Today is Tuesday, Feb. 21, the 52nd day of 2017 with 313 to follow.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury. Evening stars are Neptune, Venus, Mars and Uranus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Mexican revolutionary and military commander Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (conqueror of the Alamo) in 1794; Roman Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman in 1801; German bacteriologist August von Wassermann, who developed the blood test for syphilis, in 1866; classical guitarist Andres Segovia in 1893; writer Anais Nin in 1903; poet/author W.H. Auden in 1907; filmmaker Sam Peckinpah in 1925; humorist Erma Bombeck in 1927; King Harald V of Norway in 1937 (age 80); actor Rue McClanahan in 1934; actor Gary Lockwood in 1937 (age 80); film/record executive David Geffen in 1943 (age 74); actor Tyne Daly in 1946 (age 71); Tricia Nixon Cox, daughter of former U.S. President Richard Nixon, in 1946 (age 71); actor Anthony Daniels in 1946 (age 71); actor Alan Rickman in 1946; former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, in 1947 (age 70); author Jeffrey Shaara in 1952 (age 65); actor Kelsey Grammer in 1955 (age 62); singer Mary Chapin Carpenter in 1958 (age 59); actor Christopher Atkins in 1961 (age 56); actor William Baldwin in 1963 (age 54); Chinese dissident Chen Wei in 1969 (age 48); actor Jennifer Love Hewitt in 1979 (age 38); singer Charlotte Church in 1986 (age 31); actor Ellen Page in 1987 (age 30).
On this date in history:
In 1878, the New Haven, Conn., Telephone Co. published the first phone directory. It listed 50 subscribers.
In 1885, the Washington Monument, a 555-foot-high marble obelisk built in honor of America's revolutionary hero and first president, was dedicated in Washington.
In 1916, Germans launched the Battle of Verdun. More than 1 million soldiers in the German and French armies were killed in nearly 10 months of fighting. It was the longest battle of World War I.
In 1925, the first issue of The New Yorker was published.
In 1934, Nicaraguan guerrilla leader Cesar Augusto Sandino was killed by members of the country's national guard.
In 1953, Francis Crick and James D. Watson discovered the double helix structure of the DNA molecule.
In 1965, Black Muslim leader Malcolm X was assassinated at a rally in New York.
In 1972, Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit the People's Republic of China.
In 1994, longtime CIA counterintelligence officer Aldrich Ames and his wife, Maria, were arrested and charged with selling information to the Soviet Union and Russia. Ames was sentenced to life in prison; his wife got a five-year term.
In 1995, a Russian commission estimated as many as 24,400 civilians died in a two-month uprising in the separatist republic of Chechnya.
In 2007, nuclear neighbors India and Pakistan signed a treaty in New Delhi aimed at preventing the accidental use of atomic weapons.
In 2013, former Illinois police Sgt. Drew Peterson, 59, was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, who disappeared in 2007, remains missing.
In 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, at the White House after the Chinese government warned the meeting would damage U.S.-China relations. A White House statement said Obama "reiterated the U.S. position that Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China and that the United States does not support Tibet independence."
A thought for the day: "The worst prison would be a closed heart." -- Pope John Paul II