Today is Friday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2019 with 326 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 Civil War-era U.S. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in 1820; pioneer science fiction writer Jules Verne in 1828; Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, who devised the periodic table, in 1834; author Kate Chopin in 1850; actor Edith Evans in 1888; Chester Carlson, inventor of the Xerox copying process, in 1906; actor Lana Turner in 1921; actor Audrey Meadows in 1922; actor Jack Lemmon in 1925; actor James Dean in 1931; Oscar-winning composer/conductor John Williams in 1932 (age 87); television journalist Ted Koppel in 1940 (age 79); actor Nick Nolte in 1941 (age 78); folk singer Tom Rush in 1941 (age 78); comedian Robert Klein in 1942 (age 77); singer Ron Tyson (The Temptations) in 1948 (age 71); actor Brooke Adams in 1949 (age 70); actor Mary Steenburgen in 1953 (age 66); author John Grisham in 1955 (age 64); Philippine President Benigno Aquino III in 1960 (age 59); rock vocalist Vince Neil (Motley Crue) in 1961 (age 58); actor Gary Coleman in 1968; actor Seth Green in 1974 (age 45); actor Marion "Pooch" Hall in 1977 (age 42); comedian Cecily Strong in 1984 (age 35); surfer Bethany Hamilton in 1990 (age 298); actor Kathryn Newton in 1997 (age 22).

 

On this date in history:

In 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded, charged with conspiring to kill England's Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1692, a doctor in Massachusetts Bay Colony said two village girls were possibly bewitched, a charge that set off the Salem witch trials.

In 1693, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., was granted a charter by Britain's King William III.

In 1725, Peter the Great, emperor of Russia, died and was succeeded by his wife, Catherine.

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In 1915, D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, a landmark in the history of cinema and the first American full-length motion picture, opened in Los Angeles and was immediately a smash hit though many found its treatment of race offensive.

In 1933, two British Royal Air Force pilots landed at Walvis Bay, 800 miles north of Cape Town, South Africa, setting a non-stop flight record after traveling 5,175 miles from England.

In 1960, groundbreaking got underway for the first plaques installed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which honored Olive Borden, Ronald Colman, Louise Fazenda, Preston Foster, Burt Lancaster, Edward Sedgwick, Ernest Torrence and Joanne Woodward.

In 1974, three U.S. Skylab astronauts ended an 84-day orbital flight.

In 1983, a group of gunmen stole one the world's most valuable racehorses, Shergar, from a stud farm in Ireland. The kidnappers demanded a $3.1 million ransom, but negotiations proved fruitless and the horse was never seen again.

In 1993, at least 132 people were killed when a Russian-made Tupolev jetliner flying for Iran Air Tours collided with a Sukhoi military aircraft near Tehran.

In 2002, the Olympic Winter Games opened in Salt Lake City.

In 2007, Anna Nicole Smith, a 39-year-old actor, model and tabloid fixture, was found dead in a Hollywood, Fla., hotel. Her death was attributed to accidental sedative overdose.

In 2015, British singer Sam Smith won Song of the Year for "Stay With Me," Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 57th annual Grammy Awards.

A thought for the day: "We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear." -- Nelson Mandela