Today In History: February 3, The Day The Music Died

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2024. There are 332 days left in the year.

Today in History:

On Feb. 3, 1959, which would become known as “the day the music died,” rock-and-roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a small plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.

On this date:

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens held a shipboard peace conference off the Virginia coast; the talks deadlocked over the issue of Southern autonomy.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.

In 1917, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, the same day an American cargo ship, the SS Housatonic, was sunk by a U-boat off Britain after the crew was allowed to board lifeboats.

In 1943, during World War II, the U.S. transport ship SS Dorchester, which was carrying troops to Greenland, sank after being hit by a German torpedo in the Labrador Sea; of the more than 900 men aboard, only some 230 survived.

In 1966, the Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first manmade object to make a soft landing on the moon.

In 1988, the U.S. House of Representatives handed President Ronald Reagan a major defeat, rejecting his request for $36.2 million in new aid to the Nicaraguan Contras by a vote of 219-211.

In 1994, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off, carrying Sergei Krikalev (SUR’-gay KREE’-kuh-lev), the first Russian cosmonaut to fly aboard a U.S. spacecraft.

In 1995, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off with a woman, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Collins, in the pilot’s seat for the first time in NASA history.

In 1998, a U.S. Marine plane sliced through the cable of a ski gondola in Italy, causing the car to plunge hundreds of feet, killing all 20 people inside.

In 2006, an Egyptian passenger ferry sank in the Red Sea during bad weather, killing more than 1,000 passengers.

In 2009, Eric Holder became the first Black U.S. attorney general as he was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden.

In 2013, Christopher Dorner, a fired Los Angeles police officer launched a revenge war on law enforcement and the families of those he blamed for ending his career, killing four people during a 6-day manhunt that ended with his suicide in a mountain cabin.

In 2018, linebacker Ray Lewis and receiver Terrell Owens were among eight people voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In 2020, in closing arguments at President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, Democratic prosecutors urged senators to stop a “runaway presidency” and recognize Trump’s actions in Ukraine as part of a pattern of behavior that would allow him to “cheat” in the 2020 election; Trump’s defenders accused Democrats of trying to undo the 2016 election and said voters should decide Trump’s fate.

In 2021, country music star Morgan Wallen was suspended from his label and his music was pulled by radio stations and streaming services after a video surfaced showed him shouting a racial slur.

Today’s birthdays: Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 83. Actor Blythe Danner is 81. Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese is 79. Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) is 77. Actor Morgan Fairchild is 74. Actor Pamela Franklin is 74. Actor Nathan Lane is 68. Rock musician Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) is 68. Actor Thomas Calabro is 65. Rock musician/author Lol Tolhurst (The Cure) is 65. Actor-director Keith Gordon is 63. Actor Michele Greene is 62. Country singer Matraca Berg is 60. Actor Maura Tierney is 59. Actor Warwick Davis is 54. Actor Elisa Donovan is 53. Reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee is 48. Actor Isla Fisher is 48. Human rights activist Amal Clooney is 46. Singer-songwriter Jessica Harp is 42. Actor Matthew Moy is 40. Rapper Sean Kingston is 34. Actor Brandon Micheal Hall is 31.