Today is the 40th day of 2015 and the 51st day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1861, Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America.
In 1950, during a speech in West Virginia, Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin claimed to have a list of more than 200 "known communists" serving in the State Department.
In 1964, the Beatles made their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
In 1968, the first U.S. combat troops were sent to South Vietnam.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), ninth U.S. president; Ronald Colman (1891-1958), actor; Brendan Behan (1923-1964), playwright; Roger Mudd (1928- ), TV journalist; Carole King (1942- ), singer-songwriter; Joe Pesci (1943- ), actor; Alice Walker (1944- ), author; Mia Farrow (1945- ), actress; Charlie Day (1976- ), actor; Tom Hiddleston (1981- ), actor; Michael B. Jordan (1987- ), actor.
TODAY'S FACT: No candidate took the majority of the electoral votes in the presidential election of 1824. As a result, the decision fell to the House of Representatives, which elected John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson on this day in 1825.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1971, pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige became the first Negro League veteran to be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Hard times require furious dancing. Each of us is proof." -- Alice Walker
TODAY'S NUMBER: 73 million -- viewers estimated to have tuned in to see the Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." At 45.3 percent of all U.S. television-owning households, it became the highest-rated TV telecast and is still the 26th-highest rated of all time.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Feb. 3) and last quarter moon (Feb. 11).