TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1792, President George Washington signed into law the Postal Service Act, establishing the U.S. Post Office Deptartment.
In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, making three orbits aboard the Mercury program's Friendship 7 spacecraft.
In 1986, the Soviet Union launched the core module of the Mir space station.
In 2003, a pyrotechnics display during a Great White concert set fire to the Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, killing 100 people.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Ansel Adams (1902-1984), photographer; Robert Altman (1925-2006), filmmaker; Richard Matheson (1926-2013), author/screenwriter; Sidney Poitier (1927- ), actor; Nancy Wilson (1937-2018), singer/actress; Patty Hearst (1954- ), actress/socialite; Charles Barkley (1963- ), basketball player/broadcaster; Cindy Crawford (1966- ), fashion model; Kurt Cobain (1967-1994), musician; Lili Taylor (1967- ), actress; Trevor Noah (1984- ), comedian/TV host; Miles Teller (1987- ), actor; Rihanna (1988- ), singer-songwriter.
TODAY'S FACT: More NASA astronauts (31 men and women, as of 2019) have come from New York than any other state.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1998, 15-year-old Tara Lipinski became the youngest person in history to win a singles figure skating gold medal at the Winter Olympics held in Nagano, Japan.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety." -- Robert Altman
TODAY'S NUMBER: 10,506 -- duration (in hours) of the longest single human spaceflight, by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov from January 1994 to March 1995. Polyakov spent 437 days aboard the Mir space station.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Feb. 19) and last quarter moon (Feb. 26).