Today is Tuesday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2021 with 311 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn and Venus. Evening stars are Mars, Neptune and Uranus.
Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include Pope Paul II in 1417; British diarist Samuel Pepys in 1633; German composer George Frideric Handel in 1685; Mayer Amschel Rothschild, European banker/founder of the Rothschild financial dynasty, in 1744; writer/philosopher W.E.B. DuBois in 1868; film director Victor Fleming in 1889; journalist/author William Shirer in 1904; Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay on the 1945 flight that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1915; former congressman/longtime University of Nebraska football Coach Tom Osborne in 1937 (age 84); actor Peter Fonda in 1940; football Hall of Fame member Fred Biletnikoff in 1943 (age 78); novelist John Sandford, born John Roswell Camp, in 1944 (age 77); former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in 1954 (age 67); actor Patricia Richardson in 1951 (age 70); Japanese Emperor Naruhito in 1960 (age 61); businessman/TV personality Daymond John in 1969 (age 52); actor Niecy Nash in 1970 (age 51); actor Kelly Macdonald in 1976 (age 45); actor Josh Gad in 1981 (age 40); actor Emily Blunt in 1983 (age 38); actor Aziz Ansari in 1983 (age 38); actor/model Samara Weaving in 1992 (age 29); actor Dakota Fanning in 1994 (age 27).
On this date in history:
In 1836, soldiers under the command of Mexican President General Antonio López de Santa Anna began their assault on the Alamo Mission near present-day San Antonio, Texas. Eleven days later, the Alamo's small group of Texian (Texan) defenders were defeated by the 1500-plus Mexican Army.
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 near the end of one of World War II's bloodiest battles.
In 1954, Dr. Jonas Salk's new polio vaccine was first administered to a group of children in Pittsburgh. Millions of children would get the vaccine in the next year.
In 1981, right-wing troops seeking to topple Spain's democracy seized Parliament and its 350 deputies in a blaze of gunfire. The attempted military revolt was quelled when King Juan Carlos called for calm and loyalty.
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 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. Two days later, King was sentenced to death.
In 2006, the snow-covered roof of a Moscow vegetable market collapsed, killing at least 60 people and injuring more than two dozen others.
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.
In 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the coronavirus epidemic the greatest public health emergency since 1949. Meanwhile, Italy became the epicenter of the first COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, with 132 cases.
A thought for the day: "Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody." -- British diarist/member of Parliament Samuel Pepys