Today is the 44th day of 2017 and the 55th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1542, Catherine Howard, fifth wife of King Henry VIII, was executed on grounds of treason for committing adultery.
In 1945, Allied aircraft began bombing the German city of Dresden.
In 1960, France successfully detonated its first atomic bomb.
In 2000, the last of Charles Schulz's original "Peanuts" comic strips ran in Sunday papers, one day after the cartoonist's death.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Grant Wood (1891-1942), artist; Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919-1991), singer/actor; Chuck Yeager (1923- ), aviator; Kim Novak (1933- ), actress; Stockard Channing (1944- ), actress; Jerry Springer (1944- ), TV personality; Mike Krzyzewski (1947- ), basketball coach; Peter Gabriel (1950- ), singer-songwriter; Henry Rollins (1961- ), singer-songwriter; Neal McDonough (1966- ), actor; Randy Moss (1977- ), football player; Mena Suvari (1979- ), actress.
TODAY'S FACT: The central event of author Kurt Vonnegut's celebrated novel "Slaughterhouse-Five" is the Allied bombing of the city of Dresden during World War II. Estimates of civilian casualties from the bombings range from 35,000 to 135,000.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1920, the Negro National League was established at a YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri, becoming the first black professional baseball league.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Most pilots learn, when they pin on their wings and go out and get in a fighter, especially, that one thing you don't do, you don't believe anything anybody tells you about an airplane." - Chuck Yeager
TODAY'S NUMBER: 300 -- estimated number of nuclear weapons in France's stockpile as of May 2016.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Feb. 10) and last quarter moon (Feb. 18).