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UPI Almanac for Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

On Feb. 21, 2019, the Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa-2 probe touched down on asteroid Ryugu.

By United Press International
On February 21, 2019, the Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa-2 probe, pictured, touched down on asteroid Ryugu. File Image courtesy of the DLR German Aerospace Center
1 of 4 | On February 21, 2019, the Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa-2 probe, pictured, touched down on asteroid Ryugu. File Image courtesy of the DLR German Aerospace Center

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 21, the 52nd day of 2024 with 314 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.

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Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Mexican revolutionary/military commander Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (conqueror of the Alamo) in 1794; Roman Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman in 1801; classical guitarist Andres Segovia in 1893; writer Anais Nin in 1903; poet/author W.H. Auden in 1907; humorist Erma Bombeck in 1927; singer Nina Simone in 1933; actor Rue McClanahan in 1934; King Harald V of Norway in 1937 (age 87); actor Gary Lockwood in 1937 (age 87); civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in 1940; film/record executive David Geffen in 1943 (age 81); actor Tyne Daly in 1946 (age 78); Tricia Nixon Cox, daughter of former U.S. President Richard Nixon, in 1946 (age 78); actor Anthony Daniels in 1946 (age 78); actor Alan Rickman in 1946; author Jeffrey Shaara in 1952 (age 72); actor Kelsey Grammer in 1955 (age 69); singer Mary Chapin Carpenter in 1958 (age 66); actor Christopher Atkins in 1961 (age 63); author David Foster Wallace in 1962; actor William Baldwin in 1963 (age 61); actor Kumail Nanjiani in 1978 (age 46); actor Tituss Burgess in 1979 (age 45); filmmaker Jordan Peele in 1979 (age 45); actor Jennifer Love Hewitt in 1979 (age 45); singer Charlotte Church in 1986 (age 38); actor Elliot Page in 1987 (age 37); actor Ashley Greene in 1987 (age 37); actor Corbin Bleu in 1989 (age 35); actor Joe Alwyn in 1991 (age 33); actor Hayley Orrantia in 1994 (age 30); actor Sophie Turner in 1996 (age 28); actor Rain Spencer in 2000 (age 24).

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On this date in history:

In 1848, The Communist Manifesto was published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. A rare copy of the publication sold at auction for $39,600 in 1986.

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. It took another three decades for scientists to produce a clear, direct picture of the DNA molecule.

In 1965, Black Muslim leader Malcolm X was assassinated at a rally in New York.

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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 up to 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 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."

In 2019, the Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa-2 probe touched down on asteroid Ryugu. It was the first probe to deploy working rovers onto an asteroid.

In 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "peacekeeping" troops into two separatist regions of eastern Ukraine under new decrees recognizing them as independent republics. Three days later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

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A thought for the day: Scottish Olympian and missionary Eric Liddell said, "In the dust of defeat as well as the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best."

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