Today in history


By The Associated Press



Today is Sunday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2019. There are 331 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 3, 1959, 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 1690, the first paper money in America was issued by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to finance a military expedition to Canada.

In 1811, American newspaper editor Horace Greeley was born in Amherst, N.H.

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 1930, the chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft, resigned for health reasons. (He died just over a month later.)

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. (Four Army chaplains on board gave away their life jackets to save others and went down with the ship.)

In 1959, an American Airlines Lockheed Electra crashed into New York’s East River, killing 65 of the 73 people on board.

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, 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, Texas executed Karla Faye Tucker, 38, for the pickax killings of two people in 1983; she was the first woman executed in the United States since 1984. 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.

Ten years ago: Eric Holder became the first black U.S. attorney general as he was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden. The White House announced that Tom Daschle had asked to be removed from consideration as health and human services secretary after acknowledging he’d failed to pay all his taxes.

Five years ago: U.S. stocks tumbled, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 320 points after reports of sluggish U.S growth added to investor worries about the global economy. Former Vice President Walter Mondale’s wife, Joan, died in St. Paul, Minnesota, at age 83.

One year ago: The fantasy romance “The Shape of Water” added another key prize in the awards season, as Guillermo del Toro took top honors at the Directors Guild Awards. Linebacker Ray Lewis and receiver Terrell Owens were among eight people voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The New York Times reported an accusation from actress Uma Thurman that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein had forced himself on her sexually years ago in a London hotel room; Weinstein acknowledged making an “awkward pass” but strongly denied any physical assault.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., is 86. Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 79. Actress Bridget Hanley is 78. Actress Blythe Danner is 76. Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese is 74. Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) is 72. Singer Melanie is 72. Actress Morgan Fairchild is 69. Actress Pamela Franklin is 69. Actor Nathan Lane is 63. Rock musician Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) is 63. Actor Thomas Calabro is 60. Rock musician/author Lol Tolhurst (The Cure) is 60. Actor-director Keith Gordon is 58. Actress Michele Greene is 57. Country singer Matraca (muh-TRAY’-suh) Berg is 55. Actress Maura Tierney is 54. Actor Warwick Davis is 49. Actress Elisa Donovan is 48. Reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee is 43. Actress Isla (EYE’-luh) Fisher is 43. Musician Grant Barry is 42. Human rights activist Amal Clooney is 41. Singer-songwriter Jessica Harp is 37. Actor Matthew Moy is 35. Rapper Sean Kingston is 29. Actor Brandon Micheal (cq) Hall is 26.

Thought for Today: “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.” — Horace Greeley, American newspaper editor (born this date in 1811, died in 1872).

By The Associated Press