Today is the 44th day of 2018 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: "If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you." -- Henry Rollins, "Do I Come Here Often"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 300 -- estimated number of nuclear weapons in France's stockpile as of 2017.
TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (Feb. 7) and new moon (Feb. 15).