Fun Facts for Today – February 3

February 3


It’s the Day the Music Died


1112 – Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona and Douce I of Provence marry, uniting the fortunes of those two states.
1534 – The Irish rebel Silken Thomas is executed by the order of Henry VIII in London, England.
1690 – The colony of Massachusetts issues the first paper money in America.
1706 – During the Battle of Fraustadt Swedish forces defeat a superior Saxon-Polish-Russian force by deploying a double envelopment.
1783 – American Revolutionary War: Spain recognizes United States independence.
1787 – Shays’ Rebellion is crushed.
1809 – The Illinois Territory is created.
1830 – The sovereignty of Greece is confirmed in a London Protocol.
1867 – Emperor Meiji becomes the 122nd emperor of Japan.
1870 – The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to citizens regardless of race.
1900 – Gubernatorial candidate William Goebel is assassinated in Frankfort, Kentucky.
1913 – The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.
1917 – World War I: The United States breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany a day after the latter announced a new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
1918 – The Twin Peaks Tunnel in San Francisco, California begins service as the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet (3,633 meters) long.
1930 – The Communist Party of Vietnam is established.
1931 – The Hawke’s Bay earthquake, New Zealand’s worst natural disaster, kills 258.
1944 – World War II: During the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, U.S. Army and Marine forces seize Kwajalein Atoll from the defending Japanese garrison.
1945 – World War II: As part of Operation Thunderclap, 1,000 B-17s of the Eighth Air Force bomb Berlin, a raid which kills between 2,500 to 3,000 and dehouses another 120,000.
1959 – A plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa kills Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson and the incident becomes known as The Day the Music Died.
1960 – British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan speaks of the “a wind of change” of increasing national consciousness blowing through colonial Africa, signaling that his Government was likely to support decolonization.
1966 – The unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft makes the first controlled rocket-assisted landing on the Moon.
1967 – Ronald Ryan, the last person to be executed in Australia, is hanged in Pentridge Prison, Melbourne.
1969 – In Cairo, Yasser Arafat is appointed Palestine Liberation Organization leader at the Palestinian National Congress.
1971 – New York Police Officer Frank Serpico is shot during a drug bust in Brooklyn and survives to later testify against police corruption. Many believe the incident proves that NYPD officers tried to kill him.
1984 – John Buster and the research team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center announce history’s first embryo transfer, from one woman to another resulting in a live birth.
1984 – Space Shuttle program: STS-41-B is launched using Space Shuttle Challenger.
1988 – Iran-Contra Affair: The United States House of Representatives rejects President Ronald Reagan’s request for $36.25 million to aid Nicaraguan Contras.
1989 – After a stroke, P.W. Botha resigns party leadership and the presidency of South Africa.
1989 – A military coup overthrows Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay since 1954.
1995 – Astronaut Eileen Collins becomes the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle as mission STS-63 gets underway from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
1998 – Karla Faye Tucker is executed in Texas becoming the first woman executed in the United States since 1984.
1998 – Cavalese cable-car disaster: a United States Military pilot causes the death of 20 people when his low-flying plane cuts the cable of a cable-car near Trento, Italy.
2007 – A Baghdad market bombing kills at least 135 people and injures a further 339.



1809 – Felix Mendelssohn, German composer
1811 – Horace Greeley, American journalist, editor, and publisher
1824 – Ranald MacDonald, Canadian-born Scottish educator and interpreter
1874 – Gertrude Stein, American writer
1876 – William Tedmarsh, English-born American silent movie actor
1894 – Norman Rockwell, American illustrator
1904 – Pretty Boy Floyd, American gangster
1907 – James Michener, American author
1912 – Mary Carlisle, American actress and singer
1918 – Joey Bishop, American entertainer
1926 – Shelley Berman, American comedian
1927 – Val Doonican, Irish singer and entertainer
1932 – Peggy Ann Garner, American actress
1938 – Victor Buono, American actor
1940 – Fran Tarkenton, American football player
1943 – Blythe Danner, American actress
1945 – Bob Griese, American football player
1947 – Paul Auster, American novelist
1947 – Dave Davies, English musician (The Kinks)
1950 – Morgan Fairchild, American actress
1956 – Nathan Lane, American actor
1961 – Keith Gordon, American actor
1965 – Maura Tierney, American actress
1970 – Warwick Davis, English actor
1976 – Isla Fisher, Australian actress


1468 – Johannes Gutenberg, German publisher
1889 – Belle Starr, American outlaw
1922 – John Butler Yeats, Northern Irish artist
1924 – Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, Nobel laureate
1959 – The Day the Music Died

* Buddy Holly, American singer
* Roger Peterson, pilot
* Ritchie Valens, American singer
* J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, American singer

1985 – Frank Oppenheimer, American physicist
1989 – John Cassavetes, American actor
1991 – Nancy Kulp, American actress
2003 – Lana Clarkson, American actress and model


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