The almanac

United Press International

Today is Friday, Feb. 28, the 59th day of 2014 with 306 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include French essayist Michel de Montaigne in 1533; journalist and screenwriter Ben Hecht in 1894; chemist and physicist Linus Pauling, twice winner of the Nobel Prize (peace and chemistry), in 1901; movie director Vincente Minnelli in 1903; cartoonist Milton Caniff ("Terry and the Pirates," "Steve Canyon") in 1907; Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, in 1926; actors Billie Bird in 1908, Zero Mostel in 1915, Charles Durning in 1923 and Gavin MacLeod in 1931 (age 83); architect Frank Gehry in 1929 (age 85); dancer Tommy Tune in 1939 (age 75); Hall of Fame basketball coach Dean Smith in 1931 (age 83); former race car driver Mario Andretti in 1940 (age 74); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Brian Jones (Rolling Stones) in 1942; former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in 1948 (age 66); actors Bernadette Peters and Mercedes Ruehl both in 1948 (age 66), John Turturro in 1957 (age 57), Rae Dawn Chong in 1961 (age 53) and Robert Sean Leonard in 1969 (age 45); newspaper columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman in 1953 (age 61); comedian Gilbert Gottfried in 1955 (age 59); and former NHL player Eric Lindros in 1973 (age 41).


On this date in history:

In 1784, the Methodist Church was chartered by John Wesley.

In 1844, an explosion rocked the "war steamer" USS Princeton after it test-fired one of its guns. The blast killed or wounded a number of top U.S. government officials who were aboard.

In 1854, the Republican Party was founded in a meeting at Ripon, Wis.

In 1885, the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. was incorporated in New York as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone.

In 1935, nylon was invented by DuPont researcher Wallace Carothers.

In 1942, Japanese forces landed in Java, the last Allied bastion in the Dutch East Indies.

In 1983, the concluding episode of the long-running television series "M*A*S*H" drew what was then the largest TV audience in U.S. history.

In 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated on a street in Stockholm.

In 1992, a bomb blast blamed on the IRA ripped through a London railway station, injuring at least 30 people and shutting down the British capital's rail and subway system.

In 1993, federal agents attempting to serve warrants on the Branch Davidian religious cult's compound near Waco, Texas, were met with gunfire that left at least five people dead and 15 wounded and marked the start of a month-and-a-half-long standoff.


In 1994, NATO was involved in combat for the first time in its 45-year history when four U.S. fighter planes operating under NATO auspices shot down four Serb planes that had violated the U.N. no-fly zone in central Bosnia.

In 1996, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana agreed to divorce after 15 years of marriage.

In 2005, at least 125 Iraqi police recruits and others were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a crowd outside a government office south of Baghdad.

In 2008, Prince Harry, third in line for the British throne, was pulled from the front lines in Afghanistan immediately after word got out that he was on army duty. He had spent 10 weeks in the war zone.

In 2009, radio broadcasting icon Paul Harvey, who entertained generations of listeners with his news and comments, died. He was 90.

In 2010, the Winter Olympics came to a close in Vancouver with host Canada winning the most gold medals (14) and the United States first in overall medals (37), including nine gold.

In 2013, children fare as well with same-sex parents as traditional parents, the American Sociological Association said in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.


A thought for the day: "Your name is the most important thing you own. Don't ever do anything to disgrace or cheapen it." -- Ben Hogan

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