Today's History Trivia for February 3
The Day the Music Died
Rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson are killed in a plane crash. Singer Tommy Allsup lost his seat on the plane to Ritchie Valens in a coin toss.
1943 WWII - Four Chaplains Four U.S. Army Chaplains die after giving up their life jackets to save others. After their ship was hit by German torpedoes, they helped others board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. The chaplains joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.
2003 Spector Murder Actress Lana Clarkson (film: Barbarian Queen, title role) is found shot to death in music producer Phil Spector's home. In 2009, Spector was found guilty of second degree murder for her death.
1966 First Successful Soft Landing of a Manmade Object on the Moon The Soviet Luna 9 lands and begins transmitting back photos.
1943 World War II Four U.S. Navy chaplains give away their life preservers and go down with the USAT Dorchester after it was hit by torpedoes.
1919 League of Nations A commission, presided over by Pres. Woodrow Wilson in Paris, begins working on the League's draft covenant.
1913 16th Amendment ratified It gave Congress the power to lay and collect income taxes.
1730 First newspaper stock-market quotes By London's Daily Advertiser.
1690 First paper money The state of Massachusetts issues the first paper money in America. Source: Famous First Facts
Today's Birthdays for February 3
1950 Morgan Fairchild (Patsy McClenny), American actress. TV: Search For Tomorrow (Jennifer Pace), Dallas (Jenna Wade), and Flamingo Road (Constance Carlyle).
1945 Bob Griese American Football Hall of Famer.
1943 Blythe Danner American Tony-winning actress. Stage: Butterflies Are Free (Tony).
1940 Fran Tarkenton American football quarterback. He holds the record for touchdown passes.
1938 Victor Buono d. 1982 American actor. TV: The Wild Wild West (1965, Count Manzeppi) and Batman (1966-68, King Tut). Film: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).
1925 Shelley Berman American stand-up comic, popular in the 1950s and '60s. He was the first stand up comedian to perform at Carnegie Hall. TV: Curb Your Enthusiasm (Larry David's father).
1918 Joey Bishop d. 2007 (Joseph Abraham Gottlieb), American comedian. He was a member of the "Rat Pack" with Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Martin. Film: Ocean's Eleven (1960, Mushy O'Connors). TV: The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (guest host more than 175 times).
1907 James A. Michener d. 1997 American Pulitzer-winning author. Writings: Tales of the South Pacific (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1948), and The Bridges at Toko-ri (1953).
1906 George Adamson d. 1989 British environmentalist, protector of lions. He and his wife, Joy, were featured in the movie Born Free (1966) about the lioness Elsa. He was killed by poachers.
1883 Clarence Edward Mulford d. 1956 American author. He created the character Hopalong Cassidy, which was the first character featured on a metal lunch box (1950-53).
1874 Gertrude Stein d. 1946 American author, poet, famous for her phrase "A rose is a rose is a rose."
1821 Elizabeth Blackwell d. 1910 American physician, the first U.S. woman doctor of medicine (1849).
1811 Horace Greeley d. 1872 American editor, author, co-founder of the New Yorker (1834), founder of the New York Tribune (1841), and famous for the phrase "Go West, young man."
1809 Felix Mendelssohn d. 1847 German composer, musician. He wrote Midsummer's Night's Dream overture before he was 17.
1747 Samuel Osgood d. 1813 American politician, member of the Continental Congress (1781-84), first commissioner of the U.S. treasury (1785-89), and U.S. postmaster general (1789-91).
Deaths for February 3
1959 Ritchie Valens b. 1941 (Richard Valenzuela), American singer. Music: Donna (1958, #2) and La Bamba (1959). He died in a plane crash with Buddy Holly - See The Day the Music Died.
1959 Buddy Holly b. 1936 (Charles Harden Holley), American rock 'n' roll pioneer. He died in a plane crash with the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens - See The Day the Music Died.
1959 Big Bopper b. 1930 (J.P. Richardson), American singer. Music: Chantilly Lace (1958) and Little Red Riding Hood (1958). He died in a plane crash with Buddy Holly - See The Day the Music Died.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson
28th U.S. President (1913-21). He suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1919 while still in office. Some claim that it was his wife who actually ran the government for the remainder of his term.
2012 Ben Gazzara b. 1930 (Biagio Anthony Gazzarra), American Emmy-winning actor. TV: Run for Your Life (1965-68, terminally-ill Paul Bryan).
2006 Al Lewis b. 1923 (Albert Meister), American actor. TV: Car 54, Where Are You? (Leo) and The Munsters (Sam Dracula, aka Grandpa).
2003 Lana Clarkson b. 1962 American actress. She was found shot to death in music producer Phil Spector's home. In 2009, Spector was found guilty of second degree murder for her death. Film: Deathstalker (1983, warrior Kaira) and Barbarian Queen (1985, title role).
2000 Pierre Plantard b. 1920 French "historian." His claims about the Priory of Sion were the basis of such books as Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982) and The Da Vinci Code (2003). He also claimed he was descended from King Dagobert II, and therefore was a Merovingian claimant to the throne of France.
1996 Audrey Meadows b. 1922 (Audrey Cotter), American actress. TV: The Honeymooners (1955-56, Alice Kramden).
1991 Nancy Kulp b. 1921 American actress. TV: The Beverly Hillbillies (Jane Hathaway).
1989 John Cassavetes b. 1929 American actor. He wrote and directed Faces (1968) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974).
1925 Oliver Heaviside b. 1850 English physicist. He made long-distance telephone operation practical, predicted the increase in mass of an electric charge moving at high velocity, and predicted the existence of the ionosphere.
1889 Belle Starr b. 1848 (Myra Belle Shirley), American outlaw, horse thief, "The Bandit Queen." Her 18-year-old son, Eddie Reed, is believed by some historians to be the one who killed her while she was riding in Montana.
1468 Johann Gutenberg b. circa 1398 German inventor. He and Lauren Janszoon Koster invented printing with movable type.
929 Leo VI b. ???? Italian religious leader, 123rd Pope (May - Dec. 928). It is said he was put to death by Marozia, the alleged mistress of Pope Sergius III.