Today is the 54th day of 2012 and the 64th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1778, Baron von Steuben joined the U.S. encampment at Valley Forge.
In 1945, American Marines raised the American flag on Iwo Jima.
In 1954, the first mass vaccination of children against polio began in Pittsburgh.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush announced the beginning of an allied ground offensive in Iraq.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), diarist/British naval official; George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), composer; W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963), author/activist; Peter Fonda (1940- ), actor; Emily Blunt (1983- ), actress; Dakota Fanning (1994- ), actress.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1988, the city of Chicago gave the Cubs baseball team permission to install lights at Wrigley Field and begin hosting night games.
TODAY'S FACT: A group of buzzards is called a "wake." A group of finches is called a "charm."
TODAY'S QUOTE: "The theory of democratic government is not that the will of the people is always right, but rather that normal human beings of average intelligence will, if given a chance, learn the right and best course by bitter experience." -- W.E.B. Du Bois
TODAY'S NUMBER: 6,825 -- American soldiers who died taking Iwo Jima in 1945.
TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (Feb. 21) and first quarter (Feb. 29).