GOOD MORNING – TODAY IS SUNDAY, February 08, the 39th day of 2015 with 326 to follow. Sunrise in the Boston area is @ 6:51 and sunset is @ 5:05. The moon is waning. The morning stars are stars are Jupiter, Mercury, & Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Neptune, Uranus & Venus.

ON THIS DAY IN: 1725 – Catherine I succeeded her husband, Peter the Great (who died), to become empress of Russia.

1896 – The Western (football) Conference was formed by Midwestern colleges; it later was renamed the Big 10 Conference.

1904 – The Russo-Japanese War began when Japan launched a surprise naval attack against Port Arthur, a Russian naval base in China. This followed Russia’s rejection of a Japanese plan to divide Manchuria and Korea into spheres of influence.

1910 – The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

1915 – D.W. Griffith’s silent movie epic about the Civil War, “The Birth of a Nation,” premiered.

1922 – President Warren Harding had a radio installed at the White House.

1924 – The first execution by lethal gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.

1936 – The first National Football League draft was held. The first selection was Jay Berwanger by the Philadelphia Eagles.

1969 – The last issue of the “Saturday Evening Post” was published; it started in 1821.

1974 – The last Skylab crew returned to Earth.

1993 – General Motors sued NBC after Dateline NBC allegedly rigged two crashes intended to demonstrate that some GM pickups can easily catch fire if hit in certain places. NBC settled the lawsuit the following day.

2005 – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas agree to a cease-fire.

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