lung cancer at age 85. In 46 years under Paterno, the Nittany Lions won 406 games, went to 37 bowl games and captured two national championships.

In 2013, Iran's atomic energy agency announced plans to build 16 nuclear power plants throughout the country. The announcement came days before Iran was to resume talks on its internationally disputed nuclear program.

A thought for the day: Jack London said riding a bicycle is "something that makes life worth living."


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