Today is Thursday, Feb. 7, the 38th day of 2019 with 327 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include English statesman/writer Thomas More in 1478; farm equipment manufacturer John Deere in 1804; English novelist Charles Dickens in 1812; author Laura Ingalls Wilder in 1867; novelist Sinclair Lewis in 1885; ragtime composer/pianist Eubie Blake in 1887; Army Cpl. Desmond Doss, the only conscientious object to receive the Medal of Honor, and subject of Hacksaw Ridge, in 1919; writer Gay Talese in 1932 (age 87); actor Pete Postlethwaite in 1946; actor Miguel Ferrer in 1955; comedian Emo Philips in 1956 (age 63); actor James Spader in 1960 (age 59); actor Eddie Izzard in 1962 (age 57); country singer Garth Brooks in 1962 (age 57); comedian Chris Rock in 1965 (age 54); actor Ashton Kutcher in 1978 (age 41); actor Deborah Ann Woll in 1985 (age 34).

 

On this date in history:

In 1497, the Bonfire of the Vanities in Florence, Italy, took place when followers of Girolamo Savonarola burned thousands of books, art and cosmetics.

In 1940, British railroads were nationalized.

In 1964, the Beatles arrived in the United States for the first time and immediately set off a frantic wave of "Beatlemania."

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In 1973, the U.S. Senate voted to set up a committee to investigate a break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington's Watergate complex.

In 1979, Josef Mengele, to so-called Nazi "Angel of Death" who conducted medical experiments on victims -- mostly Jewish people -- during the Holocaust. His death -- caused by a stroke while swimming in Brazil -- wasn't revealed until 1985.

In 1984, U.S. astronauts Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart made the first untethered spacewalks. McCandless was the first to float freely in space, propelled by a nitrogen-powered "jetpack" after leaving the shuttle Challenger.

In 1990, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev issued a series of reforms and the Communist Party gave up its 70-year monopoly of political power in the Soviet Union.

In 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was inaugurated as Haiti's first democratically elected president in 186 years.

In 1992, the European Union was created when the Maastricht Treaty was signed.

In 1995, the mastermind in the 1993 bombing of New York's World Trade Center, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, was arrested in Pakistan. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1998.

In 1999, King Hussein of Jordan died of cancer at age 63. Hussein ruled Jordan for 46 years. Crown Prince Abdullah succeeded his father as king.

In 2009, the most deadly series of brushfires in Australian history claimed more than 200 lives, destroyed almost 2,000 homes and burned at least 1.1 million acres in Victoria state.

In 2014, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, had a spectacular opening ceremony. Performers in the show watched by 40,000 people at the Olympic stadium, included Cossack dancers, ballerinas, puppeteers and acrobats.

In 2018, White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter announced his resignation amid domestic abuse allegations from two of his ex-wives. The incident sparked an overhaul of how the White House handles security clearances.

A thought for the day: "Society as a whole benefits immeasurably from a climate in which all persons, regardless of race or gender, may have the opportunity to earn respect, responsibility, advancement and remuneration based on ability." -- Sandra Day O'Connor